Rockets keep winning
It is readily apparent that Forrest coach Kyle Stacey has his football team's attention and that each and every kid has bought into his system. The teams' success this year has been built on the players trusting that they have been accurately taught the intricacies of the game and that they are placed into position each game to utilize their individual skills within the team concept, as well as to allow them the accolades for their individual accomplishments within the game plan.
Conversely, Stacey has exhibited on many occasions that he trusts his players' abilities to make plays in crucial situations. It doesn't hurt that he appears to have a little riverboat gambler in his blood.
It is for this and many other reasons that Forrest is one of the top ranked teams in Class 1A according to several sources.
Forrest (4-0) defeated a very talented East Robertson team 28-20 Friday night and the aforementioned concept was never more evident as Stacey kept his offense on the field seven times in fourth down situations including the opening drive at their own 45-yard line.
The Rocket offense rewarded his confidence by converting 6-of-7 opportunities, keeping their playmakers on the field and the ever important momentum factor in their favor.
The Rockets opened the scoring by driving 65 yards capped by a Kristian Albarran 1-yard keeper. Devin O'Brien kicked it through for a 7-0 lead.
The Forrest defense then made a big fourth-and-one stop on the Indians star quarterback Tiko Andrews (6-feet-4, 230 pounds) to take over on their own 45-yard line.
The Rockets took a 14-0 lead when Albarran hit receiver Colin Henson in stride on a slant pattern from 12-yards out. The extra point was good with 6:42 to play in the half.
The Indians (2-1) moved the ball well in their final possession of the half but was thwarted by an unsportsmanlike penalty and a sack by Rocket linebacker Daniel Schoenberger.
The second half began with the Indians spreading the field and having some success with the passing game as Andrews connected on two big pass plays to move the ball to the Rocket 2.
Andrews bulled his way into the end zone from there. The kick was good to cut the lead to 14-7 at the 10:34 mark.
East Robertson's defense held the Rocket offense to a three and out, forcing an O'Brien punt that ended up at the 30-yard line of the visitors.
After the Rockets were called for a pass interference penalty, Desmond Payne electrified the Indian crowd with a 55-yard run to the pylon to tie the score.
Not to be deterred, Forrest went right back on top when Albarran and Henson hooked up again from 12 yards out for a touchdown. O'Brien was true again for 21-14 lead with 2:58 left in the third quarter.
The Indians put another score on the board a little over a minute later on a 56-yard run by Payne.
This time the extra point sailed wide and the Rockets maintained a 21-20 lead as the period ended.
Dominique Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff to the 38-yard line for the Rockets in the opening minutes of the final quarter.
Fullback Alex Frederick gained 12 yards on two successive carries before the Rockets found themselves in familiar territory in this game. Faced with a fourth-and-two around midfield, Stacey called for the quarterback option play and Albarran weaved it around the end to the Indian 22-yard line.
Rocket tailback Johnson scooted the final 12 yards of the drive through a maze of defenders for his second touchdown of the contest.
O'Brien tacked on the extra point for a 28-20 Forrest lead with 1:39 left to play.
The Rocket defense shut down the Indians to seal the deal despite a late hit penalty on the final Indian drive.
Johnson finished with 161 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the night.
The Rockets defense was led by Schoenberger with five solo tackles and one sack, Ben Gallahaire with four solos, six assists and two sacks and Morgan Abrigo with four solos.
Forrest takes on undefeated Region 5-A foe Cascade on Friday night in a game that will in all likely hood define each team's season when all is said and done. Game time is 7:30 in Chapel Hill. Homecoming is at halftime.