McCoy saves the day for Forrest

Friday, September 12, 2014
Wesley McCoy (12) breaks out of the pack and heads to the end zone for a 99-yard punt return that tied the game with 2:12 remaining in the contest. Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

In one of the most well played and exciting games in recent history, the FMS Rockets trailed Eagleville 14-8 with 2:46 remaining in the game before an exhilarating 99-yard punt return for a touchdown by Wesley McCoy secured a 16-14 win over the Eagles at "The Rock" in Chapel Hill Thursday night.

"That's by far one of the best games I've been involved with in any kind of sporting event, it was a great game," said FMS head coach Bart Joyce. "I'm just so proud of the boys, I can't say that enough, they all work so hard. They did it, it was nothing that I did, so I am so proud of them."

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Both squads came into the contest unbeaten in the Duck River Valley Conference and more than likely, they will face off again in the conference title game on October, 9 that will be played in Chapel Hill if the Rockets win their last two game versus Moore County and Middle Tennessee Christian School.

The FMS Rockets run out before their game versus Eagleville Thursday night. Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

"I would love to see these two teams in the finals, but we still got two games left, so we still have to work hard and get after it, but I would love to see these two teams in the championship," said Joyce.

The contest was a bruising affair, played down and dirty in the trenches by both sides for the most part, except for a pretty solid passing game by the Eagles that gave Forrest fits at times.

"I was really nervous, any time you get a big passing team anything can happen and a big play can happen at any time and we handled it and that was the key," said Joyce. "It ended up being three yards grinding, three yards grinding, three yards grinding."

Early sputters

Eagleville's first two drives ended on an over on downs and a punt, while the Rockets fumbled away a scoring opportunity on their first drive inside the Eagleville 20-yard line and their second drive that ended the first quarter, was stopped on a fourth down sack by Eagleville's Chandler Bergh.

After the Bergh sack, Eagleville went to work on offense, mixing the run and pass in a drive that went all the way to FMS 15-yard line where they tried a field goal that was blocked, but scooped up by Eagleville quarterback Ethan Cobb, who rumbled to the Forrest 3-yard line.

Two plays later, Cobb scored on a quarterback sneak and also added the two-point conversion run, giving the visitors an 8-0 lead with 2:12 left in the first half.

Rockets' first score

The Rockets got the ball at their own 42-yard line after a fair catch by Spence Oliver on the kickoff and efficiently marched down the field, aided by a couple of off sides calls on Eagleville.

FMS was on the 22-yard line, facing the last play of the first half when Nick McClendon took a pitch from quarterback Josh Meglis and dashed right, making it to the corner and into the end zone for a touchdown as the halftime buzzer sounded.

McCoy busted in for the two-point conversion, tying the game at 8-8 after the first 16 minutes of action.

Billy Perryman (52) lassos Eagleville running back Josh Stout (1), who gave the Rockets fits all night in their 16-14 win over the Eagles. Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

The Rockets turned the ball over on downs to begin the second half and then the two squads traded punts on the next two possessions.

Eagles go ahead

McCoy punted the ball to the Eagleville 26-yard line and after a first down incompletion, Josh Stout took it to the house for a touchdown, but the two-point conversion pass was incomplete, making it a 14-8 contest with 42 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Nick McClendon (26), who led the Rockets in rushing with 108 yards, heads to the end zone for the game winning two-point conversion versus Eagleville Thursday night at "The Rock" in Chapel Hill. Photo by chapelhillbill.com

The Eagleville defense stymied the Rockets, who were forced to punt with 5:37 left in the game and a defensive stop was a must for FMS, who had to get the ball back for a chance to tie or win.

Eagleville burned the clock to the 2:42 mark of the fourth quarter before an unsportsmanlike call on the sidelines spoiled their chance of continuing the drive and running out the clock.

The big play

The Eagles punted the ball away and it sailed over McCoy's head down to the one-yard line where he picked it up and went into the end zone before coming out, shifting left and juking right and amazingly the eighth-grader emerged from the gaggle of players and raced down the home sidelines 99-yards for the touchdown as the massive throng of fans went crazy.

Forrest head coach Bart Joyce got a perfect 30th birthday present with the big win over Eagleville and he also got the pie in the face after the game. Photo by chapelhillbill.com

"What can you say about McCoy, that was a great athletic play and he got some big blocking downfield and made that big play happen," said Joyce.

The score tied the game and McClendon unknotted it when he darted into the end zone for the two-point conversion run, making a 16-14 contest with 2:13 remaining on the game clock.

...And it's over

Everyone in the house knew what was coming as the Eagles went to the passing game and they had the ball deep in Forrest territory after a nice hookup, but the play was called back on a holding penalty, setting up a fourth down and 14 from the 44-yard line.

Cobb's desperation pass fell incomplete and the Rockets went in to victory formation to secure the hard fought win.

McClendon led the Rockets in the ground attack, rushing for 108 yards on 13 carries, while McCoy added 50 yards on 13 touches and Blaze Sweeney toted the rock six times for six yards.

FMS has a bye next before they host the Moore County Raiders on September 25.