ROSWELL, Ga. — Roswell senior quarterback Robbie Roper had a standout performance to lead the Hornets to a 45-26 win over South Forsyth at home Friday night in the season-opening game for both teams.
Roper’s six passing touchdowns are the most in a game for a North Fulton player since 2019.
“We give Robbie a lot of freedom to do a lot of things,” Roswell head coach Chris Prewett said. “The offensive staff had a good game plan to scheme things open, and Robbie had a really good night throwing the football.”
Roper had three touchdowns in each half that were spread among five receivers and 447 yards.
His first, a long pass to defensive back/wide receiver Ethan Nation, put Roswell ahead 8-0 in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Roper hit Nation again for a 49-yard pass that set up a 26-yard touchdown throw to Ethan Crite on the ensuing play. Roper’s third score, an 18-yarder to Ryan Hill, put the Hornets up 23-6 just before halftime.
Roper continued to pile on the points in the second half, starting with a 40-yard scoring throw to Crite midway through the third quarter to put Roswell up 29-13.
Roper capped off his scoring with two more touchdown throws in the third, a 9-yard pass to tight end Zeke Moore and a 13-yard connection with Chris Elko that put the Hornets up 42-13.
While Roper led the way, Prewett said he was pleased to see so many players stepping up on offense in new starting roles, and that his team moved the ball effectively.
“We had a lot of big plays, but we also had a lot of good drives moving the ball for eight, nine or 10 plays,” Prewett said. “We like to see that big-play ability, but you also want to be able to move the ball effectively and move the chains.”
Roswell’s defense had a solid performance that troubled South Forsyth with constant penetration at the line.
“One thing we really harp on is forcing some negative plays, and I think as a group we are really excited about is our defensive line, which played outstanding,” Prewett said. “They were in the backfield most of the night, caused a lot of that havoc at the snap of the ball. Defensively, we played hard. We made a lot of mistakes everywhere, but we got after it. We had really high execution at times and battled throughout the game.”
South Forsyth quarterback Ty Watkins had a three-touchdown performance, but the War Eagles were often stymied by the Hornets’ defense.
Watkins had a 9-yard touchdown pass to Mason Capers in the first quarter, a 54-yard scoring throw to Chris Nelson in the third and a 3-yard rushing score in the final minutes of the game.
South’s Jyi’Qez Green added a special teams score by returning a kickoff for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Overall, Prewett said he was pleased with how his new starters on both sides of the ball performed.
“We had a lot of kids that hadn’t really had a chance to play, and I’m really proud of how they came through in a big moment,” he said.
Roswell will now look to continue its streak of winning the “Mayor’s Cup” over crosstown rivals Centennial Aug. 27. The Hornets have won the last seven meetings between the schools, but Prewett said the matchup is always a good “litmus test.”
“It’s always a challenge and a fun environment,” he said. “We need to make sure we are healthy and correct our mistakes.”