Rockets destroy Vikings

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Photos by Anthony S. Puca The Forrest Homecoming court from left is, Joseph Williams, freshman attendant Emma Strasser, Austin Welty, Tristan Sawyer, junior attendant Tamia Northcutt, Nik McGuiggan, Boone Sweeney, Queen Shelby Eden, David Andrews, Jake Elkins, Jesse Pruitt, senior attendant Star Rogers, Neyland Darnell, Clay Watson, sophomore attendant Ash Kline and Payton Sisk.

In one of the most dominating performances in school history, Forrest annihilated Community 62-8 Friday night at Murrey E. Holton Field, putting a perfect end to a Homecoming week celebration in Chapel Hill.

"I'm proud of the guys. It's a good win for us after last week, getting that bad taste out of our mouth," Forrest coach Matt Kriesky said. "Now our focus has to turn to Cascade for another big region game and we have to be ready to play next Friday night."

Running at will

The Rockets (4-1, 2-0) outgained Community 391 to 161 in total offense, scoring six rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns.

"This is big," said junior Slayton Wild. "We dominated them offensively, defensively and on special teams, so tonight we got the job done and it's really special to beat Community like this for our seniors on Homecoming."

The two pass receptions for scores were the Rockets' first two of the season with senior quarterback David Andrews tossing a 26-yard strike to Payton Sisk. The second TD pass came on a 22-yard toss from Jake Elkins to Michael Dyer off a halfback option play that completely caught Community off guard.

"It was wide open. I just put it up there and let him go up for it," Elkins said. "You have to try to keep a straight face and keep your eyes moving."

Jake Elkins dives into the end zone for the Rockets' first touchdown in their 62-8 rout of Community Friday night at Chapel Hill.

Six run for TDs

Elkins, Jacob Jones, Wild, Joseph Williams, Austin Porter and Troy Turner all had one rushing touchdown in the game for the Rockets, who rushed for 322 yards.

Forrest also won the all-important turnover battle 5-0 and in the process, shutdown Community standout Darian Pride, holding the Vikings all-purpose player to just 28 yards, including an eye popping minus-11 yards rushing.

"I feel like we did a great job there," Kriesky said. "(Anthony) Kritz made a big play on him right before the first half ended that I thought was really good and we got him frustrated like we wanted to do."

The Forrest defense forced two three-and-outs and stopped another Community drive on a Billy Clanton fumble recovery.

Grabbing passes

Kritz had a fourth-quarter interception and Austin Welty picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown as time expired in the first half to cap the Rockets record-setting 42-point second quarter.

"That was crazy. I don't even know what to say," Welty said. "Our defense is big every game and that's how we're going to make it. That's how we're going to get to our goal of being district champs and go from there."

Community recovered an on-side kick to begin the game, but four plays later, the Vikings gave it up on downs.

The Rockets scored their first touchdown with 3:35 remaining in the first quarter, driving 72 yards in 10 plays. Elkins capped the march with a 4-yard scoring run on fourth down.

Slow start, then...

"I thought we started a little slow," Kriesky said "I guess that was from all of the Homecoming stuff going on all day ... they finally woke up."

Michael Dyer (82) hauls in a TD reception on a halfback option pass from Jake Elkins, putting Forrest up 42-0.

The second quarter was historic for the Rockets as they rolled to a 49-0 cushion at the half.

The clock ran non-stop per the TSSAA 35-point mercy rule in the second half as Forrest went to its reserves, who managed to score twice in the third quarter via TD runs from Porter and Turner.

Community finally broke the shutout with 9:39 remaining when backup quarterback Tyler Hutchinson found Daniel Murrill on a 49-yard scoring pass.

Wyatt Sobiek added the two-point conversion run for the Vikings (2-2, 1-2), who host Lewis County (2-3, 0-2), East Robertson (0-4, 0-2) and Cascade (1-4, 0-2) in the next three games, respectively.

Payton Sisk celebrates his second quarter touchdown reception with the Forrest student section.

Hitting the highway

For the Rockets, it's on the road the next three games as they begin with a trip to Cascade next week before a pair of long bus rides to Watertown (4-1, 2-0) and East Robertson.

"We're going to have to be road warriors the next three weeks, then we'll have a little break," Kriesky said. "It'll be a huge test for us to see how we handle these three road trips."

Added Elkins: "Three weeks, all away games, so we have to work hard and keep our mentality. You just to keep your mind right, stay focused, work hard in the weight room and listen to the coaches."

The Forrest defense swarmed Community standout Darian Pride (1), holding him to just 28 yards of total offense, including -11 yards in rushing.

Forrest will have a bye following the East Robertson game and will finish the season at home, beginning with Eagleville (3-2, 2-0) on Oct. 23 before closing against Jackson County (2-3, 0-2).

"We're just trying to take care of ourselves and get better each week, that's our goal," the coach said. "Like I've said before, we're hoping to be looking good by week nine and 10, and then we can start thinking about the playoffs."

Community 0 0 0 8 -- 8

Forrest 7 42 13 0 -- 62

First Period

F -- Jake Elkins 4 run (Javier Rios kick), 3:35.

Second Period

F -- Jacob Jones 3 run (Rios kick), 10:56.

F -- Slayton Wild 5 run (Rios kick), 6:39.

F- Payton Sisk 26 pass from David Andrews (Rios kick), 5:04.

F -- Joseph Williams 5 run (Rios kick), 1:18.

F -- Michael Dyer 22 pass from Elkins (Rios kick), 1:03.

F -- Austin Welty 43 interception return (Rios kick), 0.00.

Third Period

F -- Austin Porter 6 run (Rios kick), 6:59.

F -- Troy Turner 10 run (kick failed), 0:23.

Fourth Period

C -- Daniel Murrill 49 pass from Tyler Hutchinson (Wyatt Sobiek run), 9:39.

Total Yards: Forrest 391, Community 161.

Rushing: Forrest 322, Community 24.

Passing: Forrest 69, Community 127.

Turnovers: Community 5, Forrest 0.

Interception by: Forrest; Anthony Kritz, Austin Welty.

Fumble recoveries: Forrest; Billy Clanton.

Rushing

Forrest: Troy Turner 6-88-1; Jake Elkins 8-69-1; Slayton Wild 8-54-1; Joseph Williams 8-36-1; Jacob Jones 4-28-1, Jesse Pruitt 2-26, Bryton Spitzley 1-7, Austin Porter 1-6-1, Josh Meglis 1-4; Scrappy Osborne 2-4; Clay Watson 1-0.

Passing

Forrest: David Andrews 2-5-47-TD; Jake Elkins 1-1-22-TD.

Receiving

Forrest: Payton Sisk 1-26-TD; Michael Dyer 1-22-TD; Billy Clanton 1-16.

Tackles

Forrest: Anthony Kritz 6; Billy Clanton 5; Tanner Kerr 3; Slayton Wild 3 (sack); Bryton Spitzley 3; Michael Dyer 2; Kota Hartley 2; Zach Russell 2 (sack); Payton Sisk 2; Clay Watson 2; Dylan Pendley 2.