SUWANEE - The monkey is finally off Collins Hill's back.
A program that is not used to losing seasons, let alone an 0-5 start, got its first win of the 2007 season, defeating North Forsyth 21-13 in Region 7-AAAAA play Friday night at Fahring Field.
Dating to last season, the victory snapped a six-game losing skid for Collins Hill (1-5 overall, 1-3 region) - the longest winless streak in school history.
Eagles coach Larry Sherrill admitted it wasn't pretty, but getting that first win, no matter how it happened, was the most important thing.
"We possessed the ball, made first downs and controlled the clock. That is growth for us," Sherrill said. "We had a couple of opportunities that we didn't take advantage of, but we did enough to win."
In its effort to move the chains and manage the clock, the Eagles had a simple game plan - hit North Forsyth with a constant dose of sophomore running back Charles Perkins.
Perkins, who passed for one touchdown and ran for another, rushed the ball 29 times for 100 yards. His 25-yard scoring toss to Jon Nastav on a perfectly executed halfback pass came on a third-and-goal situation on Collins Hill's first offensive series of the game.
On its ensuing possession, Collins Hill took advantage of excellent field position following a 13-yard punt from North Forsyth. Eight plays later, Perkins capped the 30-yard drive with a 6-yard scoring scamper to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead.
North Forsyth (0-6 overall, 0-4 region) responded with a 3-yard TD pass from Eli Chester to Jacob Otwell on a fourth-and-goal play on the following possession, but Collins Hill answered right back with a 9-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in a 16-yard scoring pass from Brent McDonald to Drew Swick.
Leading 21-7 and while the game was still in the balance, the Eagles came out of the half and ran 20 plays to North Forsyth's four in the third quarter. And although they didn't find the end zone, the damage was done in terms of burning clock and playing the field-position game.
"I'm so proud of our players," Sherrill said. "We were off last week and we worked really hard in practice. When you start losing you get fragile mentally. This losing streak, this is new ground for all of us. But all the guys, the seniors, juniors, sophomores, freshmen, all the guys stuck together."
COLLINS HILL 21
NORTH FORSYTH 13
-Collins Hill: Jon Nastav 25 pass from Charles Perkins (Sean Binner kick)
-Collins Hill: Perkins 6 run (Binner kick) 11:12
-North Forsyth: Jacob Otwell 3 pass from Eli Chester (Corey Reins kick) 6:51
-Collins Hill: Drew Swick 16 pass from Brent McDonald (Binner kick) 3:03
-North Forsyth: Tyler Slaton 12 pass from Chester (kick not attempted) 0:00