Defense, special teams key Titans’ win against Reynolds

Published 11:05 pm Sunday, October 21, 2018

By Marc Pruitt
For the Clemmons Courier

The first hint of fall on Friday night at Jerry Peoples Stadium featured a defensive and special teams’ performance for West Forsyth that was as crisp as the October air.

The Titans — fueled by three first-half interceptions and a kick return for a touchdown on the game’s first play — seized on that early momentum and pulled away for a 29-13 win against Reynolds to pick up their first Central Piedmont 4-A Conference win this season.

G’Mone Wilson, who fought for every one of his 107 rushing yards, returned the opening kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown. The Titans’ special teams also delivered three punts that pinned Reynolds inside its 5-yard line during the game.

West’s defense was sharp, especially in the first half, when they intercepted the Demons’ first two pass attempts to thwart any positive momentum.

Jaylon McMillon picked off Charlie Mensh’s flea flicker on the Demons’ first play from scrimmage, and Ja’Quan McMillian intercepted Caden Davis’ pass attempt on the second play of Reynolds’ next series.

The Titans didn’t allow a first down by the Demons in the first quarter and held them to three in the first half while building a 19-0 lead. One of the Demons’ first downs came at the end of the second quarter and another as a result of a pass interference penalty. Reynolds managed just 41 yards of total offense in the first half — 19 rushing and 22 passing.

McMillon, who picked us his second interception late in the first half, also delivered a 41-yard punt in the fourth quarter that backed the Demons’ up at their own 2-yard line.

Backup quarterback Shane Jarvis delivered two pooch punts that pinned the Demons deep in their own territory — a 46-yarder in the first quarter that was downed at the 1, and one in the fourth quarter that was downed at the 5.

“The big key in this game was the punts,” Coach Adrian Snow said. “We had them inside the five (yard line) three times. That’s a big deal. Calling plays inside the five (yard line) isn’t any fun. I know. I’ve been there. Nobody gives you any suggestions then, I can promise you that.”

Kelvin Johnson had four tackles and two sacks for the Titans, and Jack Olds finished with 10 tackles and a sack to help propel the defense, which didn’t allow any points until midway through the third quarter.

“I think we got them out of their comfort zone,” Snow said. “Those first two interceptions were huge, because we knew they wanted to throw the ball. We’re getting better and better. It’s a testament to our staff. Rick Larrick, Jon McIntosh, Brad Bovender, Kyle Williard do a great job of getting those kids better each week.”

Offensively, Wilson was jammed up for most of the game by Reynolds’ stout defensive line. Wilson had just 36 yards at halftime but turned a broken play into a 58-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that gave the Titans a 26-7 lead.

“We were missing three starters on the offensive line, but (Reynolds) did a great job up front against us,” Snow said. “They bottled up some things that normally work for us and their kid No. 4 (Jamoi Hodge) is a heck of a player. It was definitely tough-sledding for us tonight.”

Trae Archie had two touchdown receptions from Jalen Ferguson in the second quarter, and Christian Kaplan added a 33-yard field goal to round out the Titans’ scoring.

The Titans (5-3, 1-1 CPC) will travel West across the Yadkin River next Friday for a conference showdown with Davie County (3-5, 0-2).

Reynolds   0      0       7    6      13

West          7     12     7     3      29

WF—Wilson 84 kickoff return (Kaplan kick)

WF—Archie 2 pass from Ferguson (kick failed)

WF – Archie 1 pass from Ferguson (kick failed)

REY—Shaheim Revel 14 pass from Caden Davis (Doherty kick)

WF – Wilson—58 run (Kaplan kick)

WF – Kaplan  33 field goal

REY – Antonio Yates 10 pass from Mensh (Kick blocked)