Jackets roll on to sixth straight win
by Matt Nascone
MDJ Sports Correspondent
October 18, 2014
Sprayberry’s Jontae Williams catches a pass for a big gain into Forsyth Central territory Friday. The Yellow Jackets won, extending their streak to six and setting up a showdown with Kell.
Staff photo by Erin Gray
MARIETTA — The defense dominated and the offense took advantage Friday night, pushing Sprayberry’s win streak to six games with a 34-7 victory over Forsyth Central.
Neither offense lit up the stat charts in the Region 7AAAAA (B) game, but the Yellow Jackets (6-2, 5-0) used a more balanced attack to put up their point total on 304 yards of total offense. Sprayberry’s average starting position on its scoring drives was its own 47, and it started inside the Forsyth Central 35-yard line twice.
“I think they came out and played gritty and played hard. I am not going to say we are good yet, but we are slowing getting there,” Sprayberry coach Billy Shackelford said. “Our defensive staff is doing a great job mixing up schemes, pressures and fronts. Our defensive players are doing a nice job of assignment football, getting off the blocks and tackling. We are trying to have that bend, but don’t break mentality.”
The Yellow Jackets will now have two weeks to prepare for Kell in a game that will determine the subregion champion, and a matchup with Dalton, the other subregion’s No. 1 seed, on Nov. 7 for the region title.
Sprayberry held Forsyth Central (4-3, 2-2) to 221 offensive yards. A 71-yard run was one of only three plays of more than 8 yards for the Bulldogs, who were held to 137 yards on 40 carries.
Forsyth Central contained Sprayberry speedster Rakeem Myricks in the first half, holding him to 41 yards on nine carries, but Myricks exploded in the second half for 123 yards on 13 carries, including four rushes of 16 yards or more.
Myricks finished with 164 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.
“Great players make us good coaches, and Rakeem is a great player,” Shackelford said.
Andrew Pereira helped keep the Forsyth Central defense off balance, completing three of his first four passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter. With the Yellow Jackets holding a 20-7 lead, Pereira did not attempt a pass in the second half.
Sprayberry put up the final 20 points in the game, including the only 14 points in the second half.
“The game got away from us in a hurry. Sprayberry has a good football team. They have a lot of athletes,” Forsyth Central coach Shane Williamson said. “The thing that hurt us was (Myricks). All week long, we watched film on him, and he is an excellent running back. They have a good offensive line, and they just have an all-around good football team.”
Jontae Williams caught two passes from Pereira for 85 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown that opened the scoring early in the first quarter. Trey Sermon caught an 18-yard touchdown from Pereira and added 37 yards on the ground on five carries. Sermon also helped Sprayberry put the game away with a 32-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
“Don’t forget about Trey Sermon. Trey Sermon is one of those unsung heroes.” Shackelford said. “Rak (Myricks) is getting a lot of the attention, and he deserves that, but at the same time, Trey Sermon is doing a great job.”
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