FMS comeback falls short
It was too little, too late for the FMS Rockets Thursday night in Chapel Hill, as a torrid fourth quarter comeback was not enough to overcome their earlier mistakes in a 12-6 loss to Westwood Jr. High.
FMS head coach Josh Roberson said after the game, "We were not ready to play. We have to re-think our pregame strategy before home games. Hopefully we can get some air conditioning in the field house and have them sit down there instead of splitting them up. Maybe do some board work and stuff and get them thinking on football."
The Rockets could never get anything going on offense versus their namesakes from McMinnville.
Forrest had a grand total of seven yards on offense in the first quarter and twenty-eight in the second with twenty-three of those yards coming on a halfback option pass from Tristan Newman to Michael Beard to Logan Hollingsworth.
Westwood scored on their second drive of the ballgame on a 49-yard run by Shawn Hindman with 15.2 ticks remaining in the opening period.
Westwood quarterback Andrew Waggoner tried to run in the two-point conversion, but was stopped cold on a nice tackle by Hollingsworth.
Forrest fumbled away the ball on the ensuing drive and Ben Hosea fell on the pigskin at the home team's 35-yard line.
Five plays later, Westwood took advantage of the Forrest turnover when Tyrin Rippy scampered into the Forrest end zone from 28 yards out for the touchdown.
An illegal procedure call on Westwood pushed back the extra point attempt.
Waggoner's pass for the two-point try fell incomplete and Westwood led 12-0 with 3:03 left in the first half.
The Rockets began to show some life offensively, driving the ball all the way down to the shadow of the Westwood goal line before the drive stalled on downs with 24 seconds left on the clock.
FMS got the ball first in the second half and the turnover bug continued as Alex Williams came up with an interception for Westwood.
The Forrest squad dug in and came up with a turnover on a fumble recovery by Dantay Baugh at the Westwood 48-yard line.
Forrest went three and out after the turnover.
The game went to the fourth quarter where Westwood punted on the first play of the period.
Another interception gave Westwood the ball back, but Newman redeemed himself when he came up with a pick at the 40-yard with under four minutes to go in the contest.
Forrest faced a fourth and seven at the Westwood 30, but Newman tucked the pigskin under his arm and ran eight yards for the first down.
On second down and ten, Michael Beard ran it into the end zone for the score with 1:48 left in the game.
The two-point try was no good.
An onsides kick attempt by FMS was unsuccessful, but the defense held, forcing a Westwood punt with 45.9 seconds remaining.
Austin Harmon returned the punt to the 48-yard line.
Newman threw an incomplete pass on first down, but was hit late on the play and the fifteen-yard penalty moved the ball to the Westwood 38-yard line.
Harmon scampered to the twenty-four and the FMS spiked the ball with 17.3 seconds left.
Westwood called timeout to set their defense and it worked as they sacked Beard, attempting the halfback option pass that had worked earlier.
Harmon was the leading rusher for FMS, finishing with 59 yards on seven carries.
Newman ended up with 39 yards on the ground and Beard had 38.
Blake Leonard led the Forrest defense with eight tackles.