SUWANEE - Peachtree Ridge overcame four turnovers in the first quarter to pick up a 22-16 win over South Forsyth on homecoming Friday night.
The Lions (6-2, 6-0 Region 7-AAAAA) lost three fumbles and threw one interception, resulting in 16 first-quarter points for the War Eagles (3-5, 2-4).
Peachtree Ridge head coach Bill Ballard was not pleased with his team's effort in the opening minutes of the game.
"I don't believe we were totally focused on tonight's game," Ballard said. "We spotted them 16 points. We made mistakes and they capitalized and I give their team a lot of credit."
The Lions fumbled on the first play of the game and the War Eagles took advantage five plays later when Hunter Alexander connected on a 38-yard field goal. After an interception on its next possession, Peachtree Ridge managed to force a punt. But on the next play the Lions fumbled again, giving the War Eagles the ball at the Lions' 22. Five plays later Brett Charron punched it in from one yard out. The point after failed and with 2:39 left in the quarter South Forsyth led 9-0.
Peachtree Ridge got the ball following the kickoff and on the first play turned the ball over for the fourth time in a row on another fumble. This time South Forsyth's Nick Ureda returned it 19 yards for a TD. Alexander's kick made the score 16-0.
The second quarter brought out a completely different Lions' offense. The only two plays run by Peachtree Ridge in the quarter resulted in TDs. The first came on a 54-yard run by Ronnie Smith and the next on a 58-yard TD run by Brandon Stanley. With 9:23 still to play in the first half the Lions were back in the game only trailing 16-14.
Stanley picked up his second TD from one yard out with 8:51 to play in the third quarter making the score 20-16 after a failed two-point conversion.
With 1:33 to play in the third quarter the War Eagles had third-and-goal at the Lions' 1-yard line. The defense held strong again, stopping South Forsyth and taking over at its own 1. Peachtree Ridge moved out near midfield and Mitchell Williford put a punt down at the War Eagles' 4-yard line. South Forsyth lined up to punt and snapped it out of the end zone for a safety.
"I was proud of our guys on defense," said Ballard. "We played a little better in the second half. We have to execute better if we think we can play with Norcross and North Gwinnett. That's what we have to work on this week."
Stanley rushed for 117 yards on 18 carries and two TDs and Smith had 99 yards on 12 attempts with a TD.
Peachtree Ridge 22, South Forsyth 16
South Forsyth: Hunter Alexander 38 FG, 11:04
South Forsyth: Brett Charron 1 run (kick failed) 2:39
South Forsyth: Nick Ureda 19 fumble return (Alexander kick) 1:00
Peachtree Ridge: Ronnie Smith 54 run (Edward Hicks kick) 11:47
Peachtree Ridge: Brandon Stanley 58 run (Hicks kick) 9:23
Peachtree Ridge: Stanley 1 run (run failed) 8:51
Peachtree Ridge: Safety, 6:51