West Forsyth 37, Johns Creek 16

By David Purdum / For the AJC

No. 5 West Forsyth got a momentum-changing interception from Conner Vandenbos and a big performance from quarterback A.J. Erdely to come from behind and knock off Johns Creek in a battle of Region 6-AAAAAA unbeatens.

Erdely ran for two touchdowns and threw for another all in a dominating second half that saw the  host Wolverines pull away for a 37-16 victory.

The Gladiators led 16-3 late in the first half and had just put together a goal-line stand, before Vandenbos’ made a diving interception of an ill-advised pass from Johns Creek’s Skye Overton. Five plays later, Trever O’Brien scored from two yards out to cut the Gladiators’ lead to 16-10 at the half.

O’Brien’s touchdown jumpstarted a run of 34 unanswered points, as the Wolverines scored on their first four possessions of the second half and put the game away with a pair of Jake Wieczorek touchdowns.

With the win, West Forsyth takes control of the region and improves to 6-0 for the first time in the school’s six seasons. The Wolverines are the only unbeaten team in the region.

“We’re still a young program and not on the same level as some the great teams in the state, but we’re getting better,” said West Forsyth coach Frank Hepler. “Our kids never hung our heads when we got down and kept fighting.”

Johns Creek popped the fifth-ranked Wolverines in the first quarter, with Overton going 61 yards on his first carry to put the Gladiators up 7-0 early in the first quarter.

A Kyle Fowler field goal and a 25-yard touchdown run by Chase Solomon put the Gladiators up 16-3 in the second quarter.

West Forsyth answered with a long drive to the Johns Creek 1 yard line. The Wolverines had three cracks at hit from the 1, but couldn’t punch it in the end zone.

The Gladiators had the ball and were two minutes away from taking a two-score lead into the locker room.

But Overton made an uncharacteristic mistake. The senior was under pressure and threw a pass late over the middle. Vandenboss, a senior linebacker, dove to his right and made the interception that changed everything.

Erdely tied the game, 16-16, on his first touchdown run, a 52-yard burst that capped the Wolverines’ opening possession of the second half.

The Wolverines took their first lead on a 1-yard sneak by Erdely that put West Forsyth up 23-16 with 6:25 left in the third quarter. A 79-yard completion from Erdely to Ty Anderson set up the go-ahead score.

Erdely, who is committed to Middle Tennessee, finished with 131 yards rushing and 136 passing.

The Gladiators (5-1, 2-1 Region 6-AAAAAA) had no answer in the second half and had two drives fizzle deep inside Wolverine’s territory.

Wieczorek had 168 yards rushing.

Johns Creek       9              7              0              0              –             16

West Forsyth     0              10           13           14           –             37

1st quarter

JC – Skye Overton 61 run (kick failed)

JC – Kyle Fowler 30 field goal

2nd quarter

WF – Timmy Hartshorn 25 kick

JC – Chase Solomon 23 run (Fowler kick)

WF – Trever O’Brien 2 run (Hartshorn kick)


WF – A.J. Erdely 52 run (kick blocked)

WF – Erdely 1 run (Hartshorn kick)


WF – Jake Wieczorek 5 pass from Erdely (Hartshorn kick)

WF – Wieczorek 60 run (Hartshorn kick)

12 comments Add your comment


October 12th, 2012
10:17 pm

Wasn`nt there – but looks like JC was out coached………

David Hanson

October 12th, 2012
11:31 pm

A little of both.. AJ Erdely was clearly the best QB on the field. Overton was pretty good but does not have the arm that Erdely has. Seemed like JC just kinda lost it once the pick was thrown late in the 2nd qtr. West has superior coaching.


October 13th, 2012
12:33 am

Both teams are very well-coached, IMO. That interception right before the half changed everything. Johns Creek is very good. They’ll beat someone in the playoffs.


October 13th, 2012
7:51 am

Was at the game and AJ is a very good quarterback but not clearly the best QB on the field. If I am not mistaken he threw a pick on his 10 yard line in the 1st Q that JC scored on.

Clearly the pick before the half was a huge mistake on the JC coaching staff and QB. After stuffing the Wolverines at the goal line on a 3/4th and one JC had all the momentum with 2:30 seconds on the 2nd Q clock. They have 1st and 15 on their own 15 and sidelines call for a pass over the middle. What? It was intercepted and the game changed. This was the time to run three times, make WF spend their TO’s and punt. Very poor play call and an exceptional diving interception by WF.

WF is a very fast team and their RB #10 is the best we have seen this year. JC’s defense failed to adjust to the speed sweep in the second half. That was the difference in the game.

Hey There

October 13th, 2012
8:05 am

It looks like one team made adjustments at halftime and one failed to react to those adjustments. That’s a coaching difference.

North Fulton Truth Sayer

October 13th, 2012
8:11 am

Cloy is known for being a poor game coach.


October 13th, 2012
9:25 am

I love this Wolverine team! Great game to watch. Trevor O’Brien apparently is a Sophmore and ran 58 yards and had scores a touchdown later for the team. Very exciting!

North Fulton Truth Sayer is worng

October 13th, 2012
12:10 pm

NFTS -No he is not, are you ever correct in any of your comments? You do not know what you are talking about again. West was better the team last night give them credit, JCHS is 14-3 in its last 17 games sounds like a good game coach to me.

David Hanson

October 13th, 2012
1:41 pm

The difference was the QB’s… 3 picks vs 1 pick… West had better spead.. Coaching does come in play… Hepler has a HUGE RESUME….


October 14th, 2012
5:21 pm

Yes I have heard myself about Helper. Seems to have alot of experience with highschool players.
Even some that have gone all the way to the NFL!
Opps my bad, Trevor OBrien apparently ran 71 yards as a Sophmore. He has speed!


October 14th, 2012
6:48 pm

Watch out for TO! Dude is a beast and just a Soph!


October 14th, 2012
6:59 pm

JC is a good team. It seems to me that they really only have two go to guys in Overton and Solomon. Both are really good players, and our D really had to find answers and catch a break. Great game! Should be a good region game for years to come.