Physical battles loom for county gridiron squads
Physical football will be on display this Friday night as all three county squads take on tough opponents that are known to run the pigskin.
The Forrest Rockets, still ranked no. 8 in the Class 2A AP Poll and coming off a big 37-7 blowout victory over MTCS take on White House-Heritage in a non-region match-up at the "Rock" this week and know the Patriots well.
In four previous meetings as region rivals, the Rockets own a 4-1 advantage, winning last year 13-7. The largest margin of victory by either team was a 28-14 win by Forrest in 2005.
The Pats like the ground game, evident by the fact that they have run the ball 227 times this season for 1,468 yards. Senior all purpose player Coty Tobitt should be the bull's-eye player for Forrest defensive coordinator Brian Coleman's unit to key on. Tobitt has rushed for 371 yards on the season with 9 touchdowns and has also caught 9 passes for 93 yards.
When Tobitt does not touch the pigskin, junior Chad Leven and senior Dakota Burt take over as the two have combined for 493 yards on 73 touches and 6 TD's.
Tobitt is also the second leading tackler on the Patriots, trailing senior Dallas Gregory by just 7 takedowns.
The Rockets are also a run first team and are led by senior Levell Quezaire who has rushed for 709 yards on the season with 8 touchdowns. Quezaire went ballistic last week versus MTCS, rushing for 225 yards on 19 attempts for a gaudy 11.8 average. That average was helped by Quezaire's big 80-yard jaunt for a score on the first play from scrimmage for the Rockets.
Sophomore Zach Ray is the perfect compliment for Quezaire and has ran his way to 318 yards in the 2009 campaign and has scored five times.
Senior fullback Tyler Klaren does not mind the dirty work out of the backfield when the Rockets need some tough yards and has busted off 153 yards on the season on 23 attempts for a nice 6.7 average.
Also, watch out if slot-man Taylor Abrigo touches the ball from scrimmage because can bust a long one. Abrigo also leads the team in receiving with 16 catches for 217 and three touchdowns.
In recent weeks, the Forrest offensive line has gelled nicely, opening up huge holes for the running game and creating a useable pocket for quarterback Dane Leonard to throw from.
The Rocket defense needs a call out as the unit has only had one bad game this season at Cascade. Coleman's squad has allowed an average of 10.2 points this season in the first six games.
Look for another close, tough game between these two tough squads with Forrest coming out with a 24-21 win to move to 6-1 on the season.
The Cornersville Bulldogs must be licking their chops for the first time in four years as they take on a Marco Dailey-less Mt. Pleasant squad.
During the talented running back's years as a Tiger, the Bulldogs were outscored 197-47.
This time the Dawgs are the hunted, coming into the contest at 5-1 while Mt. Pleasant sports a losing record of 1-5.
The Bulldogs need the win with Region 6-A first place Wayne County looming next week.
Cornersville showed no signs of the Forrest loss last week at Richland, pounding the Raiders 35-14 behind a balanced offensive attack that put up 189 yards on the ground and 124 in the air.
On defense, Jon Douglas intercepted two passes at Richland and linebacker Matt Osteen had a monster game with 10 tackles and Joe Stocstill had nine takedowns.
Look for the Cornersville defense to come up big once again this week and the offensive unit to score and score often in a big 30-6 win versus the Tigers from Mt. Pleasant.
For the Tigers from Lewisburg, this may be the only chance left this season to win a ballgame as two out of their next three opponents after East Hickman are ranked in the AP Top 10 in 4A. Spring Hill is no. 10 and Giles County is in the top five at no. 3. The other opponent Page is 3-3 and just beat E. Hickman last week 33-7.
The East Hickman Eagles are 2-3 on the season with losses to Fairview, Spring Hill, and Page. Their only wins were against Montgomery Central (21-13) and Perry County (8-6).
The last time Marshall County started a season at 0-6 was in 1977.
The Tigers will not go 0-7 this time as they come away with a road win at E. Hickman, winning the ballgame 23-20.