Rocket 'D' stops Raiders

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Clay Watson (5), Garrett Nevison (28) and Jesse Pruitt (32) chase a loose football, coughed up on a Moore County fumbled punt in the fourth quarter. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

Forrest extends shutout streak vs. Moore Co. to three years

The tables have turned for Forrest in its long-standing rivalry with Moore County.

After decades of dominance by Moore County, Forrest has beaten the Raiders three straight years, all in blowout fashion, totaling 86-0.

"This is still a rivalry, it's always been Lynchburg and Chapel Hill and it always will be," Forrest all-state lineman Boone Sweeney said.

The latest came Friday night in Lynchburg as the Rockets came away with a 22-0 win behind another stellar ground game.

Racking up yards

"That's (Moore County) a good ballclub. They're very physical on defense and I think they'll win a lot of games this year," Forrest coach Matt Kriesky said. "We just preached to the kids about not having a good night, but at the end of the day it was a 22-0 win."

Eleven players rushed the football as Forrest put up 235 yards on 54 carries with Scrappy Osborne leading the way with 83 yards on 15 carries.

"On the offensive line we found some things we have to work on for sure, but we got the job done." Sweeney said.

The Rockets also won the turnover battle for the second week in a row, recovering two Moore County fumbles that led to 14 points.

Forrest's only turnover came on a great athletic play by Moore County's Brandon Scott, who picked off a halfback option pass thrown by Jake Elkins.

Dominating 'D'

On defense, Forrest dominated the Raiders, allowing just 31 yards of offense. Moore County didn't cross midfield until late in the third quarter.

"We've been doing really good on defense, stopping the run and stopping the pass, but especially stopping the running game," Forrest linebacker Clay Watson said.

Kriesky was not so impressed saying, "We were able to sneak out of here with one. We didn't play well offensively and I think we played well defensively at times. I don't think we were mentally prepared and that falls on my shoulders. I didn't have these guys up and ready to play after that big win at Huntland."

Line does job

Jake Elkins scored the first touchdown for the Rockets, who beat Moore County 22-0 Friday night in Lynchburg.

The Rockets scored first, marching 51 yards on an eight-play drive that was capped by an 8-yard touchdown run by Elkins before Javier Rios' successful extra point boot made it 7-0 with 2:03 remaining in the first quarter.

"We trust this line we're running behind," Elkins said. "These guys have been playing and starting a long time. If I just trust them and run behind their blocks, I'm guaranteed at least five yards a carry."

Rios' ensuing kickoff flew into the end zone for a touchback, putting Moore County in a hole they would not dig out of as they had to punt the ball away on the first play of the second quarter.

The Rockets held the ball for more than seven minutes, but failed to score, turning the ball over on downs inside Moore County 10-yard line.

Joseph Williams (6) hurdles one of his four Forrest blockers during a 37-yard punt return in the second quarter that set up a touchdown.

The Forrest defense held firm, stopping the Raiders on three plays to force a punt that was returned 37 yards by Joseph Williams to the Moore County 8.

Wall of power

On a fourth-and-goal play from the 2, Forrest quarterback David Andrews followed a wall of blockers into the end zone and Rios added the extra point, making it 14-0 with 1:16 to play in the half.

Kota Hartley (15) closes in on a sack of Moore County quarterback Stone Frost (4).

A short kickoff return put the Raiders on their own 28-yard line where they fumbled the ball back to Forrest on first down.

The Rockets failed to capitalize, bypassing a short field goal attempt by Rios with 12 seconds left for a fourth-down pass that was incomplete.

There was no scoring in the third quarter that was highlighted by good defense by both squads and the stout play continued into the fourth quarter.

Forrest punter Jacob Jones had a huge night for the Rockets, pinning Moore County several times.

Forrest flipped the field on the Raiders when Jacob Jones pinned them at their 4-yard line with a 47-yard punt. An exchange of punts led to the final points of the night when Spencer Reese fumbled Jones' punt at the Moore 14 with the Rockets recovering.

Great grab

"Our special teams gave us a good edge tonight and our defense playing lights out ... won the game," Sweeney said.

Three plays later, Williams scooted to the end zone from two yards and a fumbled extra point try was picked up by Payton Sisk, who beat the Raiders to the pylon for the two-point conversion, making it 22-0 with 4:51 left in the game.

Forrest (2-0), who moved up three spots to No. 6 in the AP Poll, plays its first home game of the season Firday when Westmoreland visits at 7 p.m. in a Region 4-A contest.

"It's going to be great to be finally playing in front of the home crowd and we need that place packed. Westmoreland is picked to win the district, they are the favorite, we're the underdogs Friday and we need our fans out there to support us," the coach said. "It's going to be a great game and a great atmosphere."

Forrest 7 7 0 8 -- 22

Moore Co. 0 0 0 0-0

First quarter

F--Jake Elkins 9 run (Javier Rios kick), 2:03.

Second quarter

F--David Andrews 2 run (Rios kick), 1:16.

Fourth quarter

F--Joseph Williams 2 run (Payton Sisk run), 4:51.

Rushing: Forrest, Scrappy Osborne 15-83; Slayton Wild 5-38; Clay Watson 4-29; Joseph Williams 9-29; Jake Elkins 5-21; Jesse Pruitt 5-16; Dylan Pendley 1-15; Jacob Jones 3-9, Payton Sisk 1-3; Troy Turner 1-(-1); David Andrews 4-(-7).

Passing: Andrews 1-3-0 22; Elkins 1-0-1.

Receiving: Michael Dyer 1-22.

Sacks: Kota Hartley 1; Boone Sweeney 1.

Tackles: Pruitt 8; Elkins 6; Sweeney 4; Watson 4; Billy Clanton 3; Jones 3; Tanner Kerr 3; Austin Welty 3;