Reagan slips past West Forsyth

Published 1:54 pm Sunday, October 9, 2022

Titans fall to 2-5, 2-2 in CPC 4A

By Jay Spivey
For the Clemmons Courier

PFAFFTOWN – Friday night’s Central Piedmont 4-A football game between West Forsyth was billed as two rivals facing each other with less than a month to go in the regular season.
That all came to pass, but it turned out to be much more. Both teams put up video game-like numbers as Reagan outlasted West Forsyth 42-39.
West Forsyth (2-5, 2-2) came up just short despite senior Caman Chaplin rushing for 194 yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns. Bert Rice had his best game of the season, completing 9-of-17 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Jordan Stephens had 108 yards receiving on five catches and two touchdowns and added a 97-yard kick return for a touchdown. The Titans piled up 414 yards of total offense.
“At the end of the day I knew it would be a good game,” Coach Adrian Snow of West Forsyth said. “It was fun to watch.”
Reagan (5-2, 3-1) had 458 yards rushing on 49 carries, including 298 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns by freshman Jaylen Moore. Not to be outdone, senior Tsion Saunders had 154 yards rushing on 22 carries. Freshman quarterback Jacob Smith, making his first start of the season, was 13-of-21 passing for 198 yards with four touchdowns and one interception, giving Reagan 656 total yards.
“Hats off to those guys,” Coach Josh McGee of Reagan said. “I thought they played their tails off. Tonight was one of those nights where we completely lost our composure in the second quarter. And as of a result of that they took all the momentum and took that halftime lead.
“Whereas as if we don’t lose our composure maybe it’s a different halftime lead and we’re able to do some things differently. Again, that’s a testament to those guys in believing in what they do, their staff. It’s a dogfight. It’s a rivalry. It’s what you expect.”
The composure that McGee was referring to in the second quarter with the Raiders leading 21-19. With 2 minutes remaining in the first half, Moore was tackled by Caleb David, and fumbled. Ziggy Malave of the Titans recovered it.
After the play, Reagan’s Semaj Turner, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive lineman who has committed to play at Duke, was assessed two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and disqualified from the game, giving the Titans the ball at the Raiders’ 35.
“You lose Semaj Turner, that’s a gut punch,” McGee said. “Two unsportsmanlikes, which is, if you would tell me that Semaj Turner would be disqualified, I’d tell you you were a liar.
“I think one of their guys took one of our kids’ towels. So, he literally just walked over there, grabbed the towel and came back. And they gave him a flag for going on their sideline. And after they’re taking it back, you know, their fans are excited, and he just gave them the old ‘Let’s go,’ and they gave him another one (flag). It’s unfortunate that it happened, but I still don’t think he did anything (bad.)”
West Forsyth capitalized on the field position and scored five plays later after Chaplin scampered in for a 2-yard touchdown with 31.8 seconds left, but Aleljandro Morillon’s kick for extra point was wide right and West took a 25-21 lead.
Daviare Eldridge of West blocked a 40-yard field goal attempt just before halftime and the momentum was on the Titans’ side.
With neither team able to score for the first 10 minutes of the third quarter, the Raiders finally struck with 2:06 left when Saunders caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Smith to help the Raiders take a 28-25 lead.
The Titans bounced back and went on a nine-play drive that was a capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Chaplin with 11:39 left in the fourth quarter to help take a 32-28 lead.
Reagan came right back and scored with 7:25 left after Makhi Purvis caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Smith to help take a 35-32 lead.
“We just felt like at halftime we had stopped us,” McGee said. “They’re really good on defense. They’ve got really, really good players. We still felt like we were in control if we can just regain the momentum. That was the key for us.”
On the ensuing possession, Rice threw an inside screen pass to Stephens. The ball tipped off Stephens’ hands and Kamari Carter intercepted it at the West Forsyth 30 with 6:42 left.
“If he catches it, he’s going to score,” Snow said. “I mean really, he’s going to score.”
The Raiders took advantage of the interception and scored four plays later on a 3-yard run by Moore with 4:22 for a 42-32 lead.
“I don’t know, I just lost myself,” Stephens said. “I had my hands on it. It went straight through.”
Stephens redeemed himself on the kickoff. He caught it on the 3-yard line and blazed 97 yards for a touchdown with 4:07 left to help trim the lead to 42-39.
“I went to the sideline, I told No. 12 (Brian Wyatt), let me take this kick because I needed to avenge myself. I know I had to avenge myself,” Stephens said. “I told him to let me take the kick, he let me get it, I got it. I avenged myself. I had to do it. I felt like I had to do it.”
West Forsyth had two timeouts left, but Reagan was able to run out the clock after the ensuing kickoff.
“Only one stat matters,” Snow said. “It would’ve been kind of cool if we could finish the trip with a win, but our kids continue to fight and do what we need them to do.”

West Forsyth 6 19 0 14 — 39
Reagan 14 7 7 14 — 42

R – Cassidy Harvin 10 pass from Jacob Smith (Ryder Lawson kick)
WF – Caman Chaplin 80 run (pass failed)
R – Nazeir Blackman 17 pass from Smith (Lawson kick)
R – Jaylen Moore 92 run (Lawson kick)
WF – Jordan Stephens 58 pass from Bert Rice (Alejandro Morillon kick)
WF – Stephens 26 pass from Rice (Caleb David run failed)
WF – Chaplin 2 run (kick failed)
R – Tsion Saunders 11 pass from Smith (Lawson kick)
WF – Chaplin 1 run (Morillon kick)
R – Makhi Purvis 12 pass from Smith (Lawson kick)
R – Moore 2 run (Lawson kick)
WF – Stephens 97 kickoff return (Morillon kick)
Records – West Forsyth 2-5 (2-2 Central Piedmont 4-A), Reagan 5-2 (3-1)