West Forsyth dismantles Dudley in season opener

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 26, 2019

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By Marc Pruitt
For the Clemmons Courier

West Forsyth showed no signs of any off-season rust or any negative effects from starting its season a day later because of severe weather at Jerry People Stadium on Friday night.

The Saturday kickoff suited the Titans just fine.

West dominated the line of scrimmage on offense and defense and dismantled Greensboro Dudley 42-13 behind a powerful rushing attack in the season opener for both teams.

After falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter, the Titans reeled off 35 unanswered points behind their explosive offense — which included a speedy new weapon — and relentless defense.

The talented running back tandem of G’Mone Wilson and Zy Dillard helped lead the charge for the Titans, with Wilson rushing for four touchdowns and 97 yards on 26 carries, while Dillard finished with 108 yards and a touchdown.

“Both of them can run the ball,” Coach Adrian Snow said. “G’Mone, I think everyone knows what goes on with G’Mone. He draws a bunch of attention and he does a great job of running the ball. Runs with power, runs with speed, runs with agility. But nobody knows about that other one (Dillard). Well, they’re going to know about him now. And the great thing is, tonight, I saw them congratulating each other about how successful they were. And guess what that can do for West Forsyth? It can make us be successful.”

The win was especially sweet for Dillard, a senior who missed all of last season because of a torn ACL.

“I was messing around and playing basketball late in my sophomore year when it happened, doing something I shouldn’t have been doing,” Dillard said. “It was really frustrating to not be able to help my team out last year. I love football and I wanted to be out there. I was ready to come out here and play. I was so hyped last night (Friday after the postponement) that I couldn’t go to sleep. It felt great to be back out here tonight. I had a chance to be successful tonight because of our offensive line. That’s where it all starts.”

Wilson picked up right where he left off from last season with his performance.

“We are a team that came to play tonight and are a team that’s going to keep getting better,” Wilson said. “Our offensive line — they are some dogs up front. They make things a lot easier for us. Having Zy will help throw some of the attention off of me now, too. We both just run the ball hard every time we touch it.”

Dudley opened the scoring on a 4-yard touchdown run by Branson Adams that came after they recovered a West fumble and drove 75 yards.

West finally answered midway through the second quarter when Wilson had his first of four scoring runs on a 2-yard burst. Jaylen James’ extra point tied the game at 7, and it was all West from there.

The Titans elected to try a pooch kick on the ensuing kickoff that Kendall Williams recovered at the Dudley 35. Five plays later, Dillard found the end zone on an 11-yard run for a 14-7 lead.

West poured it on in the third quarter, with Wilson scoring on two 1-yard runs to push the advantage to 28-7.

Wilson added a 2-yard run in the fourth, and quarterback Jaylen Ferguson hooked up with C.J. Graham on a 13-yard scoring strike to close out the scoring.

James was perfect on all four of his extra points, and Megan Peters, who also plays on the girl’s soccer team, connected on both of her extra points in the fourth quarter.

The Titans’ defense did its job by limiting Dudley to 156 yards of total offense. The Panthers were not able to move the ball or sustain drives and found themselves in third-and-long situations throughout the game. The defensive front of Pat Smith, Josh Greiner and Greg Foushee were wreaking havoc on the Panthers’ offensive line, while linebackers Giovanni Ricciardi, Mack David, and Slade Garraghty were flying around making plays, oftentimes tackles for loss.

Williams was matched up on Dudley’s standout wide receiver Michael Wyman — who has committed to South Carolina — and held him to four receptions for 51 yards.

“We told them to play like their hair was on fire,” Snow said. “We know they’re going to make some mistakes, but we told them if they do, just make them going fast. I was really proud of them because we have some unknowns out there in that group.

Dudley was also plagued by severe penalties — 13 for 130 yards — and never seemed to gather any momentum.

The Titans weren’t perfect either — three fumbles lost and 12 penalties for 120 yards — but Snow said those are things they will continue to work through.

“The biggest thing we have to do for our kids is to make them understand that this is one game,” Snow said. “This is not the season. Dudley was good. Dudley’s going to be good. This is not it for us. We told them that on Monday morning, on the first day of school, don’t go in there and act like you’re the king of the world, because at the end of the day, this was not perfect. We’re happy with it and now we’re on to the next one.”

West will travel to Mooresville, which won its season-opener 10-0 against West Rowan, next Friday to take on the Blue Devils.

Dudley  7     0     0    6  — 13

West Forsyth  0   14   14  14  — 42

D—Adams 4 run (Woodson kick)

WF—Wilson 2 run (James kick)

WF—Dillard 11 run (James kick)

WF—Wilson 6 run (James kick)

WF—Wilson 1 run (James kick)

WF—Wilson 2 run (Peters kick)

WF—Graham 22 pass from Ferguson (Peters kick)

D—Smith 21 pass from Elliot (pass failed)