Chaplin’s four touchdowns propels West Forsyth past Glenn, remains undefeated in Central Piedmont 4-A
Published 12:45 pm Saturday, September 30, 2023
By Jay Spivey
For the Clemmons Courier
It wasn’t the prettiest of football games Friday night, but West Forsyth muddled through with the help of four touchdowns by Caman Chaplin to slide past Glenn 46-13 on Homecoming at Jerry Peoples Stadium.
In doing so, even with a combined 33 penalties, the Titans improved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the Central Piedmont 4-A, and the Bobcats fell to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the conference.
Although the Titans cruised to the win, they were sluggish in the first quarter. The Bobcats took advantage and scored with 3:36 left in the first quarter on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Jerrell Crawford to Quaran Miller to help take a 7-0 lead.
Coach Kevin Wallace of the Titans had seen enough at that point. He gathered with many of the players on the bench and had a message for them.
“It was kind of like last week (against Parkland). We just weren’t doing our assignments. And Coach (Will) Billingsley wasn’t here because he had to go to a funeral, so we had to be on top of the DBs because they started doing the same stuff,” Wallace said. “We just did not play with confidence. So, I had to get on them about I think a lot of our kids – that’s what I challenged them in the pregame speech was we were almost, I feel like a lot of kids were almost looking past this game.”
West Forsyth plays host to rival Reagan (1-5, 1-2) next week, and West Forsyth travels to Davie County (5-1, 3-0) in two weeks in another rival game.
“I know next week and the week after that have big implications, but it was almost like we just didn’t want to be there in warm-ups,” Wallace said. “So, I had to get on them and tried to get them back focused. I think we responded. Once, we took a hit in the mouth a little bit, and we responded after that.”
West Forsyth, indeed, did respond. Two plays after Glenn scored, running back Caman Chaplin dashed for a 76-yard touchdown, but quarterback Bert Rice’s run for two points failed with 3:13 left in the first quarter to make it 7-6.
“I just needed to really find my rhythm, which I did,” Chaplin said. “I didn’t at first, but once I was able to find my rhythm, I was able to break through. I knew they were going to cater toward me, so I stopped me. But even though they did I was still able to do what I normally do.”
The Titans took their first lead with just 20 seconds elapsed in the second quarter after Caleb David, who is also a linebacker, scored on a 3-yard run. Rice tacked on a two-point run to give the Titans a 14-7 lead.
“Early on, we were pretty slow, just getting the groove of the game because they play different, David said. “They’re a real big pass team. And that’s the best pass team, well not the best team, but that’s the most passing team we’ve gone against this year so far. So, we were adjusting to it early.”
Chaplin scored again on a 1-yard run with 7:38 left in the second quarter, but Rice’s pass for two points failed to keep it 20-7.
“That monster (Chaplin) over there, that guy, I don’t know who’s watching him right now, but everybody should because the kid plays hard, he runs hard,” Coach Antwon Stevenson of the Bobcats said. “I haven’t seen anybody catch him from behind. When you have a dynamic guy like that, and then when you have those monsters up front, they’re going to have plays like that.”
West Forsyth pushed further ahead with 5:30 left in the second quarter after Rice threw a 5-yard shovel pass to Chaplin to take a 26-7 lead, but Rice’s pass for two points failed.
“I think we have a good team. We have a bunch of good players and I think we just had to wake up and say, ‘Alright, now it’s time for me to turn it on,'” Wallace said. “They came out with a different look defensively, a true four-man front versus their three-man stuff. Just the first couple plays we just kind of (were late) on a couple things. We just didn’t have our eyes open for it. And once we got acclimated, we were good.”
The Titans tacked on another touchdown after Chaplin scored on a 12-yard run with 1:44 left in the second quarter, but Rice’s pass for two points failed to keep it 32-7.
Chaplin finished with three rushing touchdowns and four overall. He also rushed for 178 yards on 24 carries.
“He makes people miss in close quarters, and he played well,” Wallace said. “He played well once he got going. It was kind of like some body shots and body shots, and then he breaks a big one.”
At halftime, they awarded the Homecoming king and queen. David won Homecoming king, and his girlfriend, Naviya Williams, won Homecoming queen.
“It was exciting,” David said. “It was exciting. You got to wear the crowns and capes together, took those pictures, so it was nice.”
Glenn made an adjustment at halftime, and Crawford started throwing the ball over the top of the secondary. Glenn worked it down the field with passes and West Forsyth penalties, and running back Joel Hayes scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 7:17 left in the third quarter. Crawford’s pass for two points failed to keep it 32-13.
“We saw early on, they was playing back, playing zone,” Stevenson said. “But we was able to run the ball. So, they wanted to stop the run, so they brought everybody up and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to make the quarterback beat us.’ And the quarterback initially was taking too long to get the ball out, so I was, ‘Hey, throw to this guy. Catch the ball and throw it.'”
Any doubts about West Forsyth being able to hold on were averted after Hunter Cruise caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Rice with 6:08 left in the third quarter to help extend the lead to 39-13.
TJ Fergus scored on a 2-yard run with 7:31 left in the fourth quarter to help extend the lead to 46-13.
“We’ve got two rivalry games back-to-back (Reagan and Davie County coming up), so we’ve got two hard weeks coming up,” Wallace said. “So, we’ve got to get some kids back healthy.”