Rockets wear down Perry County in 14-6 win

Saturday, August 18, 2012
The Rockets bust out before their big 14-6 opening season win at Perry County. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Rockets began the Joe Moos coaching era in style, traveling to Perry County and exacting some revenge on the Vikings with a convincing 14-6 opening season win.

"First thing before everything, I would like to thank Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, because the baby, the football, the masters has been a lot," said Moos after the game. "The kids fought hard and you can tell the conditioning has paid off. We had too many mistakes, we fumbled two times in the chin, the defense was not checking the coverage right and there was too much we have to get better at, but we are going to fix those things at practice this week."

The Rocket defense was superb as they stopped the Vikings rushing attack cold, giving up a measly 24 yards on 22 carries for a miniscule 1.1 yards per carry in the ballgame.

Jacob Daughrity (9) and Dakota Zimmerman (6) celebrate after Daughrity snatched the first of his two interceptions in the ballgame in the first quarter.

The Vikings' passing attack did not fare much better versus the senior laden Rockets defense as Dalton Broadway chucked the rock a lot, but mostly of the short variety, completing 20 of 36 passing attempts for 129 yards and two interceptions.

"We did pretty good on defense," said Daughrity. "The coaches helped us a lot, we knew what they were doing all the time, so that helped us. It's all about the team, they rushed the quarterback and he made some bad throws and I was in the right spot at the right time."

But, the biggest factor in the game was the Rockets' superior conditioning, wearing down the Vikings as the game went on with Forrest still moving at a face pace in the fourth quarter, while Perry County began to tire and cramp.

Senior Richie Smith (41) garnered his first 100 yard rushing game of his career as he carried the rock 24 times for 104 yards in the Rockets' 14-6 triumph over the Vikings.

"You can definitely tell from our conditioning and the way we practice and the effort we put in, that it pays off during the game," said Lamb. "It was pretty obvious tonight who the better conditioned team was and that helps, especially on offense when you can go boom-boom-boom and reel several plays off in row."

The score should have been much more lopsided in Forrest's favor were it not for two fumbles inside the Perry County 10-yard line and an 85-yard touchdown hook-up from Brooks Lamb to Jacob Daughrity that was called back on a phantom illegal man downfield penalty.

"The big thing is we won tonight, but still made some mistakes, but it is not mistakes we cannot fix" said Lamb. "It could have been 42-0 tonight, but I take a lot of that on my shoulders."

Daughrity had a huge game, starting with his first of two interceptions in the ballgame when he picked off Perry County quarterback Dalton Broadway to snuff out the Vikings' first offensive series of the ballgame with 8:29 remaining in the first quarter.

Forrest drove the ball after the Daughrity pick, but could not muster any points and turned the ball over on downs at the 3:56 mark of period number one.

Perry County put together a ten-play scoring drive that covered 65 yards, capped off by a C.J. Qualls 1-yard TD run with 24.9 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

The extra point kick was no good, giving Perry County a 6-0 lead.

The Rockets were moving backwards on their next possession before lamb found Daughrity on a middle that went to the house, but lying on the ground was a yellow hanky back near the line scrimmage that squelched the big play.

Forrest would punt the ball away, but the Rockets stopped Perry County on a fourth down play to take over with 8:46 remaining in the first half.

On the first play of the ensuing drive, Lamb was picked off by Taylor King, but the Rockets' defense responded again, snuffing out the Vikings on a fourth down incompletion.

The Rocket offense found some life in the running game as the one-two combination of Richie Smith and Donta Baugh began to grind out some serious yardage, driving all the way to the Perry County three-yard line where Lamb rumbled in for a touchdown on a quarterback keeper.

Andrew Charles drilled the extra point kick and Forrest led 7-6 with 5:22 left in the first half.

Perry County would not answer the Forrest score before the half ended with the Rockets leading by one point.

Forrest took the second half kickoff, but could not score and Perry County took over on a fourth down run stop.

The Vikings were buoyed by the defensive stand and began to drive the ball downfield before Daughrity came up with a huge interception inside the Perry County 10-yard line and returned ten yards to the twenty.

The Rockets faced a third and four at the Perry County 27-yard line when Lamb drew the Vikings offside on a quick cadence.

After two consecutive incomplete passes to Daughrity, a Baugh 11-yard run gave Forrest a first down.

It looked like the drive would stall out at 39-yard line after two run stops by the Vikings, but Lamb went deep down the home sideline to Daughrity, who grabbed the pass and raced in for a 61-yrad touchdown.

The Charles extra point boot was true again and the Rockets led 14-6 with 1:23 remaining in the third quarter.

The Forrest defense were now able to pin their ears back and get after Broadway and on first down, Zack Osborne busted through the Perry County offensive line and sacked Broadway in the backfield.

Broadway ditched the rock and was called for intentional grounding on the play and the drive fizzled out as Perry County was forced to punt as the fourth quarter began.

The Rockets drove the ball deep into Perry County territory and looked like they were about to put the game away, but fumbled at the four-yard line where Weston Bates recovered.

Broadway found Bates on a second down pass to move the chains, but from there Forrest stopped the Vikings on three plays, forcing a punt with just over six minutes remaining in the contest.

Once again Forrest drove the rock deep into Perry County territory, looking for the knock-out blow, but once again they fumbled the ball away inside the ten-yard line, giving Perry County another glimmer of hope with 3:31 remaining in the game.

The Rockets would not give in and there would be no last second miracle that ended the 2011 season close by in Parsons as Forrest manhandled the Perry County offensive line and spent the next couple of minutes chasing Broadway until a fourth down incompletion ended the final Viking drive.

After a couple of victory formation plays by the Rockets, the final horn sounded for the eight-point Rocket win and a happy bus trip back to Chapel Hill for Forrest.

Smith recorded his first-ever one hundred yard game as the senior rushed for 104 yards on 21 carries, while Baugh picked up 77 yards on 11 carries.

Lamb finished the contest with 13 rushing yards on 9 carries and one TD, while throwing eight times and completing two passes that both went to Daughrity for 74 yards.

Forrest travels to Collinwood next week for another non-region ballgame, while the Vikings make the 18-mile trip over to Lewis County.