West Forsyth has strong running game, tops Davie 35-14

Published 12:55 pm Monday, October 18, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Jay Spivey
For the Clemmons Courier

MOCKSVILLE — After losing the previous two games, West Forsyth needed something to change last Friday night.

And that something did change. Jevante Long rushed for 236 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns as West Forsyth throttled Davie County 35-14 in a Central Piedmont 4-A game.

The win was certainly welcomed after the Titans (4-3, 2-2) had lost the previous two games to Glenn and Reagan.

“We needed it,” Coach Adrian Snow of the Titans said. “We needed it. I ain’t going to lie to you. Our league’s so great and such a great league, it makes you better. We had our backs against the wall. I ain’t going to lie to you.”

The win was a stark contrast to the outcome of the previous week when Reagan stifled West Forsyth to win 15-9 in Clemmons.

“Our kids had a great week,” Snow said. “So resilient, had the right mindset, got their butts back to work, and they felt good about it. So, I was proud of them.”

One change Snow and the Titans made was controlling the clock when they had the ball because of the potency of dynamic running back Tate Carney of the War Eagles, who is a senior and has committed to play at Wake Forest. When the Titans had the ball, they drained the play clock to almost 0 on almost every play.

“We didn’t want to go real fast,” Snow said. “If you go real fast, that bunch right there is going to be trouble. So, you basically took your time and tried to marinate on it the best we can. We’re good on defense. I don’t want to take nothing away from our defensive guys, but to limit the opportunities is a big deal.

“So, we did a great job with that. So, I was proud of our guys.”

West Forsyth cornerback Don Robinson carries the ball during Friday night’s game against Davie County. Photo by Brad Richard. To view and order photos, go to https://www.ncprepphotos.com/

Davie (5-3, 2-3) went three-and-out on its first drive, but on its second drive, Carney and quarterback Alex Summers were able to get a sustained drive. Davie went on a 15-play drive, but Palmer Williams’ 28-yard field-goal attempt was blocked with 2:10 left in the first quarter. However, Williams picked up the loose ball and fired it into the end zone, but it was incomplete.

The game remained scoreless until quarterback Chris Van Kleeck scored on a 5-yard keeper with 8:15 left in the second quarter to help give West Forsyth a 7-0 lead.

“Early, we get three-and-out on the first drive, then we kind of go back and have a little bit of an issue,” Snow said. “And you feel like, ‘Golly.’ And you’re going to give them an opportunity again. But we just kept playing and found a way.”

Before Van Kleeck scored, Snow and offensive coordinator Sean Joyce decided to change some things offensively. They moved quarterback Bert Rice up from JV, gave him some touches, and also let Van Kleeck, while playing most of the game at quarterback, sprinkle in some plays at running back.

“What we ended up doing, we made a move this week, basically last Friday night (Reagan game), we’ve got to do some things to kind of evolve,” Snow said. “Our JV quarterback (Rice) has done a really good job. He’s really smart-headed. He throws it pretty well. He had a couple throws.”

“…He’s one of the coolest kids I’ve ever been around. When I say cool, when the highest moment (comes), he’s like ER, when the lowest moment (comes), he’s like ER. And that’s the way he is. He’s even-keel.”

West Forsyth took possession on its own 46-yard line with 2:50 left in the second quarter. Rice threw an 8-yard pass to receiver Bralen Morris, then followed it with a 3-yard to Morris. On the next play, Long scooted to his left and scored on a 43-yard touchdown with 2:01 left in the second quarter. Morris caught a pass from Van Kleeck for the two-point conversion to extend the lead to 15-0.

“They just executed a little bit better than we did,” Coach Tim Devericks of Davie County said.

The Titans took the opening kickoff of the second half at its own 20. After five plays, Long scored on a 26-yard run with 9:29 left in the third quarter, but the Alejandro Morillon’s extra-point kick was blocked to keep the score at 21-0.

