OAKWOOD — On a brisk, cool night and a matchup of two excellent rushing attacks, West Forsyth ran up 376 yards on the ground to post a convincing 41-0 victory over Johnson.
The first half belonged to West Forsyth, which scored on all three of its possessions and piled up 205 rushing yards in the first two quarters.
The Wolverines’ defense also came to play, quickly forcing the Knights to punt on their first two possessions and holding Johnson to 93 total yards and four first downs in the first half.
By the time the Knights finally started to gain momentum on offense, they were trailing by 14 points.
The pivotal play for the Knights was a roughing-the-punter penalty that gave West Forsyth a first down. After a bad snap had forced the Wolverines to punt, a Johnson defender rushed in for the block but wasn’t able to get his hands on the ball and ran into the kicker.
Johnson would have had the ball at the West Forsyth 35-yard line. But the Wolverines took advantage of the miscue and drove down field. Running back Ben Emert broke through the line, juked a defender and rumbled into the end zone to make the score 20-0 at the half.
Emert and the Wolverines quickly struck again to start the second half. On the second play, Emert found a crease and broke a 76-yard scoring run down the left sideline to put his team up 27-0. He tacked on two more scores in the quarter to extend the West Forsyth lead to 41-0.
Emert finished with 14 carries and 275 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
The Johnson offense was able to move down field on its last possession of the first half, threatening to score at the West Forsyth 23. But a couple of untimely penalties ended the threat and the Knights trailed 20-0 at halftime.
Johnson threatened late in the third quarter against a stingy Wolverine defense. But they turned the ball over on downs inside the West Forsyth 17.
"We’ll regroup and go after East Hall next week," Knights Coach Paul Friel said.
West Forsyth looks to carry the momentum from the victory into next week’s showdown with Flowery Branch in Cumming.
"We played hard tonight," Coach Frank Hepler said. "I thought we came out and executed on offense real well. We were worried about Johnson’s ability to move the ball on offense, but I thought we did an excellent job on defense tonight."
On facing Flowery Branch (6-2), Hepler said, "We’ve got our work cut out for us. They are an excellent team and we’ll have our hands full with Connor Shaw and the rest of the Falcons team.
"Maybe we can talk Connor into thinking the game is on Saturday instead of Friday. We know it’ll be a battle and we’ll come out and play hard and see what happens next Friday."