West Forsyth falls to Weddington, 44-22
Published 6:30 pm Saturday, September 2, 2023
By Jay Spivey
For the Clemmons Courier
After winning the first two games of the season West Forsyth knew it was going to have its hands full Friday night as it traveled about two hours to play at powerhouse Weddington.
West Forsyth (2-1) finished with 290 total yards, but Weddington (3-0) pulled away to secure the 44-22 win.
“I thought we played well in the first half. I think we kind of shot ourselves in the foot in the third quarter,” Coach Kevin Wallace of the Titans said. “I think we kind of started beating ourselves more than anything, especially in the second half – some dumb pre-snap penalties, and some other penalties that weren’t, that really cost us.
“You know, we’ve got to come out and play in the second half and not just in the first half. It’s something we’ve harped on with them since spring ball. It’s something we’ve worked on. We’ve got to get better at at playing in the second half and not just be a first-half team. We’ve got stuff to work on and hopefully we can get better. It’s the bye week and hopefully we can get better from there.”
The Titans took a 6-0 lead just 1:40 in the first quarter after Jordan Stephens caught a 39-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Bert Rice. The Titans added a two-point conversion to extend the lead to 8-0.
However, the Warriors quickly answered after Anthony Barrino caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tyler Budge. The Warriors made the extra-point kick to trim the Titans lead to 8-7.
West Forsyth answered with 2:18 left in the first quarter after Caman Chaplin scored on a 5-yard run, but the extra-point kick failed to keep the lead at 14-7.
“We just went about our business and kind of got our game plan in place, and tried to harp on that,” Wallace said.
Chaplin finished with 81 yards rushing on 18 carries and a touchdown.
“He was fine,” Wallace said of Chaplin. “I mean, I still think he ended up with 81 yards or something on 18 carries. First half, we had some body blows that they were kind of delivering and he broke a couple long runs.”
With 31.7 seconds left in the first quarter Budge threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Nick Diamond. The extra-point kick was blocked to keep the lead at 14-13.
“We missed Marcus Wilson (back injury) this past week, which kind of hurt us, I think. He’s kind of our leader mentally back there. He can get people lined up and all that,” Wallace said. “And he’s a good player without a doubt. So, that kind of hurt us a little bit at times of not having that leader on the field that you really need in the secondary.”
In the second quarter. Weddington took its first lead after Everett Scott made a 33-yard field goal with 8 minutes left. It extended the lead to 23-14 at halftime after a touchdown pass with just under a minute remaining in the first half.
“I thought we were OK, holding them out of the end zone right before the half was huge,” Wallace said. “We just needed to keep that momentum. We got the stop coming out of half, so that was huge for us. And then we got a first down, and we shot ourselves in the foot with like three pre-snap penalties on us.
“So, it was rolling and we kind of beat ourselves.”
In the third quarter, Weddington extended the lead after Brandon Sellitti rushed for a 16-yard touchdown. The point-after kick was good to make it 30-14.
“We saw it as about four possessions we wish we had back,” Wallace said. “…That probably makes a swing.”
The Warriors added to the lead with a touchdown with just under a minute remaining in the third quarter to help extend the lead to 37-14.
“I mean, even with 81/2 (minutes) to go in the game we stop them. We made a stupid penalty after,” Wallace said. “That was a 15-point game, and we were rolling that point. And if we go down and score, we’re in a one-possession game, with whatever, 5, 6 minutes to go in the game.”
The Titans chipped into the Warriors lead with 9 minutes left in the fourth quarter after Stephens caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Rice.
Rice finished 17-of-27 passing for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
“I like how (Rice) started. He started throwing the RPO’s (run-pass option), which is what we’ve been harping on the last two weeks, because, hey, you’ve got to throw these balls because they’re starting to load the box,” Wallace said. “And that’s what Weddington did at first.”
The Warriors sealed the win with about 7 minutes remaining after Brady Ritter scored on an 11-yard rushing touchdown and they converted the extra-point kick.
After the first loss of the season, West Forsyth is off next Friday, and returns to start Central Piedmont 4-A play at Jerry Peoples Stadium on Sept. 15 against Mount Tabor.
“They were upset without a doubt,” Wallace said. “We just kind of explained to them that they – we kind of say this is the third quarter, which is conference play…That’s what really matters now coming forward is we’ve got seven games coming up to really test ourselves.”
West Forsyth: 14 – 0 – 0 – 8 — 22
Weddington: 13 – 10 – 14 – 7 — 44
WF – Jordan Stephens 39 pass from Bert Rice (two-point conversion)
W – Anthony Barrino 10 pass from Tyler Budge (kick good)
WF – Caman Chaplin 5 run (kick failed)
W – Nick Diamond 20 pass from Budge (kick blocked)
W – Everett Scott 33 FG
W – Jackson 3 pass from Ian McDermaid (kick good)
W – Budge 16 run (kick good)
W – Brandon Sellitti 16 run (kick good)
WF – Stephens 27 pass from Rice (T.J. Fergus pass from Rice)
W – Brady Ritter 12 run (kick good)
Records – West Forsyth 2-1, Weddington 3-0