NCHSAA Class 4-A West semifinal
Fred E. Lewis Stadium, Kernersville
Why the Eagles won
Time and again, East Forsyth’s playmakers came up with backbreaking efforts to keep momentum on their side. Whether it was QB Ty Lyles or RB Chris Chaplin getting a crucial first down or the Eagles’ defense sacking Ragsdale QB Alston Hooker, East Forsyth's talent shone through tonight.
Why the Tigers lost
It’s hard to choose one particular reason Ragsdale's season ended tonight, but the Tigers had their chances. Ragsdale took the ball on its 5-yard line with just over 8 minutes to play and methodically drove the ball down the field, trying to ensure that it was the last possession of regulation. The Tigers got as far as the East Forsyth 35 before a penalty and a sack helped the Eagles get a turnover on downs.
East Forsyth — RB Chris Chaplin 16 carries, 75 yards, TD; WR Jamison Warren 2 receptions, 66 yards, TD; QB Ty’Shaun Lyles 8-for-12 passing, 152 yards, 3 TDs.
Ragsdale — QB Alston Hooker 13-for-23 passing, 181 yards, 2 TDs; ATH Devan Boykin 13 carries, 58 yards, 5 receptions, 73 yards, TD; WR Josiah Muldowney 5 receptions, 82 yards.
The big play
Jalen Thorns came up with a 24-yard touchdown reception, although it was more of a deflection than anything. Thorns was on his back in the end zone when the football came off the fingertips of the Ragsdale defender. That touchdown made the score 34-21 with just over a minute to play and sent East Forsyth to its third regional final in five years.
Three things we learned
1. Johnny Boykin’s Tigers love a good fight. In just a few short years, the Ragsdale Tigers have fostered a football identity of a tough, resilient team that makes the most of its opportunities.
2. Many high school football teams would lament losing multiple college-level players for the season, including four and five-star recruits. East Forsyth is no different. What they’ve become known for, however, is making the right adjustments to minimize the personnel losses as much as possible.
3. Devan Boykin spent three years as the Ragsdale quarterback before selflessly accepting another role so his team could get better. Boykin is as good an athlete and perhaps is the most instrumental Tigers involved in this year’s ascendance to the upper echelon.
What they’re saying
“I couldn’t be prouder of our kids. The hardest part of (building) a team is getting people to deny themselves for the sake of the team. But you can’t do that unless you give. And before you give, you’ve got to love.” — Johnny Boykin, Ragsdale coach
“One thing we know, Coach Boykin ... Johnny’s a great coach, man. And they made some great halftime adjustments, kind of sold out for the run and kind of hit us in the mouth offensively those first two times. But we responded. I think Coach (Ronnie) Horton had some great play calls, and to grind out that win was just spectacular.” — Todd Willert, East Forsyth coach
East Forsyth: 11-2.
Ragsdale: Season is over.
East Forsyth: At Grimsley in the NCHSAA Class 4-A West final, Dec. 6.
Ragsdale 7 0 14 0 – 21
East Forsyth 0 20 8 6 – 34
R – Tyrell Carmichael 5 pass from Alston Hooker (Adnane Choudani kick), 1st, 7:02
E – Jamison Warren 54 pass from Ty Lyles (Andrew Conrad kick), 2nd, 9:31
E – Chris Chaplin 9 run (Conrad kick), 2nd, 4:45
E – Joseph Brown 3 run (kick failed), 2nd, 2:24
R – Hooker 5 run (Choudani kick), 3rd, 6:08
E – Joe Ritchens 21 pass from Lyles (Brendan Conway pass), 3rd, 2:56
R – Devan Boykin 39 pass from Hooker (Choudani kick), 3rd, 1:23
E – Jalen Thorns 24 pass from Lyles (pass failed), 4th, 1:06