By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC
Ladies and gentleman, another quarterback has officially entered the race as Georgia’s best. Say hello to Alpharetta’s Joshua Dobbs.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound junior completed 29 of 37 passes for 373 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Raiders to a 27-14 win over West Forsyth (5-1, 1-1). The win puts Alpharetta (5-1, 2-0) alone in first place in Region 6AAAAA, and avenges last season’s 20-17 loss to the Wolverines.
Dobbs managed Alpharetta’s fast-break offense with pinpoint precision all night, calling checks at the line of scrimmage signaled to him from the sideline.
“Our coaches can see the coverages and things from the sideline, so they signal the plays in,” said Dobbs, who is receiving overtures from the likes of Stanford and Princeton. “I’m comfortable doing that. It worked well for us tonight.”
Dobbs and the Raiders wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, as they took the opening kickoff and marched 81 yards in 10 plays. Dobbs hit Adam Schildhammer with a 25 yard touchdown pass in the back of the endzone for a 7-0 lead.
However, West Forsyth took advantage of one of Dobb’s two turnovers (one interception, one fumble) late in the first quarter when he was stripped by Andrew Hickman, and the Wolverines’ Ben Boyd recovered the fumble at the Alpharetta 10 yard line. Three plays later, Blake Roberts bulled in from one yard out to tie the score.
Midway through the second quarter, Dobbs led Alpharetta on another long drive, 11 plays and 61 yards. He capped it with a seven-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Carlos Burse to put the Raiders back on top, 14-7. Alpharetta threatened again late in the period, when Dobbs led the offense from its own five yard line to the West Forsyth five yard line, with three key receptions by sophomore Daniel Clements.
But Dobbs’ seventh pass of the drive was picked off at the goal line with 11 seconds left in the half.
West Forsyth got its wing-T offense rolling in the third quarter, taking its opening drive 74 yards in just seven plays, all runs except for one incomplete pass. Jake Weiczorek darted in from 14 yards out to tie the score at 14.
But Dobbs answered seconds later when he hit senior Nevin Harton over the middle on third-and-seven from the Raider 24 yard line. Harton did the rest, outrunning the West Forsyth secondary for a 76 yard touchdown that proved to be the game winner.
“We knew they were a well-coached team and the wing-T is very difficult to prepare for,” said Alpharetta coach Jason Dukes. “But we made some big plays when we had to and forced some negative running plays. We had a great week of practice and our coaches did a heck of a job getting our players prepared.”
Afterward, junior center DeAndre Wise was pleased with the Raiders’ offensive display.
“If we keep clicking, we can win the region,” he said. “I definitely think we’ll win the region.”
West Forsyth 7 0 7 0 14
Alpharetta 7 7 13 0 27