Titans-Spartans showdown: Who has the edge?

Titans-Spartans showdown: Who has the edge?
October 15
00:00 2015



Tonight’s (Oct. 15) West Forsyth-Mount Tabor match-up figures to be the game of the JV football season. The Titans are undefeated and have a shot at running the table to achieve perfection by season’s end.

The Spartans are one of two teams left on the schedule (the other is North Davidson) who have a reasonable chance to end West Forsyth’s win streak. Kickoff is set for 6 o’clock on Mount Tabor’s home turf.

A look at the numbers seems to favor the Titans, who average 38.2 points per game. What makes West Forsyth’s offense so formidable is its ability to score points in a hurry in a variety of ways. The ground game is stellar with Kenyar McPhatter and Mack Duke getting most of the totes. Quarterback Drew Latham gets ample help from break-away receivers Jamon Brown and Kallai Buyna.

The Titans (5-0) have the offensive personnel to spread the field and attack the Spartans defense with quick-hitting pass plays, screens and draws which will slow down Mount Tabor’s fearsome pass rush.

Given the high-octane nature of its offense, the West Forsyth defense hasn’t been put in a position in which it has to shut folks down for an entire game. Clifton Mack, KeAndre Buyna, Sean Wells and Joseph Wassong lead the way for the Titans defense.

When needed, though, the Titans get the defensive stops at the most crucial times. Even so, Titans coach Jared Eure isn’t pleased with the fact that his team has allowed 23.2 points a game.

Mount Tabor (4-2) doesn’t have much room for error. The defense, which has limited opponents to 12.5 points per game, could be among the top two in the Central Piedmont 4-A Conference. Timar Jackson, Theon Joe, Je’Vante Legrande and Cole Foley are major factors on a unit that must play superb in order for the Spartans to win.

Offensively, the Spartans (who score 19.8 points a game) aren’t nearly as diversified as the Titans. They won’t win any scoring shoot-outs, so they’ll need to rely on the ground game with De’vante Legrande and Rodnique Godwin to dominate time of possession and keep West Forsyth’s offense watching from the sidelines.

If the Spartans can generate enough of a threat with their passing game with quarterback Thomas Brabham and rangy receiver Jalan Moore, it will certainly help their cause. Otherwise, they could be in for a rough night in attempting to run against eight and nine-player fronts designed to stuff the run.

Controlling tempo, however, won’t be enough all by itself. Mount Tabor’s defense will have to limit the Titans’ big-play threats. Aside from that, field position will most likely have an impact on the final outcome. If the Spartans can manage to keep West Forsyth pinned deep in its territory for extended stretches, the odds for victory increase immensely.

So, does one team have a decisive edge over the other?

Probably not, especially since this is a contest that pits two longtime rivals against one another. One key fact to keep in mind, though. Both of Mount Tabor’s losses have come at their home stadium.



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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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