FMS Rockets capture Homecoming win

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
The Middle School Homecoming float circles the field before the game with the court members from left, Taylor Smith, Ashlen Jones, Lythia Ramirez, Laura Ann Mealer and Queen Aiden Boyce. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

After opening the season at 1-1, the FMS Rockets (5-1) have now won four in row, including a big 27-0 shutout win over Eagleville on Homecoming Thursday night at Chapel Hill.

"I am very proud of the guys, we have had two good weeks of practice and they got time to get healed up," FMS coach Corey Searcy said. "I think we are turning the corner, they have worked extremely hard for us the past two weeks."

Coming off a bye week, the Rockets played a clean game, tying the turnover battle 1-1 and had just two penalties for 10 yards.

Hunter Pendley takes off on a touchdown run in the second quarter.

"They have really matured," Searcy said. "I am super impressed with them and they understand what we are going for and they know they can obtain that goal if we just keep working hard."

Forrest also had a balanced offensive attack as Max Kirby threw for 68 yards and a touchdown, while the rushing game totaled 125 yards, led by Joseph Whitaker's 62 yards.

"We just wanted to keep it basic tonight, we know these next two game we have to really focus on getting better in the running game," Searcy said. "Not trying to look ahead, but we know that game at Moore County is going to be big and if we want to get where we want to go we have to have that running game at Moore County."

Christian Hammonds hauls in a first quarter touchdown pass from Max Kirby in the first quarter of the Rockets' shutout win over Eagleville.

On defense, Forrest suffocated the Eagles, allowing 106 total yards.

"We just missed a couple of tackles," Searcy said. "Our linebackers read the wrong keys a couple of times, but after we got them corrected, they came out and made the plays when they had to."

The Rockets won the opening coin toss and took over at the 35-yard line after Eagleville kicked the ball out of bounds.

Forrest ran the ball five consecutive snaps that put them on the Eagleville 20-yard line where Kirby floated a pass that was tipped at the goal line, but Christian Hammonds was there to catch it for the score.

Cason Baker, who made all three of his PAT attempts in the contest, nailed the kick and the Rockets led 7-0 with 5:03 remaining in the first quarter.

The Rockets defense held Eagleville on three straight plays, but fumbled the ensuing punt and the Eagles took over at the FMS 43-yard line.

The Forrest defense pushed them backwards and Eagleville had to punt again, but this time, FMS held on.

Whittaker ran for four yards on first down and Kirby hooked up with Cannon Cervantes on a second down pass to the Eagleville 33-yard line on the last play of the first quarter.

The Rockets kept the ball on the ground six more times, capping off the scoring drive with a Kirby 6-yard scamper for a touchdown, making it 14-0 with 4:22 remaining in the first half.

On Eagleville's next possession, Hunter Pendley forced a fumble on third down and Cervantes recovered at the Eagles' 24-yard line.

Three plays later, Pendley ran it to pay dirt from 23-yards out, making it a 20-0. Forrest attempted a two-point conversion that failed with 2:45 left in the half.

The Rockets took the 20-point lead to halftime and then the defense held the Eagles again, stopping Eagleville on its first drive of the second half on a fourth-down play to take over on downs at the FMS 12-yard line.

Forrest faced a third-and-14 on the ensuing drive, but Whittaker bailed them out with a first down run and the Rockets moved to the Eagleville 19-yard line where John Dippold finished off the scoring drive with a touchdown run. Baker's PAT was true and the Rockets led 27-0 with 4:29 remaining in the game.

Eagleville could not break the shutout and the Rockets prevailed.

FMS has two road games remaining at Liberty this week and at Moore County next Thursday and if they win both games they will most likely play Fayetteville for the Duck River Valley Conference title on October 13.

The Rockets lost 22-18 to Fayetteville on August 18 in a game Searcy believes his squad made some mistakes that have been corrected and FMS would love an opportunity at a rematch with the Tigers.

"That is what we are working towards and that is kind of our war cry every day when we go to the weight room," Searcy said. "We feel like we left a lot of things in that game and we are going to get back there, one way or another."

Eagleville 0 0 0 0-0

Forrest 7 13 0 7-27

Scoring Plays

First Quarter

Forrest-Christian Hammond 20 pass from Max Kirby (Cason Baker PAT), 5:03

Second Quarter

Forrest-Kirby 6 run (Baker PAT), 4:22

Forrest-Pendley 23 run, PAT run no good, 1:46

Fourth Quarter

Forrest-Dippold 19 run, (Baker PAT), 4:29

Total Offense-Forrest 193, Eagleville 106

Passing-Max Kirby 3-4-68-TD

Receiving-Cannon Cervantes 2-48, Christian Hammond 1-20-TD

Rushing-Joseph Whittaker 6-62, Hunter Pendley 6-46-TD, John Dippold 2-25-TD, Justin Gillespie 1-6

Defense

Tackles-Joseph Whittaker 6, James Moats 5, Max Kirby, Cason Warner 4 (sack), Hunter Pendley 3, Cannon Cervantes 1 (sack), John Dippold 1, Cole Geeting 1, Justin Gillespie 1, Noah Hill 1, Jared Osborne 1, Jonah Reid 1, Cole Perryman 1

Kicking

PAT-Cason Baker 3-3

Punt Returns-John Dippold 1-2