Rockets start slow, finish strong in 2nd scrimmage

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Clay Watson (38) breaks to outside and into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown versus Spring Hill Friday night in Chapel Hill. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

After an impressive first scrimmage at Richland last week, the Forrest Rockets took the home gridiron at "The Rock" on Friday and after a slow start put them in an early deficit, Forrest outscored Spring Hill's first team 20-0 the rest of the way.

To be honest with you, I'm a little disappointed, I thought all summer we were working hard and developing a physical mentality, but give Spring Hill credit, they smashed us in the mouth the first couple series," said Forrest first-year head coach Matt Kriesky. "Our whole off-season, we talked about starting fast and being furious and we didn't do that tonight. We waited two or three series before we decided to play and then we were all right, but we can't do that against Lauderdale County, Cascade, or Moore County because if we do, it will be a long season."

Freshman action

In the freshman portion of the scrimmage, Spring Hill got the better of the Forrest frosh via a potent ground game.

The Rocket defense forced Spring Hill into a three-and-out on their first offensive series and after a pair of nice runs by Zach McClendon and Chance Hargrove on the Rockets' first two touches, the offense faded and the Raiders took over on downs.

Spring Hill took over and went on a long 13-play drive, mixing the pass and the run to overtake the Forrest defense, scoring on a 15-yard touchdown scamper by Nakedron Oden.

Forrest coach Matt Kriesky was not happy with his squad's defensive effort and Rockets' first-year coach was fuming when the Rockets turned the ball over on the second play of the ensuing offensive series.

Important hit

Anthony Kritz (18), delivers a big hit on a Spring Hill receiver.

This time the Forrest defense came up big, holding Spring Hill in check as Anthony Kritz came up with a big hit on first down and on a fourth down pass play, Austin Harmon knocked the ball away and the Rockets took over.

McClendon ran twice for eight yards and Rocket quarterback Jacob Jones busted loose for the first down before Forrest went to the air on the next play when Jones found Tanner Roberson, who made a nice concentration catch and after the securing the pigskin, Roberson cut up field for a long touchdown.

Javier Rios added the extra point for the Rockets, tying the game a 7-7.

Two more scores

A long touchdown run was called back on a holding call, ruining the Raiders' next offensive series, setting up a bruising 10-play drive by Forrest that featured all running plays with the go-ahead scored provided by Clay Watson when he went into the Spring Hill end zone untouched via an eight-yard reverse call.

Quarterback Jacob Jones (21) had a big night behind center for the Rockets, throwing for a score, and the sophomore standout also had a 36-yard interception return that put the Rockets up 20-7.

Rios' kick was no good and the Raiders took, but not for long as Jones picked off a Spring Hill pass and raced down the home sidelines for a score and Rios converted the PAT, giving Forrest a 20-7 lead.

Boone Sweeny laid out a Spring Hill player on third down of the next offensive series for the Raiders and a fourth down pass fell incomplete as the Rockets took over again.

Forrest went three and out after the stop and had to punt, but two plays later the main portion of the scrimmage ended when Landen Jones picked off a Spring Hill pass.

Forrest senior defensive end Logan Hollingsworth (2) comes in for the sack on the Spring Hill quarterback Friday night at "The Rock" in Chapel Hill.

"We have a good senior class, but for some reason they like to lead by example and not be vocal and I wish we could have a senior step up and be a vocal leader because I feel this team can have some strong promise this year, but if continue to lay back, it could be a long season," said Kriesky. "We are going to come back to work on Monday and get back to the basics of blocking and tackling and being physical. We are going to get better, I promise you next Friday at the Jamboree, you will see a better performance."

Jamboree and more

Football activities swing in to high gear this week as FMS entertains Community on Thursday before the Rockets return back to action for Friday night's Jamboree when they host Riverdale's 9th grade, Huntland, and Fayetteville City.

Forrest Jamboree Schedule:

Riverdale vs Forrest JV 6 p.m. 2 quarters

Forrest vs Huntland 7 p.m. 1 quarter

Huntland vs Fayetteville 7:30 p.m. 1 quarter

Fayetteville vs Forrest 8 p.m. 1 quarter

On Saturday, the Chapel Hill Touchdown Association will sponsor the Rocket Rally Run, an open 5k event that begins at 9 a.m. with registration taking place at 8 a.m. at Lions Field (old Forrest football field).

On Friday Aug. 22 Forrest opens the 2014 season when the travel to Lauderdale County High School in Rogersville, Alabama in the first ever meeting between the Rockets and the Tigers.

She'll be missed

A sad to note to pass along: Amy Sweeney Jones, one of the Rockets' most enthusiastic and biggest supporters passed away on Saturday. Prayers go out to the Jones family, the Forrest Football family, and everyone in Chapel Hill, who will truly miss Amy's presence in the upcoming season.