Kernersville, N.C.– The East Forsyth Eagles came into Friday night’s matchup with the Northwest Guilford Vikings looking for their 15th consecutive Piedmont Triad 4-A conference win. The Eagles, led by Wake Forest-commit Christian Beal’s six touchdowns and a stellar performance by quarterback Brandon Bullins, clinched the regular season Piedmont Triad 4-A conference title with a 58-15 win over the Vikings.
Northwest’s problems started from the get-go. The Eagles elected to pooch kick on the opening kickoff of the game. Northwest called for a fair catch, let the ball bounce, and East Forsyth recovered, giving the Eagles possession on their own 27 yard line. It took Christian Beal three plays to cover the 27 yards needed for the Eagles’ first score. With less than a minute gone off the clock, the Eagles led 7-0.
Beal and the Eagles were just getting started on a night where they would completely dominate the hapless Northwest Vikings. With momentum on their side, the Eagles also scored on their second and third possessions, both crowned by Christian Beal touchdown runs.
While the Vikings were struggling in all aspects of the game, fumbling a total of four times–one, a turnover— and were down 21-0, East Forsyth—which didn’t have to punt all night and scored on every red-zone trip—was hitting on all cylinders going into the second quarter.
East Forsyth added to their lead early in the second quarter on a 26-yard field goal by Cameron Lischke.
Beal added his fourth touchdown with 6:47 remaining in the first quarter, the next possession after Lischke’s field goal.
Trouble continued for Northwest in the second, as midway through the quarter, Vikings’ quarterback Jacob Leonard was sidelined with what appeared to be an upper-body injury. With Leonard out of the game, Northwest coach Jared Rolfes handed the reigns to Thomas Hennigan to run the offense.
With Hennigan running the show, the Vikings finally got on the board with 2:22 remaining in the first half when Kyle Finnie scored from two yards out.
Any momentum that came from Northwest’s first touchdown was swooped away by the Eagles as they scored with 55.2 seconds remaining in the first half to go up by a score of 38-7 at halftime.
“(East Forsyth) isn’t as good as we made them look and we’re not as bad as we played tonight,” Northwest head coach Jared Rolfes said.
Northwest’s Leonard re-entered the game in the third quarter, but threw seven incomplete passes in a row.
Rolfes assured that Leonard’s injury wasn’t serious.
“(Leonard) is fine,” Rolfes said of his junior quarterback. “He bounced back and seems like he is going to be okay.”
Northwest’s offensive line struggled to contain the Eagles’ mighty defense for both Hennigan and Leonard, giving them little time to pass. They Vikings managed only 85 total passing yards on the night.
Tre’ Turner had a 14-yard touchdown reception from Leonard at the beginning of the third quarter, but by then, the game was far out of reach. Turner’s touchdown was the last time the Vikings found the end zone.
Christian Beal’s career-high sixth and final touchdown of the night came in the third quarter with 8:16 to go and initiated a running clock. Beal finished the night with 20 rushes for 92 yards and six touchdowns.
East quarterback Brandon Bullins also had a very strong outing on Friday night, only throwing two incomplete passes, and finishing 14-16 for 264 yards. Both Bullins and Beal were given most of the second half off, with their team leading by a landslide.
Sedrick Sligh and Nick Childs both had over 100 yards receiving and Childs had a touchdown reception, the last score of the night for either team.
Northwest struggled to do anything to intimidate the Eagles as East Forsyth won by a commanding 58-15.
“We’ve been preaching to our kids that we have to come out fast against a good team like this,” East Forsyth head coach Todd Willert said. “I’ve challenged our special teams publicly and they answered the bell tonight.
“Our defense, once again, played lights out and our offense came out and made the big plays,” he added.
Of the amazing performance of Beal: “I’ve coached him for four years. I’ve run out of things to say about Christian, but he is a very special player. Wake Forest is truly blessed.”
Beal was generous to his teammates.
“Everyone played great,” he said. “It really helps going into the playoffs Conference Champions and knowing we can win big games.
“(Scoring six touchdowns) is a great feeling. Having everyone congratulating me is so exciting,” he said of his personal achievement.
Northwest Guilford finished the 2016 regular season (7-4, 3-2). East Forsyth finishes (10-1, 5-0), and is Piedmont Triad 4-A Champions, and is just about guaranteed home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Northwest Guilford will be awaiting November the 12th to find out what their seed in the playoffs will be. Both teams are off next Friday night, November 11th, as the teams in the eastern part of the state make up games that were postponed because of flooding from Hurricane Matthew.
EF: Christian Beal 8 run (Cameron Lischke kick)
EF: Beal 4 run (Lischke kick)
EF: Beal 3 run (Lischke kick)
EF: Lischke 26 Field Goal
EF: Beal 5 run (Lischke kick)
NWG: Kyle Finnie 2 run (Cody Creed kick)
EF: Beal 1 run (Lischke kick)
EF: Beal 5 run (Lischke kick)
EF: DJ Holland 29 run (kick failed)
NWG: Tre’ Turner 14 pass from Jacob Leonard (Cody Miller pass from Leonard)
EF: Nick Childs 29 pass from AJ Hall (Lischke kick)
East Forsyth Stats:
Christian Beal: 20 rush 92yds, 6TD
Brandon Bullins: 14-16 264 yds
Sedrick Sligh: 5rec 108yds
Nick Childs: 5rec 102yds, TD
Cameron Lischke: 26yd FG, (7-8) PAT
DJ Holland: 5 rush 54yds, TD
Northwest Guilford Stats:
Jacob Leonard: 10-20 85yds, INT
Thomas Hennigan: 11 rush 33yds, 5rec 48yds
Tre’ Turner: 3rec 36yds, TD
Zach Tyler: 10 rush 62yds
Kyle Finnie: 5 rush 17yds, TD