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Round two: Titans get rematch with East in state playoffs

Rainy, sloppy, sluggish and slow.

Last Friday’s West Forsyth -Charlotte Vance prep playoff game was everything a football fan doesn’t wish for.

But for the Titans, there was a glimmer of light at the end of a long, damp night — the scoreboard.

“It was not our best effort but part of that was due to a very good Vance team,” mentioned West head coach Adrian Snow following his team’s 27-14 victory. “But how we looked doesn’t matter. In the playoffs the name of the game is survive and advance.

“I talked to (North Davidson coach) Mark Holcomb after they put up 77 points last week. That’s a terrific offensive night but you can’t take any of those points with you. This week everything starts over at 0-0.”

And West is definitely focused on this week. Meeting East Forsyth for the second time this season, the Titans (11-1) will be looking to avenge their only loss.

A standing-room-only crowd is expected to watch the top two teams in the county attempt to advance to round three. East (10-2) advanced to round two by blasting Greensboro Grimsley 55-21.

“We have changed some since we played them (a 17-10 Eagle win in week three) but I’m sure they have too,” Snow said. “Early in the season they were throwing the ball all over the field. Now they’re running it more. Either way, stopping them won’t be easy.”

A lot has changed since the two teams met on September 6th. West has lost starting quarterback Andy Weeks for the season and the Eagles have lost top wide receiver, Ace Miller. The Titans have built a nine-game winning streak since then while the Eagles have lost to High Point Central and NW Guilford.

“The first time we played them we were a little hesitant

Titan seniors Jazmine and Jessica Jones return to the West Forsyth girls basketball team this winter. The sisters signed to play with Auburn University last week.

and unsure of what we were doing,” noted West offensive lineman Travish Hicks. “Now we’re much more confident.”

One other difference Hicks touched on is the game site. The Titans traveled to Kernersville in week three. This time the Eagles will be coming to Clemmons.

“It’s great to be playing at home, in front of our fans,” he said. “They’re incredible. They show up no matter where we play. But at home, it’s something special. Honestly, they are a major factor in our success.

Snow agreed.

“Playing at home in front of your home fans is like getting in your comfortable recliner and watching TV in your own house,” Snow noted. “It’s where you are the most comfortable.

“But not everyone will be on our side. I’m sure East will bring a few people with them.”

Fans were few and far between for visiting Vance last week.

Sporting a mediocre 6-5 record and a number 16 seed, the Cougars needed early momentum to have a realistic shot at beating the top-seeded Titans. They never got it, giving up two touchdowns and commiting a costly turnover in first-half play. They managed to cut their 14-0 deficit in half with with a touchdown in the second period. But a pair of Titan scores in the third quarter put the game away.

West struggled to find its rhythm offensively as leading rusher Kealand Dirks saw only part-time duty due to a sprained ankle. Snow said later the injury “was nothing serious” and added that Dirks is expected to return to the lineup this Friday night.

Titan quarterback Darion Slade rushed for 94 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries. He also connected with Luke Hedrick on a 37-yard TD pass and finished with 137 passing yards.

Hedrick and Jordan Terry finished the night with two catches each.