Undefeated FMS edges Cougars
Posting an undefeated regular season is tough, you need some luck along the way and a lot of determination and the FMS Rockets showed their true grit Tuesday night in Murfreesboro as the winless Cougars gave Forrest all they could handle before the Rockets prevailed 22-20.
"That is a well-coached team and their guys fought hard and gave us a ballgame," said FMS head coach Bart Joyce. "On any given night, any team can beat anybody, but our boys fought strong too. We held up an extra point here at the one inch line when our whole defense stood the kid up and got the kid on the ground and that turned the whole game around."
One more challenge
FMS (8-0) will try for their first overall undefeated record since 2005 when they host Community in the Duck River Valley Conference championship game Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at The Murrey E. Holton Memorial Field in Chapel Hill.
"We are 8-0 and I am proud of it, the boys, they did it," said Joyce. "They have been working hard since lifting weights in the spring and all summer, but we have one more game and I'm confident they will continue to work hard and we will continue to get them ready in practice and see what we can come with next Thursday versus Community."
At first it looked like a runaway for the Rockets as Wesley McCoy scored the first two times he touched the ball for Forrest.
After the Rockets stopped the Cougars on the first drive of the contest, forcing a punt, McCoy took it to the house from 63 yards out on FMS's first play from scrimmage.
Justin Leonard ran in the two-point conversion for Forrest, who stopped the Cougars' offense again, thanks to a big third-down sack by Billy Perryman.
After the MTCS punt put the Rockets in a hole at their own 18-yard line, McCoy blasted out of the backfield and all the way to the Cougars' end zone, making it a 14-0 contest with 2:07 remaining in the first quarter.
MTCS covered the ensuing kickoff at their own 42-yard line and struck right back when Austin Blaine ran for a touchdown and Braden Smith added the two-point conversion, making it a 14-8 ballgame.
The Cougars would stop the Rockets from scoring on their next possession, taking over on downs in FMS territory at the 48-yard line.
Facing a fourth down and two at the Forrest 24-yard line, the Cougars tricked the Rockets on a halfback pass by Evan Alford to Mason Edmondson for a touchdown.
The PAT run was squelched by the Rockets as the game was tied at 14-14 with 2:42 remaining in the first half.
Forrest put together a drive to try to score again before halftime and came as close as they could get when McCoy was stopped on a big run at the one-yard line as time expired.
The Rockets took the second half kickoff and started churning again, going on a six play, 54-yard drive that was capped off by an Evan Ethridge 13-yard touchdown run.
McCoy busted in for the two-point conversion, giving the Rockets a 22-14 lead with 4:27 left in the third quarter.
MTCS went three-and-out after the Forrest score, but got the ball back when they stymied the Rockets' offense, taking over on downs with 5:51 remaining in the contest.
The inspired Cougars marched 60 yards down the field, putting the ball into the FMS end zone on an Alford nine-yard TD run, making it 22-20.
With both teams' crowd going crazy, Kody Patin and a host of Rockets stopped the two-point conversion run attempt by MTCS quarterback Jax Green at the one-inch line, keeping the slim FMS lead at two-points.
Forrest went in to the clock burning mode, running eight plays before giving the ball back to the Cougars with just 11 seconds left in the game.
Jax threw an incomplete pass on first down before Ethridge sacked the MTCS signal caller to end the game, securing the win to give the Rockets the undefeated regular season triumph.
They'll be ready
"I have no doubt in my mind that the boys will be ready for next week, said Joyce. "These boys have rebounded before and I know they can do it again."
McCoy led the Forrest offense, carrying the ball 18 times for 248 yards and two touchdowns.
Ethridge, playing his first game in almost a month, picked up 51 yards on nine carries and scored once.
Ethridge also caught one pass from FMS quarterback Josh Meglis for 13 yards.
Leonard had a nice game, filling in for an ill Nick McClendon, rushing for 21 yards on seven carries and Leonard also caught one Meglis toss for 21 yards.
Spencer McCown picked up seven yards on two touches for Forrest, who get a much needed nine-day rest before taking on the Vikings in the DRVC title tilt.
"We have 10 days to rest up and get better," said Joyce. "McClendon was out sick and that hurts us, but Gauge Anderson stepped and did a great job at the linebacker position. Carter Housch went down there and Jacob Wright went down with his elbow injury, but we have got some time here to recuperate and get back in this and we will back going next week."