CLEMMONS — After two blowout wins over quality opponents, West Forsyth found itself in a 13-13 tie with winless North Mecklenburg in the middle of the second quarter.
Adrian Snow, the Titans’ head coach, loved it.
“We have had no adversity, and we needed it, because that’s the way life is,” Snow said. “This was good for us. Everything can’t be sunshine and roses.”
Well, maybe not, but 40 unanswered points, including 33 in the second half, brightened things up a great deal for the Titans, who won their third straight, beating the Vikings 53-13.
“What a good second half we had,” Snow said. “We were able to respond, and I’m proud of that.”
The Titans just plowed the Vikings under in a deluge of power runs. They ground out 300 yards rushing, with G’Mone Wilson getting 158 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries, and Zy Dillard gaining another 119 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
West, which scored the go-ahead touchdown with four minutes left in the second quarter, scored the first five times it had the ball in the second half, and the Titans’ defense didn’t give up a first down until they were comfortably ahead, 46-13, midway through the fourth quarter.
“We changed a couple of things on defense at the half, and on offense, we just started doing things right,” Snow said. “We do have a big group up front, and everybody who’s got to play them, they’ll get to the point when they don’t want to keep hanging onto you.
“The turning point was when we kicked off for the second half. We made our minds up, and here we go.”
After Jackson North blocked a North Mecklenburg punt on the Vikings’ first possession of the third quarter, West went 27 yards in five plays, with Wilson taking a direct snap and circling right end for a 7-yard touchdown. The next time West had the ball, it was an 8-play, 68-yard drive with quarterback Jalen Ferguson hitting Stephan McMillan with an 8-yard touchdown. West’s third possession lasted only 54 seconds, with Wilson capping a 4-play, 39-yard drive with a 6-yard run.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, a bad snap on a North Mecklenburg punt gave West the ball at the 7, and Dillard scored two plays later from five yards out. A 5-yard touchdown run by backup Nasion Johnson closed the scoring with 4:09 to play.
Two big mistakes in the Titans’ secondary kept the first half from being lopsided.
After Jalen Ferguson hit C.J. Graham with a 25-yard scoring pass on West’s first possession and Wilson scored from 5 yards out on the second, the Titans gave up a 41-yard touchdown strike from John Geter to Da’Qon Stewart well behind the West defense. Trailing 13-6, the Vikings blocked a punt and struck on their next possession — their first in the second quarter — with Geter hitting Aamauri Johnson on a short pass that Johnson turned into a 15-yard touchdown by breaking a tackle and splitting the West secondary.
The Titans took the lead midway through the second quarter when Dillard broke a simple dive play and outran the Vikings’ defense for a 36-yard score.
West Forsyth 53 North Mecklenburg 13
N. Mecklenburg 6 7 0 0 — 13
West Forsyth 13 6 20 14 — 53
WF — Graham 25 pass from Ferguson (kick failed)
WF — Wilson 5 run (James kick)
NM — Stewart 41 pass from Geter (kick failed)
NM — Johnson 15 pass from Geter (Fortune kick)
WF — Dillard 41 run (run failed)
WF — Wilson 7 run (James kick)
WF — McMillan 8 pass from Ferguson (James kick)
WF — Wilson 6 run (kick failed)
WF — Dillard 5 run (Peters kick)
WF — Johnson 5 run (Peters kick)