Rockets rule over foes in Forrest Jamboree

Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Sophomore running back Justin Leonard (19) had a big game for the Forrest JV, who beat the Centennial freshmen squad 21-6. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Rockets put a nice cap on pre-season play Friday night, picking up a pair wins in the Forrest Jamboree.

In the first game, the Forrest junior varsity squad took on Centennial's freshmen team and the Rockets came away with a 21-6 win over the Cougars.

"I didn't get to see the beginning of that game, but from what I saw I was really proud of how physical we were, all the way down to the youngest guy on the team and that is what we are asking," Forrest coach Brent Johns said.

Opening score

Forrest scored on the opening drive of the scrimmage as sophomore running back Justin Leonard banged off a couple of big runs to open the series.

Quarterback Joel Burton threw to Spencer McCown for a nice gain before Bryton Spitzley banged it in the end zone from two yards out. Freshman Dalton Colvin kicked the extra point for Forrest.

Spitzley came up with a big fourth down tackle on the Cougars opening series and the Rockets struck again.

Leonard, Blaize Sweeney and Spitzley teamed up for seven straight runs, capped off by a Leonard two-yard TD scamper, making it 14-0 after another Colvin boot at the 3:55 mark of the first quarter.

Scoring again

Mason Brymer (60), Anton Overstreet (72) and Blaize Sweeney (14) chase the Centennial quarterback in the end zone during the junior varsity game.

The Rocket defense forced a three-and-out and scored again, marching 62 yards on seven running plays.

Sophomore Josh Meglis finished off the drive with a quarterback sneak for the touchdown and Colvin finished his perfect 3-for-3 night with a PAT kick.

The Rockets did not score again and the Cougars busted the goose egg with a late touchdown on their last drive.

Nolensville

The varsity squad took the field against the first-year Nolensville Knights and the Rockets came out on fire, scoring on their first three drives in a 21-0 shutout win.

Nolensville, which sports a freshmen and sophomore roster, will play a JV schedule this season, including an August 22 game at Chapel Hill and a September 12 contest at Preston Hopkins Field in Lewisburg.

A Dylan Pendley third-down tackle spoiled the Knights' opening drive and the Rockets went on the move, driving 70 yards on nine plays for the opening score.

Senior running back Jacob Jones sparked the drive with a couple of big runs and junior Austin Porter finished it off with a short TD run.

Senior standout kicker Javier Rios booted the extra point for the Rockets.

To the end zone

Nolensville managed one first down on its next drive before punting the ball away again at the 4:15 mark of the first quarter.

Freshman Nick McClendon scored on a six-yard run that capped off another long drive by Forrest that included a nice hookup between quarterback Layton Bennett and tight end Spencer Gray.

Rios' PAT kick was good and the Rockets took a 14-0 lead into quarter number two.

McClendon came up huge on defense for Forrest, recovering a Knights' fumble that led to the final scoring drive in the contest.

Sophomore running back Wesley McCoy (13), looking strong and mean after sitting out last season with an injury, takes off for a big run in the second quarter.

McCoy's moment

The Rockets are loaded at the running back position and pushing hard for substantial playing time is sophomore Wesley McCoy, who easily came up with the play of the game on the series after the Nolensville fumble.

On second down and ten yards from the Nolensville 37-yard line, McCoy took a handoff and broke free, rumbling down the home sidelines, leaving a bevy of Knight defenders on the ground before being pulled down by his jersey at the 12.

"We practice that every day in practice, we talk about being physical, not just on the offensive line, but running the ball physical," Johns said. "We have posters in the locker room and preach being physical with the ball in all phases of the ball and I think we did that tonight in both games."

Three plays later, Bennett scooted into the end zone for the touchdown.

William Rorabaugh (24) celebrates as Nick McClendon (6) hands the ball to the referee after recovering a Nolensville fumble in the second quarter in the Rockets' 21-0 win over the Knights at the Forrest jamboree Friday night at Murrey E. Holton Field in Chapel Hill.

Final drives

Nolensville put together a nice drive versus mostly Forrest third-teamers in its next drive, but the Rockets held, stopping the Knights with 2:51 remaining in the game.

A three-and-out by Forrest gave the ball back to the Knights before the game ended on an interception by freshman defense back Cole Villazon.

Forrest entertains longtime rival Huntland in the season opener at Murrey E. Holton Field at 7 p.m. Friday night.

"Our goal coming in was to stay healthy tonight and we did that," Johns said. "We made quick work of them and got the young guys in and we are going in to the Huntland game healthy. We are going to do a lot the next seven days, we are going to squeeze every second we can into it."