Forrest clinches playoff spot in Viking rout
The Forrest Rockets secured a spot in the TSSAA Class 2A football playoffs Friday night in a resounding way, routing the Community Vikings 51-6 in Unionville.
The Rockets set two school records in the process, scoring 30 points in the first quarter and
51 points in the first half.
Forrest head coach Kyle Stacey said after the game, "They all played well tonight. It was good to get this game behind us and get ready for Moore County.
Forrest led 14-0 before their offensive unit ever hit the field, beginning with an electrifying 93 yard Taylor Abrigo touchdown return of the opening kickoff.
Stacey said about the quick strike, "We have started two games this season like that and that is a heck of a way to get started."
The defense, feeding off the energy of the Abrigo return stopped the Vikings cold on their first possession. A second down sack by Patrick Warner of Community quarterback Jesse Cooper pushed the home team way back into the shadow of their goal line.
After a third down incompletion, Community was forced to punt.
Zach Ray took the punt and raced down the Forrest sideline where he picked up bone crushing blocks from Jacob Floyd and Warner that allowed him to take the return all the way to the Community 2-yard line.
On the next play, Levell Quezaire rushed for his 12th touchdown of the season.
The extra point by Angel Reyes was good and the Rockets led 14-0.
After the Forrest kickoff, Community was the recipient of a pass interference call on first down, but the Rockets stopped them on the next three plays, forcing a punt with 7 minutes left in the 1st quarter.
Quezaire, looking to get his 1,000-yard season sailed 90 yards on first down for a touchdown, but the play was called back on a holding penalty.
A personal foul on Community after the play moved the ball up 15 yards.
Quezaire ran for seven yards on first down and on second down, FHS quarterback Dane Leonard found Casey Franklin for a nice gainer, up to the 33.
Quezaire busted loose for a big 32-yard scamper down to the Viking 36.
Forrest fullback Tyler Klaren took it to the house on the next play and Reyes kicked the extra point through for a 21-0 Rocket lead with 5:48 still left in the opening quarter.
Reyes boomed the ensuing kickoff and the Rocket special teams made the tackle at the Community 10 yard line.
On the next play, the Forrest defensive line had a jailbreak in the Community backfield, chasing Cooper into the end zone where Josh Lowery slammed him to the ground for a safety and a 23-0 Forrest lead.
A bad free kick gave the Rockets the ball in great field position at the Community 27-yard line.
Leonard found Klaren on a seven-yard pass on first down and Quezaire took it in from 16 yards out two plays later. Reyes missed the EP and Forrest led 30-0 with 2:19 to play in the record breaking first quarter.
The Rockets stopped the Vikings on three plays, forcing a punt by Lance Paschal.
The FHS special teams busted through on the snap, forcing Paschal to take off with ball. Paschal ran for a first down on the Vikings only rushing play of the quarter.
Three plays later, Paschal had to punt once again.
Abrigo fielded the kick at the Rocket 22 and once again followed a wall of teammates to the left and into the end zone for touchdown.
Reyes kicked the extra point for a 37-0 Forrest lead.
Community was reeling at this point and on the next play from scrimmage for the Vikings, disaster struck for the home team once again when Hayden Cook scored on a pick six from 25-yards out. Reyes' kick was good and Forrest led 44-0 with 10:42 to go in the record breaking first half for the Rockets.
Community went nowhere fast, turning the ball back over to the Rockets on downs at their own 35.
On a third and nine, Leonard swung the ball to Abrigo who broke several tackles down the sideline for an apparent score, but the side judge mistakenly marked Abrigo out of bounds at the two.
On the next play, Klaren finished off the drive with his second touchdown run of the night for a 50-0 lead.
Reyes extra point made it 51-0 and Stacey had seen enough of his starters, taking them all out for the rest of the night.
The only scoring in the second half was a late touchdown run by Cooper with 5:09 left in the contest. The extra point was no good, making the final score 51-6.
The only other time Forrest has scored 50 or more points this decade was in 2006 when they shut-out Columbia Academy 50-0 on opening day.
Quezaire, who needs only 19 more yards to get to the 1,000-yard mark will get his chance this Friday at the "Rock" versus Moore County on senior night.
Forrest has not beaten Moore County since 1986.
A win may get the Rockets a first round bye on Nov. 6.
Stacey talked about getting the bye, saying, "I think it is bad to get the bye. It seems like right now we are peaking and I would hate to get a first round bye, but we will take it."