Titans JV defeated in tough matchup with out-of-conference opponent

Hickory Ridge defeated W. Forsyth in a JV match-up last Thursday. The score was 35-22.

Titans JV defeated in tough matchup with out-of-conference opponent
September 19
01:10 2019

The West Forsyth JV football team was slated to play High Point Central last Thursday. Since H.P. Central did not field a JV team this season, the Titans’ coaching staff decided to challenge their players by scheduling a tough opponent in Hickory Ridge out of Harrisburg, N.C.

The Titans hung tough in the first half of the game, but the Raging Bulls took control after intermission and defeated the Titans by the score of 35-22. Even though they came away with the loss, Titan head coach Andrew Yeager was in high spirits.

“Hats off to Hickory Ridge; that’s a good program coming out of Harrisburg that played well, did some good things, and they’re well coached,” said Yeager. “I got to tip my hat to them in the first place, but I thought our boys played hard. We wanted some competition, we knew what they were going to present to us and the game did not go our way, but at the end of it, I felt we took strides in the right direction and I enjoyed it.”

The Titans opened the game on a high note. They took the opening kickoff and immediately drove right down the field. The drive culminated with a touchdown pass from Jacob Coale to Andrew Betson for a 6-0 lead, following the failed point after-try.

Not to be outdone, the Raging Bulls put together an impressive drive of their own. They were blessed with a nice kick return that brought the ball nearly out to midfield and a few plays later, quarterback Alexander Bentley found an open receiver downfield that scampered in for the tying touchdown.

The teams traded scores on both of their next possessions with West leading 14-12. As the half was ending, the Titans fumbled deep inside their own territory. A few plays later, Aaron Carey found the end zone on a three-yard run. With that score, Hickory Ridge took a 20-14 lead going into the half.

The Raging Bulls took full control of the game early in the third quarter. Bentley scored again on a two-yard run to make the score 27-14, with 6:57 left in the quarter. The Titans seemed to have trouble adjusting to the changes Hickory Ridge made at halftime.

“They made some adjustments and we weren’t ready for them,” said Yeager. “When we picked them up on our schedule, we didn’t have any film to see what they were doing. They threw some things at us that we hadn’t practiced or worked on and it just didn’t shake our way in the second half.”

The Titans did make a run when Coale hit Tristyn Tuttle for a touchdown pass to close the gap to 5 at 27-22. The Raging Bulls closed the door when they intercepted Coale midway through the fourth quarter.  They capitalized on the turnover with the clinching touchdown run by Jordan Marsh.  

Hickory Ridge head coach Justin Hagler was happy to add this game to his schedule as they have not played a team of West Forsyth’s caliber thus far this season. He says a game like this would test the resolve of his team.

“We came out of a bye week and we scheduled these guys so we wouldn’t have two, so I said we are not traveling 80 miles to take a loss, so we worked hard all week, perfected the little things, became tighter as a family and came out here and executed some things,” said Hagler. “There are some things we have to work on next week, but we definitely wanted to come out of here with the win.”

“We haven’t been in a dogfight like this yet, so I said ‘hey guys, this is what real football is, we came up here and they want to beat you as bad as you want to beat them,’ so we had to execute.”

Hagler spoke highly of his quarterback, Alex Bentley. Hagler says Bentley will routinely come over to the coaches and relay what he is seeing on the field for in-game adjustments.  

Overall, the Titans defense played well, said Yeager. He gave a lot of credit to Bentley, due to the fact he was hard to defend as a mobile quarterback. Even with the loss, he feels this game will prepare them for whatever they encounter during conference play.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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