Forrest whips Trojans with big second half
Through three quarters at the "Rock" in Chapel Hill Friday night, Forrest held a 9-6 advantage over visiting Collinwood on three Angel Reyes field goals before the Rockets' defense came up huge, sparking a twenty-one point fourth quarter offensive that swelled the final winning total to 30-6 over the Trojans.
"The defense did play well tonight," said Forrest head coach Kyle Stacey. "It was just like I was telling the kids a while ago. When one group is down, the other group will pick them up and that is the way it goes."
Reyes booted his first successful field goal from 30 yards out halfway through the first quarter and hit his second from 27-yards out with just five seconds remaining in the opening twelve minutes to give Forrest a 6-0 lead.
"We talked about that in our Sunday meeting," said Stacey. "Angel has been accurate the last couple of years and when we get down there, we will choose to put points on the board."
The Rockets (1-1) were in the midst of a potential scoring drive midway through the second quarter when Trojan defensive back Logan Montgomery scooped up a Forrest fumble and raced 54 yards for a touchdown.
A missed extra point attempt knotted the game at six points apiece with 6:15 remaining in the first half.
On their next offensive series, the Rockets held the ball for almost five minutes, but came away empty after a couple of untimely penalties ruined the drive.
Collinwood could not muster any offense after the stop and the half ended with each team posting six points on the scoreboard.
The Trojans could not get it going on the opening drive of the second half as the Rockets stopped them cold and took over at the Collinwood 46-yard line after a less than average punt.
Rocket tailback Zach Ray, who finished the game with 164 yards on 32 carries, took off for nine yards on first down and fullback Richie Smith (50 yards on ten carries) busted a run all the way to the Trojan 25-yard line on a second down run up the gut.
Forrest continued to move forward before they had to settle for a Reyes 23-yard field that gave the home squad a 9-6 lead at the 6:11 mark of the third period.
Neither team would move the ball on their next series and a Reyes punt after a Forrest three and out pinned the visitors back at the 17-yard line.
On a third and eleven from the same spot on the gridiron, Rocket senior outside linebacker Jonathan Anderson came up with the play of the game when he rocked Collinwood tight end Brier Daniel's world with a slobber-knocking hit after a catch that knocked the ball loose.
Anderson said about the big momentum change, "That play fired up the sidelines. Momentum changes all the time in football and we wanted to keep it on our side."
Senior Paten Pruitt jumped on the loose ball and the Rockets took over in great field position at the 10-yard line.
"There are a lot of young kids on that defense, and they are playing well," said Stacey.
"Pruitt is always around the ball and he is showing what kind of leader he is, on both sides of the ball."
After an unsuccessful first down run, the third quarter ended with FHS still up 9-6.
On the initial play of the final period, Rocket quarterback Brooks Lamb found junior Brandon Beech wide open in the left flat for an easy 12-yard touchdown and Reyes booted the extra point, staking the Rockets to a 16-6 lead.
On the next Collinwood series, on a third down play, Rocket senior defensive back Tony Johnson came up with another turnover via his first career interception at the Trojan 47-yard line.
Ray ran for three yards on first down before Lamb took off on a quarterback keeper down to the 26-yard line.
Two touches later, Ray found paydirt and the Rockets stretched their lead to 23-6 after Reyes booted another extra point through the middle of the goal posts.
Disaster struck Collinwood's offensive unit again and this time it was the final blow as Blake Leonard fell on a loose ball on the Trojans' first down play, giving Forrest the rock at the Collinwood 19-yard line.
Lamb ran to the 11 on first down, Smith punished several defenders on his way to the five, and Lamb scooted left for the score on the next play to push the Rocket lead to 30-6 after Reyes picked up his twelfth point of the game on the extra point.
The Forrest defense gave up only 126 yards of total offense in the contest (96 rushing/30 passing), while the Rocket offense put up 264 yards in the ground game and 58 more through the air.
Forrest dominated time of possession with a 29:42-18:18 advantage as Stacey improved his career coaching record to 57 wins and 50 losses.
Forrest travels to Community (0-2) next Friday, while Collinwood hosts winless Richland (0-2) in Wayne County.