Untimely turnovers sink FMS Rockets
The Forrest Middle School Rockets lost at home 30-18 to Liberty Thursday night to fall to 2-4 on the season.
The Rockets played a solid first half, leading 18-14 with less than 30 seconds remaining in the first half, before a coaching blunder led to an untimely turnover that resulted in a Liberty touchdown.
The Patriots scored as time ran out in the half and Forrest would not recover from the miscue as Liberty pitched a defensive shutout in the second half.
The two squads had their initial drives ruined by turnovers as Gavin Adams fell on a Patriot fumble, but the Bedford County squad got the ball right back on a Logan Landers interception with 1:46 remaining in the first quarter.
The Patriots were at the FMS 5-yard line after the pick, but four plays later, Adams busted through the line and sacked Liberty quarterback Will Warner in the end zone for a safety, giving the Rockets a 2-0 lead with 10.2 seconds left in the first quarter.
On the free kick after the safety, FMS's Jeremy Woods returned the ball to the Liberty 39-yard line.
On the next play, Jacob Jones took it to the house and Bryton Spiztley added the 2-point conversion, giving the Rockets a 10-0 lead after one quarter of play.
The Patriots took the kickoff to the FMS 49-yard line and on a third-and-nine situation, Warner tossed a pass to Chris Houston, who broke several tackles before taking the ball into the end zone for a touchdown.
Warner ran in the 2-point conversion, cutting the FMS lead to two points at 10-8.
The Rockets came right back, using six plays to score again as Jones inked his second touchdown run of the ballgame from 27-yards out to give the home squad a 16-8 lead.
Spiztley added the 2-point run, making it 18-8 with .53 seconds left in the first half.
Undaunted, Liberty scored again, just 32 seconds later on a second touchdown hook-up between Warner and Houston, this time from 44-yards out to make it 18-14.
After the ensuing kickoff, FMS had the ball deep in their own territory and lost seven yards on first down.
Incredibly, FMS called timeout and ran another play that resulted in disaster when Houston fell on a Forrest fumble at the Rockets' 10-yard line with 9.8 seconds remaining in the first half.
The Patriots made the Rockets pay for their blunder when Houston scored on an end around as time ran out in the first half.
Houston poured salt on the wound as he also converted the 2-point run, giving Liberty a 22-18 lead and all the momentum.
Forrest had no offense to speak of in the entire second half, but Liberty did, scoring as time ran out in the third quarter on a 40-yard TD run by Warner.
Houston grabbed a pass from Warner on the 2-point conversion try and the Rockets were mired in a 30-18 deficit, entering the final quarter.
FMS could not recover and Liberty managed the clock well to win by the twelve-point margin, moving to 3-2 on the season.
The Rockets travel to Moore County on Thursday before returning home next week for their final regular season game at "The Rock", which will include Homecoming festivities.