Titans down Raiders to move to 9-1, set up showdown against Glenn for CPC title
By Marc Pruitt
For the Clemmons Courier
There was plenty of firepower on display last Friday at Jerry Peoples Stadium during a first half that saw West Forsyth and Reagan trade touchdowns on five straight possessions.
But it was Kendall Williams and the West Forsyth defense that made the plays when it mattered most, lifting West to a 31-21 win over Reagan and staying on track for a Central Piedmont 4-A Conference championship while improving to 9-1 (3-1 CPC 4A).
All that stands in the way of the Titans for conference supremacy is Glenn (7-3, 3-1). The two teams will meet Friday night in Kernersville with the conference championship and No. 1 seed from the conference for the NCHSAA 4-A state playoffs on the line.
G’mone Wilson churned out a season-high 247 yards on 31 carries and scored three first-half touchdowns as West grinded out a 21-14 lead at halftime.
After Reagan tied the game at 21-21 on its first possession of the second half, West drove to the Reagan 37-yard line before an incompletion on fourth down gave the Raiders the ball back.
On first down, Mack David delivered a vicious hit on Reagan running back Tazhae Woods that forced a fumble.
Williams scooped up the ball and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown to give West a 28-21 lead with 5:02 left in the third quarter.
“I saw my cousin Mack David tackle the guy, but I didn’t know he had fumbled it yet,” Williams said. “All of a sudden, I saw the ball on the ground and picked it up. I looked behind me to make sure no one was there, and I took off to the crib for the touchdown.”
Williams also had an electric 75-yard punt return for a touchdown called back after a holding penalty early in the fourth quarter that would have given West a two-touchdown cushion.
The Titans defense held the Raiders in check in the fourth quarter, as Reagan was unable to extend two straight drives that ended in three-and-outs.
Reagan managed a total of 61 yards of offense after the touchdown on its opening drive of the second half. Its last-gasp effort to draw closer was again met with another crucial blow from David, who stuffed D.J. Moyer short of a first down on a fourth-and-inches play at the West 20-yard line. West took over on downs and managed to run out the clock.
“That’s football,” Coach Adrian Snow of West said. “You’ve got to chest them. You’ve got to make a tackle. The kids made some big plays. That’s what it’s about. That first drive from them wasn’t so good for us, but we found a way after that. We stood them up and that’s what you’ve got to do. What a great environment with two great teams. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. It was awesome.”
Wilson scored on runs of 55, 2, and 3 yards in the first half.
Following Wilson’s 55-yard scoring run, the Raiders responded when Woods broke a 90-yard touchdown run on the first play following the kickoff.
Wilson responded with his 2-yard touchdown run on West’s next series, and Gabriel Hollingsworth added a 31-yard touchdown run for Reagan to tie the game at 14-14.
West followed with a seven-play, 65-yard drive that Wilson capped with his 3-yard scoring run for a 21-14 lead.
Reagan was in field goal range on its final possession of the second quarter, but Patrick Smith blocked the 20-yard attempt just before halftime.
Jaylen James, who connected on all four extra points, added a 30-yard field goal for West with 2:56 left to help put the game out of reach.
The Titans will now turn their attention to the Bobcats in a scenario much like two seasons ago, when the two met during the final week of the regular season with the same stakes on the line.
“They’re good and we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do,” Snow said. “This is why we play the games — to put yourself in this position. It should be a fun night.”
Reagan 7 7 7 0 — 21
West Forsyth 14 7 7 3 – 31
WF—Wilson 55 run (James kick)
REA—Woods 90 run (CJ Hill kick)
WF—Wilson 2 run (James kick)
REA—Hollingsworth 31 run (Hill kick)
WF – Wilson 3 run (James kick)
REA—Woods 5 pass from Hollingsworth (Hill kick)
WF—Williams 35 fumble return (James kick)
WF – James 30 FG
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