FMS Rockets outgunned in Unionville
The FMS Rockets limped out of the box this season, losing three straight before ripping off consecutive wins over Westwood, Eagleville, and Liberty to even their record at 3-3, keeping their hopes alive of reaching the Duck River Valley Conference Championship game.
It all came down to a win over a Community team they had never lost to before.
The Vikings were celebrating homecoming Thursday night and after pulling off the unthinkable, the Unionville crew was celebrating a 50-44 win in a game that will go down in the annals as one of the most exciting middle school games in recent memory.
"I have never seen a middle school offensive battle like that," said FMS head coach Bart Joyce. "It was great ballgame and I could not ask for anything more. Every one of the boys gave their all and played their hearts out."
The two squads racked up close to 1,000 yards of combined offense and out of the 17 total possessions in the contest, thirteen of them resulted in touchdowns.
Forrest held a 16-6 lead after the first quarter, scoring on a 47-yard touchdown run by Joseph Williams on their first possession and later in the quarter on a 14-yard hookup from Jacob Jones to Tyler Adcock.
In between the FMS scores, CMS Homecoming King Darian Pride ran into the end zone from 47-yards out.
Pride score again early in the second to cut the FMS lead to 16-14 before both squads turned in non-scoring possessions.
With 2:03 remaining in the first half, Williams dashed for a touchdown from 26-yards out and Jones tacked on a two-point run to make the score 22-14.
In an omen of things to come for the Rockets, Community scored on the last play of the first half when Corey Mooneyham threw up a prayer that was caught by Pride in the endzone as time ran out.
Jacob Kupczyk bulled his way to paydirt on the two-pointer, tying the game at 22.
CMS recovered an attempted onsides kick by FMS at midfield to begin the second half and two plays later, Mooneyham found Pride on a 39-yard touchdown pass to give the Vikings their first lead of the game.
Kupczyk added another two-pointer and the homecoming squad led 30-22.
It was Community's turn to try an onsides kick, but FMS's Neeley Hopkins was Johnny on the spot for the recovery at the FMS 49-yard line.
On third and seven, Jones found Jesse Pruitt open on the sidelines with a pass and Pruitt shook off several Vikings on his way to a 51-yard touchdown.
Williams tacked on the two-point PAT, re-knotting the game at thirty.
On the ensuing kickoff, Jones drilled one of the CMS up-men and recovered the ball at the Forrest 44.
The Rockets faced a 4+3 from the CMS forty-nine yard line as Jones dropped back to pass and scrambled before finding Adcock over the middle.
Adcock hauled in the Jones pass, shook off a Viking tackler and raced to in for the touchdown.
Williams ran in the two-point try and the Rockets led 38-30 with 3:14 remaining in the third quarter.
CMS came right back to score on a 53-yard run by Pride less than a minute later, but the extra point run was no good and Forrest led by two at 38-36.
The fourth quarter began with FMS in the midst of a good drive at the CMS 25-yard, and three plays later, Jones bulled his way in for a touchdown.
FMS was unsuccessful on the all-important two-point conversion and the score was FMS 44, CMS 36 with 6:05 left in the contest.
The Vikings embarked on a long seven play, four minute and seventeen seconds drive that included two timeouts and a fourth down conversion before Pride took it to the house from 64-yards out for a touchdown.
The Rockets stuffed the two-point run and looked like they had the game as long as they could handle the onsides kick that everyone knew was coming.
They did not as the kick ricocheted off one of the Rocket up-men and Community recovered the ball with 1:46 remaining in the contest.
Tick, tick, tick went the game clock as the Rocket defense was bending, but not appearing to break until Mooneyham scrambled to the Rocket sideline with 3.3 seconds remaining and threw a rainbow to the back of the endzone that was snagged by Alex Arroyo for the twenty-yard game winning touchdown.
Mooneyham ran in the two-pointer and all that was left was the ensuing kickoff that bounced around as time ran out on the Rockets' season.
"All these boys had great poise all year, I can't ask for more effort," said Joyce. "We just couldn't get that one last play. It was a shootout and sometimes it ends like that and that is just the way it goes sometimes. I enjoyed coaching every one of these boys this season."
Pride finished with 262 yards on the ground on 18 carries (3 TDs) and the King hauled in seven Mooneyham passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
Williams also had a huge game as the Rocket running back gained 214 yards on 21 carries and scored two touchdowns, while converting three extra two-pointers.
Jones finished with a 4-6 night for 117 yards with two touchdown passes and one interception and Adcock hauled in three Jones passes for 66 yards and two scores.