West Forsyth football advance: Titans set to begin conference play

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2023

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By Jay Spivey

For the Clemmons Courier

The date was Sept. 16, 2022.  

That was the last time West Forsyth played against Mount Tabor in a varsity football game. Mount Tabor won that game at Bob Sapp Field 28-13 and sent West Forsyth reeling. 

After losing that game last year, West Forsyth fell to 0-4, but much has changed since then. After 364 days, the two teams are scheduled to square off Friday night at Jerry Peoples Stadium in Clemmons in the Central Piedmont 4-A opener for both teams.  

West Forsyth rebounded last year, winning four of the next five games, and finished 4-7 overall. Longtime Coach Adrian Snow resigned after the season, and Coach Kevin Wallace replaced him after being the head coach at Northwest Guilford. Through the first three games this season, West Forsyth is 2-1 and just came off an open week in preparation for Mount Tabor.  

“I think they’re fine. I mean, we have a relatively older team, especially on the defensive side of the ball,” Wallace said. “So, I think they’ve been through it. They’re hungry. You know, they want to, I hate to keep using it, but avenge last year’s loss (to Mount Tabor).  

“They’re hungry to show that they’re better than what they’ve put out there on the field last year. And I think we’re ready for conference time to go in and hopefully play well and continue to get better each week, you know, and in seven weeks, see where the cards fly.” 

Mount Tabor won last year’s game by 15 points, but it was close for much of it. 

“It was a close one, and them, the coaches, you know, keep talking about it, and I think that one hurt a little bit for them last year,” Wallace said. “So, I think they’re hungry to get back at it and get going and hopefully have a great game Friday night at home in the village.” 

West Forsyth is 2-1, after losing at Weddington 44-22 two weeks ago. However, Mount Tabor is also 2-1. It pummeled Greensboro Page in Greensboro 40-6 two weeks ago. Powerhouse Greensboro Grimsley defeated Mount Tabor 30-7 in the season opener at Bob Sapp Field, but Mount Tabor rebounded the following week and throttled North Forsyth 28-6 at home. 

“We’re playing extremely hard, man,” Coach Tiesuan Brown of Mount Tabor said. “I felt against Page we actually came together as a team. We’ve got a lot of new faces. And I saw a lot of them cheering for one another, all-out war — blocking for one another. You know, just that team bond that you expect to see going into conference.” 

As easily as the Spartans defeated the Pirates two weeks ago, that was a sight for sore eyes for Brown. Now, it’s time to face the Titans on Friday night.  

“It’s just how our schedule’s set up,” Brown said. “It really doesn’t matter. Either way, we’re going to practice. We’re preparing for the conference. We know it’s going to be a war. It’s going to be a conference-championship game each and every night. So, we treated the whole week as like a regular week.  

“Just no game in between. We did a couple team-bonding things, you know, just fine-tuning and working on our weaknesses. You know, after week 3, you know what you’re good at and what you’re not good at.” 

The Titans are going to go with their bread and butter — a strong running game with running back Caman Chaplin, some passes mixed in with quarterback, and they will utilize one of the best offensive lines in the area.  

“We like to run the ball. We like to do enough to keep teams honest, so they can’t just stack the box with the RPO (run-pass option),” Wallace said. “We’re so number-based in the box, you know. We trust our seven guys in the box, including the running back, or six blockers essentially against any six. And when they start getting the seventh defender, then we’ve got to execute the RPO game to get that seventh defender, eighth defender, out of the box.” 

The Spartans are loaded with talent. Wide receiver Shamarius Peterkin, a 6-foot-2, 162-pound junior, already has offers, according to 247sports.com, from Florida State, Alabama A&M, Georgia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Penn State, Appalachian State, Campbell, Louisville and Coastal Carolina.  

And on defense, junior Jadon Blair, a 6-4, 180-pound safety, according to 247sports.com, has received offers from Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Notre Dame, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Alabama A&M, Charlotte, East Carolina and James Madison.  

“I think last year, like during the springtime, and stuff like that, it was overwhelming for both of them,” Brown said. “We’ve got another kid, (junior) Mathias Banks (6-2, 225-pound edge rusher), he has a Power 5 offer. He has Appalachian, but for the most part, man, as time goes on, they handle it a lot better. They kind of started off overwhelmed, ‘Coach, I’m getting this. I’m getting that.’  

“And just a lot of things go on, so right now I’m very pleased that how they both approach the game, how Mathias approaches the game. Them guys want to win. You know, they really get up for the Mount Tabor brand.” 

West Forsyth has an experienced defense and knows the type of players Mount Tabor has. 

“I think our defense has a lot of confidence and is playing with a lot of confidence,” Wallace said. “They’re sitting there — I think we’ve got really good linebackers that help the run game. I think our secondary is probably our strength. Our linebackers and our secondary are probably our strength. So, we’ll see how it matches up when we get going on Friday.” 

The matchups on the field are one thing, but the other is the rivalries among the eight teams in the Central Piedmont 4-A. 

“I told the kids that the records don’t matter. They went out, and they challenged themselves in nonconference, but they still have a good football team,” Brown said. “And I feel the same way this year. The guys coming in 2-1 with a lot of confidence. They played Weddington very tough, and they’ve got a big-time offensive line.” 

Another incentive for West Forsyth is that it gets to play a home game for the first time since the season opener on Aug. 18.  

“It’s going to be nice to come back home and play in front of our crowd and go from there,” Wallace said. “It’ll be nice to be back home after being on the road for a while.”