Titans pull away from Northwest Guilford for third straight win

Published 7:22 pm Saturday, September 29, 2018

By Marc Pruitt
For the Clemmons Courier

West Forsyth cleared its final hurdle before conference play starts next Friday and picked up its third straight win in the process.

The Titans overcame two first-half deficits and some sloppy play early to eventually pull away for a 43-27 win against Northwest Guilford.

G’mone Wilson ran for 219 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, scoring both times when the Titans piled up 27 unanswered points to take control of the game.

The defense was stout — especially for the first 22 minutes of the game — by not allowing an offensive touchdown until 2:00 was left in the third quarter and also getting a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown from Giovanni Ricciardi in the second quarter.

West (4-2) trailed 8-3 and 14-10 in the first half after surrendering two touchdowns to the Northwest defense. Northwest’s Peter Hennigan covered up a botched snap in the end zone to give the Vikings and early 8-3 lead in the first quarter. Midway through the second quarter, quarterback Shane Jarvis’ pass was deflected in the air and back to Jarvis several yards behind the line of scrimmage. Jarvis appeared to try and throw the ball out of bounds, but it came out of his hand and was recovered in the end zone by Jacob Scheponik for a 14-10 lead.

“As a coach, you’ve got to get after them,” Coach Adrian Snow said. “There’s a time and a place when you’ve got to smile and love on them. And so, I smiled at them a little bit, loved on them a little bit, and then got after them a little bit after that start,” Snow said. “Basically, the big thing they needed to hear was, ‘Hey, we’re OK. As bad as we screwed some things up, it wasn’t like they were three or four touchdowns ahead of us. We were still right there in it.”

Wilson helped ignite the Titans late in the second half by scoring twice in the final 3 minutes, 16 seconds, on 13-and 18-yard runs, respectively.

The 13-yard run gave West the lead for good at 17-14, and the 18-yarder helped to end the first half with a flourish.

West got the ball back with 32.3 seconds left at its 42-yard line. Wilson gained 41 yards on first down and then scurried in from 18 yards on the next play as the lead grew to 23-14 at halftime.

“G’mone is electric,” Snow said. “When you get the ball back with 30 seconds left, most people are going to say, ‘Let’s throw it up in the air.’ I said, ‘Let’s run the ball’ and we give it to him twice and after the second, he’s in the end zone.”

On the second play of the second half, Jalen Ferguson connected with C.J. Graham for a 60-yard touchdown and a 30-14 lead, and James Gordon added a 14-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter as the lead swelled to 37-14.

“The best play of the night in the coaches’ eyes right there,” Snow said. “Do you know who the first person was to congratulate him? G’mone Wilson sprinted out there and was loving him up. That’s what it’s about. That’s exactly what we’re trying to get them to understand — that’s it’s about us, and I think we’re getting there, hopefully.”

Gordon added a 35-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter and finished with 57 rushing yards.

Christian Kaplan added a 50-yard field goal in the first quarter that gave West and early 3-0 lead.

“We settled down after we saw some adversity,” Snow said. “It looked kind of crazy out there with some of the stuff that was going on. And our defense did a heck of a job. They didn’t score until (the end of) the third quarter. We’ve got a great group out there and they made some adjustments and did some great things against a pretty good football team tonight.”

West will open Central Piedmont 4-A Conference play at home next Friday against East Forsyth, which will enter the game with a 6-0 record.

NWG  8    6     6      7      27

WF    3     20    14   6      43

WF—Kaplan 50 FG

NWG—Hennigan fumble recovery in end zone

WF—Ricciardi 22 interception return (Hardy run)

NWG—Scheponik fumble recovery in end zone (run failed)

WF—Wilson 13 run (Kaplan kick)

WF—Wilson 18 run (kick failed)

WF—Graham 60 pass from Ferguson (Kaplan kick)

WF—Gordon 14 run (Kaplan kick)

NWG—Hardy 2 run (kick failed)

NWG—Cloud 16 run (Phillips kick)

WF—Gordon 35 run (pass failed)