Chaplin’s three touchdowns help West Forsyth throttle Mount Tabor

Published 2:47 pm Saturday, September 16, 2023

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By Jay Spivey 

It had been nearly a month since West Forsyth had played a home football game.

That changed Friday night as West Forsyth made the most of it, with the help of three touchdowns by running back Caman Chaplin, to bulldoze past Mount Tabor 40-14 at Jerry Peoples Stadium in the Central Piedmont 4-A opener for both teams.

“No knock to them. They’re a tough team,” said Coach Kevin Wallace of the Titans (3-1, 1-0). “(Coach) Tiesuan (Brown of Mount Tabor) has done a great job. He’s a heck of a coach. Their coach is a great coach. Coach (Greg) King (offensive coordinator) has a good track record. We felt confident going into it. I think our team, you know that was kind of the word we got, like we started preaching not about the win or loss.

“We had to fix ourselves. Like we almost beat ourselves in that game, and we couldn’t do that.”

There wasn’t much to hide between the two teams.

“We came into this game saying, they’re going to talk. They know that.” Wallace said. “These kids grow up together, so there’s a lot of brother-sister, like brother – and we just had to be disciplined. Besides one or two times I thought we were more disciplined, but I mean they’re a tough team. And we just felt confident going into it.”

Both West Forsyth and Mount Tabor had the previous week off in preparation for the conference opener. However, Mount Tabor (2-2, 0-1) defeated Greensboro Page two weeks ago, and West Forsyth lost at Weddington.

Partly because of the week off, there was some rust for both teams. It showed with the amount of penalties both teams had. West Forsyth had 11 penalties for 115 yards, but Mount Tabor had 20 penalties for 169 yards.

“It wasn’t moreso about West Forsyth. It was about Mount Tabor self-destructing,” Brown said. “That’s on me as the head football coach. I can promise you this. We’ll be better going forward.”

The Titans took the opening kickoff and scored four plays later on a 1-yard run by Caleb David with 10:30 left in the first quarter. The two-point pass attempt from quarterback Bert Rice failed to keep the score at 6-0. 

“They played a good football game and we lost,” Brown said. “We got our butt beat tonight. It’s something that we can fix. It ain’t like it’s the end of it. We’ve still got a lot of talent. We can fix it. We’ve just got to take care of these penalties.”

The Spartans took the ensuing possession and drove to the Titans’ 16, but they turned the ball over on downs. The Titans took advantage and drove 84 yards in 16 plays, scoring on a 1-yard run by Chaplin. The pass attempt for two points from Rice failed to make it 12-0 with 11:24 left in the second quarter. 

“We played great,” Chaplin said. “We played better than we did the previous week before against Weddington. It was just a way for us to get back, back into the groove, get back to what we know we can do. It was just overall a great game.”

The Spartans took possession after Chaplin’s score, but quarterback Lane Albright was intercepted by Davion Eldridge and Eldridge returned it 8 yards for a touchdown. Chaplin added a two-point pass reception from Rice to extend the lead to 20-0 with 10:17 left in the second quarter. 

“They kept running outs and (Albright) just kept looking at us, looking at us hard,” Eldridge said. “…So, he basically just kept throwing and so I was basically reading his eyes and seeing that he locked on to that running back.”

Eldridge sensed a difference in the game after the interception.

I knew when I caught that pick, I knew when I crossed that goal line this game was going to be a different game for us,” he said. 

West Forsyth kept the 20-0 lead at halftime, and it was in firm control.

“We felt good,” Wallace said. “We just had to – the second quarter we kind of got a little – they started bringing a little more pressure inside and our run game kind of suffered. We came out in the third and they scored right away, and then we started throwing the ball more than we did in those last two, three possessions in the second quarter, which really opened everything up.”

As Wallace said, the Spartans scored after Shamarius Peterkin caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Albright 7:20 left in the third quarter to help trim the lead to 20-7.

However, the momentum was short-lived. Rice scored on a 3-yard run with 7:03 left in the third quarter, but his pass attempt for two points failed to make it 26-7.

“We came out and scored. We had a little momentum, and they drove the football right back down and scored,” Brown said. ‘That kind of took a little gas off us.”

West Forsyth scored again with 7:34 left in the third quarter after Chaplin scored on a 44-yard run to help extend the lead to 33-7.

“He’s so explosive,” Wallace said of Chaplin. “And he’s smart, and he sees stuff. He’s special.”

Mount Tabor answered with a 53-yard touchdown pass from Albright to Peterkin to help make it 33-14 with 48 seconds left in the third quarter. 

Any chance Mount Tabor had of coming back was wiped out after Chaplin scored on a 51-yard touchdown run just 16 seconds into the fourth quarter to help make it 40-14. 

Chaplin finished with 154 yards rushing on 19 carries and three touchdowns. West Forsyth finished with 197 yards rushing and 300 yards total. Mount Tabor finished with 130 yards passing and 94 yards rushing.

“You could tell a lot of their players were getting angry, throwing helmets, calling flags, so once you see that you’ve just got to capitalize on that,” Chaplin said. “…Once I saw the opportunity, I always take it.”

Mount Tabor;0;0;14;0;–;-14

W. Forsyth;6;14;13;7;–;40

WF – Caleb David 1 run (pass failed)

WF – Chaplin 1 run (pass failed)

WF – Davion Eldridge 8 interception return (Chaplin pass from Bert Rice)

MT – Shamarius Peterkin 15 pass from Lane Albright (Endy Diaz-Martinez kick)

WF – Rice 3 run (pass failed)

WF – Chaplin 44 run (Kosta Dupuy kick)

MT – Peterkin 53 pass from Albright (Diaz-Martinez kick)

WF – Chaplin 51 run (Dupuy kick)

Records – Mount Tabor 2-2 (0-1 Central Piedmont 4-A), West Forsyth 3-1 (1-0)