Rockets Remain Undefeated With Overtime Win

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

After falling behind early, the Forrest Rockets needed overtime to squeak out a 21-20 road victory over McEwen, Friday in Region 5A play.

Both teams entered the contest with 2-0 records looking to pick-up a key region win with added incentive for McEwen, who was celebrating homecoming and looking to avenge a 14-0 lost to the Rockets last season.

McEwen seemed to be in control of things in the first half, dominating the line-of-scrimmage and running the ball effectively to jump out to a quick 14-0 lead.

"Too close, way too close. We let them jump on us and it almost came back to bite us," said Forrest coach Kyle Stacy.

The Warrior?s first half points came all in the second quarter, first on a 7-yard run by Adam Fuqua with a failed two-point conversion attempt and then Eric Beard's 1-yard plunge. This time Fuqau completed the two-point conversion.

The Forrest offense wasn't given much opportunity to be in the spotlight during the first half, having the ball only six minutes compared to the ball control offense of McEwen, holding possession for 17 minutes. The Rockets were limited to only two first-downs in the first half.

The tide turned for the Rockets late in the second quarter when their fleet footed running back, Dominique Johnson ran past defenders 52 yards to paydirt, cutting the deficit at the half, 14-7. Johnson ran for 142 yards on 11 carries in the game.

Coach Kyle Stacy said, "Believe it or not, we didn't make any adjustments for the second half. We just needed to start playing football the way I knew we were capable."

It worked. After stopping McEwen in the opening possession of the third quarter, the Rocket offense exchanged spots with its defense who saw most of the action in the first half. The offense stayed on the field for much of the quarter with well executed ground control.

The Warriors had only two possessions in the third quarter, the second of which proved to be costly when a high snap went over the punter?s head and gave the Rockets the ball deep in McEwen territority.

Dominique Johnson carried the Rockets to the 5-yard line on back-to-back runs, aided by a Warrior penalty but was hit for a loss back at 10-yard line on second-down and goal from the 4-yard line.

On the next play from scrimmage, Johnson scooted into the end-zone, aided by the blocking of Brian Wheatly. The PAT from the foot of Devin O'Brien tied the score 14-14 with :06 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Although both teams seemed to be wearing down physically, McEwen regained its running form in the fourth quarter and was marching down field following a pair of third down conversions on the legs of Timmons.

Aided by penalities against the Warriors, the Rocket defense shut down McEwen, ending a potential go-ahead drive when a fourth down pass fell incomplete in Rocket territority.

Forrest took possession of the ball deep in their own territority with :13 seconds left on the clock. But with too much real estate to gain and a pair of incomplete passes, the score was deadlocked at the end of regulation.

In Tennessee high school football overtime, each team gets possession from the 10-yard line along with four opportunities to get the ball into the end-zone. If a touchdown is scored, the team has the option of kicking the extra point for going for a two-point conversion.

McEwen won the coin toss and opted to defend, allowing Forrest first crack at the end-zone. The Rockets made the most of if when on the first touch, Dominique Johnson waltzed into end-zone. O'Brien's point-after attempt barely cleared the uprights to put the Rockets in front 21-20.

It seemed that the Rockets were going to make quick work of the overtime period after stopping McEwen's workhorse, Ethan Tummins, on consecutive stops. But on the Warrior's final attempt, Tummins scored the 2-yard touchdown.

McEwen's coach decided to go for the win with a two-point conversion attempt, a decision, he may still be regretting. The Warriors come up short and the Rockets made the long journey back home with a 21-20 victory.

Next week, the Rockets will face their toughest opponent of the season, hosting 2A East Robertson.



"Too close, way too close. We let them jump on us and it almost came back to bite us," said Forrest coach Kyle Stacy.


First Downs717
Passing Yards671