Titans prevail in overtime thriller

West Forsyth Titans wins by a narrow margin against the Reagan Raiders with a final score of 28-25.

Titans prevail in overtime thriller
April 07
12:41 2021

With a host of injuries to key starters on offense, many people thought the Reagan Raiders could possibly get blown out by undefeated West Forsyth. The Raiders not only played well; they nearly gave the Titans their first loss of the season, but came up just short by score of 28-25.

It was a low scoring game and the defenses for both teams really set the tone on that chilly Friday evening. The Titans had dominated their previous opponents, so it must have been a shock to have the shorthanded Raiders play them so closely.

“They did a good job and they threw all their guys in there that caused us some trouble at times,” said Adrian Snow, West Forsyth head coach. “We have a young quarterback that is still trying to learn and grow, but we found a way and that’s all that matters.”

Nasion Johnson got things started for the Titans. On their first play from scrimmage, Johnson took a handoff and left everyone in the dust, scoring a touchdown that gave West Forsyth a 7-0.

Early in the second quarter Reagan was faced with a critical fourth down. Still trailing 7-0, Raider head coach, Josh McGee, pulled the trigger and went for it on fourth down. Raider quarterback, Kam Hill, found Chris Joines in the corner of the endzone for the tying score. Joines jumped over the Titan defender to make the spectacular catch.

Johnson was not done with his heroics of the day. After several nice runs on the drive, Johnson scored his second touchdown from eight yards out, giving the Titans the lead once again. The defenses then began to take over. The final minutes of the second quarter was a mixture of turnovers and miscues. The Titans led 14-7 at the half.

“Tazhae Woods is a great player and they are really big up front with some talented guys up there,” Snow said about the Reagan offense. “It was good that our kids just found a way. In life there are going to be tough times, you might go through a pandemic, you might not be able to pay your bills, you might get covered tighter than you might have thought, but guess what you have to do? You have to keep playing, keep fighting, and get your butt out of bed and go to work the next day and some things are going to work out.  

“I treat the game of football like life all the time. It was good and I am excited for the kids.”

The game remained tied for much of the second half. The Titans were not able to throw the ball effectively, so the Raiders crowded the middle to stuff the running game of West Forsyth. This defensive adjustment by Reagan kept them within striking distance.

“They threw a bunch of jokers in there and they had like nine guys in the box,” Snow said. “We tried to make them pay, but we couldn’t make them pay and that’s the way it works sometimes, it’s called playing football.”

Still leading 14-7, West Forsyth was looking to run out the clock late in the fourth quarter. The Titans ran an option play and the quarterback fumbled. The ball was recovered by a Raider defender and he took it all the way into the endzone to tie the game with just over two minutes left.

“All I thought about was the next play,” Snow said about his thoughts after the fumble. “If I would have lost my mind, guess what would have happened? Our kids would have lost their minds. During that whole game, I just sat there. I guess since I am getting old, everybody else was running around going crazy and I was trying to be as calm as I can, and I think our guys feed off of that.”

In overtime, the Titans had possession first. On the second play, Jevante Long scored from seven yards out. After a penalty on the conversion, West Forsyth chose to go for two to make the lead eight.  

“I just felt like we had it on the one and a half yard line and we have some guys up front that are pretty good, so I felt like why not give it a shot, so that’s what we did,” said Snow about his decision. “We tried to put the pressure on them and that’s what we did.”

The game came down to another critical fourth down play for Reagan. Once again Hill connected with Joines in the endzone for another score. The Raiders were able to convert on the two-point conversion to tie the game. Unfortunately for the Raiders, they were hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

The Titans had the choice to take the penalty yards and have the ball first in the second overtime, or to push the Raiders back 15 yards and play defense first. Coach Snow chose the latter and that move proved to be the game-winning decision.

West Forsyth has an opportunity to wrap up a playoff spot next week with a win against Davie County.  

“We are playing for something, meaning if we win, we’re in the playoffs, if we don’t, we don’t know where we are going to be,” he continued. “The what ifs are a big deal and we told them if they want to get rid of the what ifs, you take care of business.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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