Rockets soar over Huntland
The Forrest Rockets took care of business in Franklin County Friday night, soaring over Huntland 42-20 to complete their first back-to-back win of the season and solidify post-season positioning.
Forrest head coach Joe Moos said, "It felt really good to win two games in a row. I was getting nervous for a while, because of the win one and then lose one game. I really feel good about where the team is right now. The kids have worked really hard and have gotten better week after week."
Brooks Lamb tossed first-quarter touchdown passes to Thaddeus Reyes (24 yards) and Jacob Daughrity (45 yards) to get the Rockets' aerial assault in gear before Moos went to the ground, via a bruising effort from senior Richie Smith, who eclipsed the century mark in rushing for the second consecutive week with 142 yards on 10 carries, boosting his season total to 567.
The Rockets gained 234 total yards on the ground in the contest with Lamb running for 36 yards on just three carries, including a 14-yard TD run, and Brandon Beech toted the ball six times for 31 yards and found the end zone from 10 yards out to cap off the Rockets' scoring in the third quarter.
"I am proud of Richie and Beech," said Moos. "Both have really stepped up and have provided great leadership in practice. As Brooks Lamb said today, "I wouldn't want to have to tackle (Richie) that guy full speed."
After a first quarter that ended with the Rockets leading 12-6, Forrest put the game away with three second-quarter touchdowns, jump started by a Brandon Anderson fumble recovery in the Hornets' end zone.
The Rockets added touchdown runs from Lamb and Smith to take a commanding 35-12 lead at the half.
"The defense is starting to play well as a unit and the offense has gotten better each week," said Moos. "It felt good, we have been trying to get that accomplished all year. This was just the first time that the defense and offense both played decent in the first half."
Beech's third-quarter touchdown run made it 42-6 and Moos went to mostly the second units as Huntland scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Forrest is now 5-3 on the season and 3-1 in District 9-A play, tied for second place with Eagleville (4-4, 3-1) and Cascade (6-2, 3-1).
All three trail first place Moore County (8-0, 4-0), who moved up to the second spot in the Class 1A Associated Press Top Ten poll this week, just three points behind top-ranked Gordonsville.
The Rockets' win over the Hornets almost certainly guaranteed Moos and his squad a playoff berth, but the Forrest coach is trying not to look ahead with archrival Cascade looming this week at "The Rock" in Chapel Hill.
Forrest, who plays in the 2A playoff bracket, is now the fourth-ranked team in quadrant three of the TSSAA's playoff matrix, trailing Adamsville (7-1, 6-0), Mt. Pleasant (6-2, 5-0) and Houston County (6-2, 2-2).
"When it comes to the playoff stuff I leave that to all the other people who have time to figure it all out," said Moos. "All we are worried about is getting prepared and ready for a really good Cascade team."
The Rockets have won the last two meetings in the rivalry after previously losing nine out of the last 10, dating back to 2000.
"I am really excited about playing Cascade and I am so glad that those traveling days are over," said Moos. "I really hope that our fans come out in full force and allow us to have a great atmosphere and a great game this Friday night."
Forrest finishes the season at home in Week 11 in another battle royal versus Moore County.