Stellar defense and opportunism on three early Forsyth Central fumbles allowed the Cass High football team to win its home opener Friday night by a score of 15-7.
The defense stole the show for the Colonels, causing fumbles and grabbing interceptions, forcing a total of five Forsyth Central turnovers.
Facing a Class 7A program that was a state playoff team a season ago, Cass scored all 15 of its points in the first 14 minutes of games action, all off the first three of those Bulldog turnovers.
With 8:18 left in the first quarter, Forsyth Central junior quarterback Bronson Landreth fumbled the ball on the Cass 30-yard line, giving the Colonels nice field position. Later on the drive, Cass senior quarterback Logan Nelson threw a deep pass to Santino Jones for a touchdown. The 2-point try was no good, but Cass went ahead 6-0 midway through the first quarter.
On the Bulldogs next position, they moved the ball effectively, in the air and on the ground. Landreth connected for a 20-yard gain to get the Bulldogs to the Cass 23-yard line. Two plays later, on first-and-10 from the Cass 12, Landreth fumbled the ball, and it was recovered by Mark Perdue, who took it 88 yards to the house for another Colonel touchdown. The 2-point try was again no good, but Cass still led 12-0 entering the second quarter.
Keeping up with the theme of the game, Forsyth Central, this time inside its own 20-yard line, fumbled the ball again. Cass was unable to move the ball, but Kaleb Speights made sure the Colonels didn’t come up empty, as he hit a 31-yard field goal to make the score 15-0 early in the second quarter.
From there, both teams put on a defensive show. The Bulldogs picked off Nelson at the Bulldog 31, however, the Bulldogs could not get anything out of this drive and had to punt their last two offensive series of the half, allowing Cass to go into the locker room with a 15-0 lead.
In the beginning of the third quarter, the Bulldogs showed off some nice special teams by blocking a 38-yard field goal attempt. However, once again the Colonels stopped the Bulldog ground game for most of third quarter, forcing a three-and-out on the Bulldogs' only offensive possession of the quarter.
The two teams then traded punts before Jones intercepted a Forsyth Central pass near the end zone early in the fourth quarter. But the Colonels could not get anything from the turnover and were forced to punt.
Forsyth Central would have more luck on its next possession, though, when Landreth completed a touchdown pass to Caydin Mowen with 3:31 left in the fourth quarter to put Forsyth Central on the board and make it a 15-7 ballgame, still in favor of Cass.
After Cass recovered the ensuing onside kick but went three-and-out, Forsyth Central had one last chance. However, a deep pass was picked off by Jones, his second of the game, to end the threat and move Cass to 1-1 on the year, already matching the Colonels’ win total from a season ago.
Forsyth Central, meanwhile, moves to 1-1 on the year and will take on Class 4A Denmark next week on the road in another non-region contest.
Cass will travel to in-county rival Woodland next week to begin competition in Region 7-AAAAA.
"We had a great game plan, both sides of the ball,” Cass head coach Bobby Hughes said. "We were able to catch them early and get on top. We've been in situations before, being up by two touchdowns. We're going to clean that up. The kids really played hard, and I loved the way they bounced back after last week."