“They have two good running backs (Long and Mack David), plus a quarterback (Van Kleeck), when he’s in there, that are tough tackles,” Devericks said. “It really didn’t matter how many guys we tried to add. Just eventually trying to get those guys to the ground is the main thing. They ran the ball hard.”

The War Eagles scored their first touchdown with 7:26 left in the third quarter after Zymere Hudson caught 19-yard pass from Summers to help make it 21-7.

West Forsyth running back/linebacker Mack David carries the ball during Friday night’s game against Davie County. Photo by Brad Richard. To view and order photos, go to https://www.ncprepphotos.com/

“They’re fighting, too,” Snow said of dominating the first 2 1/2 quarters. “You know, they practice just like the rest of us. But I was proud of our kids.”

Davie took the ball with 1:49 left in the third quarter and went on an 11-play drive, eight of which were runs by Carney for 46 yards. On fourth-and-goal from the 7, Summers’ pass was incomplete to turn it over on downs.

On the ensuing drive, Van Kleeck fumbled and Peyton Helton of Davie County scooped up the loose ball and scampered in for a 9-yard touchdown with 9:18 left in the fourth quarter to help slice the lead to 21-14.

In addition to the score being whittled down, Carney also started picking up his play. He finished with 96 yards on 23 carries.

“That dude’s special,” Snow said of Carney. “I think I might come to (Davie’s) graduation. He rolled. This is a such a game of momentum. When you start feeling it going the other way, you go, ‘Oh, gosh.’ And then he kind of got going, and that was big.

“Mack David (linebacker) is an unbelievable player and he sometimes covers up, he sometimes gets in there. I thought D-line played really well tonight. I thought our D-line played really, really well.”

David was just a defensive catalyst for the Titans, he also provided some offensive spark. He scored on a 34-yard run with 6:38 left in the fourth quarter to help extend the lead to 28-14.

David finished with 72 yards rushing on six carries, and Van Kleeck added 83 yards on 15 carries. West Forsyth finished with 385 yards rushing on 49 carries, and Davie had 99 yards rushing on 32 carries.

“Joyce asked me, ‘Do we need to take Mack out to rest him?,'” Snow said. “I said, Uh, no. We’re going to dance with who brung us. And he’s going to go.'”

On the ensuing possession, Davie started at its own 25 with 6:32 left. It went on an eight-play drive, but on the ninth play, Summers was intercepted by Don Robinson at the West Forsyth 34 and ran it back 66 yards for a touchdown with 3:28 left to help extend the lead to 35-14.

“It was a CPC game at that point,” Devericks said. “Anyone could win. They just made a play when they needed to.”

The interception by Robinson ended any chance of Davie coming back.

“I think that ends up helping us because it’s just a momentum (thing), it’s just really a momentum thing,” Snow said.

Not to be outdone in the David family, Mack’s brother, Caleb, intercepted Summers with 2:23 left. Summers finished 18-of-32 passing for 117 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.

“Let me tell you something, that one (Caleb David) is going to be special,” Snow said.

West Forsyth has two regular-season games left — against Reynolds (2-6, 1-4) at Deaton-Thompson Stadium, and home against East Forsyth (6-1, 3-1). West Forsyth is in fourth place, and if it has any hope of making the NCHSAA Class 4-A playoffs it needs to win out. Glenn (6-1, 5-0) is leading the conference, followed by Reagan (5-3, 4-1) and East Forsyth.

“I think it’s just a momentum thing,” Snow said. “We felt good about what we need, and now we move on to the next one,” Snow said. “Hopefully we get some guys healed up. But right now, we’ve got them banged up. You ain’t playing football if you ain’t banged up at this time of year.”

The last two regular-season games start this Friday against struggling Reynolds, which has been outscored 290-163, but it is even worse in conference. It has been outscored 220-110 in conference games, and that counts the 49-0 win it had against Parkland (1-6, 0-4). East Forsyth defeated Reynolds 51-0 last Friday.

“We fear none and we respect all,” Snow said. “We’re going to enjoy this one, and next week, guess what we’re going to do? We’re going to get ready for Reynolds.”