Rockets handle Champs with ease
There was no Homecoming distractions on the Murrey E. Holton Memorial Field Friday night as the Forrest Rockets came out strong and piled it on the Cascade Champions 43-7.
"It always feels good to get a Homecoming win," Forrest coach Brent Johns said. "Two years in a row with an easy win like this, going into the second half knowing you have got it won is a good feeling."
The fifth-ranked Rockets moved to 6-0 on the season with their third win in a row and six out of the last seven over the Wartrace squad.
Forrest piled up 340 yards of offense, while the Rockets defense held Cascade to a measly 132 yards.
"That's the type of football we like to play," senior Slayton Wild said. "We play physical, we play fast, we drive it down your throat and try to intimate you and I think that's what we did tonight."
Layton Bennett and Josh Meglis both tossed touchdown passes in the contest and Scrappy Osborne led the rushing attack with 82 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown.
Senior Anthony Kritz had two catches in the game, one on a touchdown pass from Bennett and another on a huge first quarter interception inside the Forrest 10-yard line.
The Rockets won the toss and got great field position when Wild returned the opening kickoff 75 yards.
Forrest pounded the ball with Wild, who eventually scored on a one-yard run before Kritz' pick ended Cascade's first series and seemed to take any momentum away from the Champions the rest of the night.
Ready to play
"He (Wild) had that big kick return, so I called a couple of plays to give it right back to him because I felt he was pumped up and ready to go," Johns said.
Both squads traded punts before Kritz caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Bennett that was set up by a huge 51-yard punt return by Jacob Jones.
The Forrest defense stymied the Champs once again, forcing another punt and the Rockets drove the rock to the Cascade eight-yard line as the first quarter ended with Chapel Hill in front 14-0.
Two plays into the second period, Wesley McCoy pounded the pigskin into the end zone from three yards out and Javier Rios booted the extra point, making it 21-zip.
Cascade proceeded to turn the ball over on downs its next series and the Rockets capitalized again, this time on a Wild four-yard touchdown run after Forrest converted a fourth down play via a Bennett 31-yard strike to Luke Cunningham.
Cascade's lone score of the game came on the ensuing series when Colby Melson tossed an 83-yard TD pass to Seth Gardner with 6:05 remaining in the first half.
The Rockets needed just two plays to put the game on ice as Scrappy Osborne outran the entire Cascade defense on a 68-yard touchdown jaunt, making it 34-7.
The Champions went nowhere on the Forrest defense and the Rockets took over at the Cascade 29-yard line after a punt.
Flying to ball
"We were flying around to the ball like we do every game," said senior Michael Dyer. "It's great to win any game, but it's really great to win Homecoming."
Forrest would score again, this time set up on a big run by Parker Stuard before Kagan Warren hauled in a 10-yard pass reception from Josh Meglis, giving the Rockets a comfortable 41-7 halftime lead.
Junior offensive and defensive lineman Josh "Tank" Hill said, "Our mentality was to hit them in the mouth and not let up on them. We kept pounding them and they laid down on us after the first quarter, so it was just a big Homecoming win for us."
Cascade fumbled and McCoy recovered the ball on the first series of the second half that only saw one more score that came on a Cascade safety via a punt snap out of the end zone early in the fourth quarter that invoked the 35-point mercy rule and a running clock the rest of the game.
"I'm very proud, very proud, they do anything we ask them to do and they do it with a great attitude," Johns said. "It's been an amazing week here, this town and this community is amazing during Homecoming week and I don't think you can have a better atmosphere for a 2A football game."
The Rockets host third-ranked Watertown in a battle of the unbeaten Friday in a game that will more than likely decide, just like last season, the region title.
"I would be lying if I told you we weren't peaking ahead a little bit," Johns said. "This is the game we have been looking for a long time and it will all play out next Friday."
Forrest beat the Purple Tigers 30-20 last season on the road and won out to claim its first region title in 29 years.
Cascade 0 7 0 0-7
Forrest 14 27 0 2-43
Forrest-Slayton Wild 1 run 11:15 (Javier Rios kick) 11:15
Forrest-Anthony Kritz 29 pass from Layton Bennett (Rios kick) 3:12
Forrest-Wesley McCoy 3 run (Rios kick) 11:48
Forrest-Wild 4 run (Kick failed) 7:07
Cascade-Seth Gardner 83 pass from Colby Melson (Chay Chumley kick) 6:05
Forrest-Scrappy Osborne 68 run (Rios kick) 5:30
Forrest-Kagan Warren 10 pass from Josh Meglis (Rios kick) 3:23
Forrest-Snap out of end zone for safety 11:22
Total Offense-Forrest 340, Cascade 132
Rushing-Forrest 221, Cascade 36
Passing-Forrest 119, Cascade 96
First Downs-Forrest 14, Cascade 5
Turnovers-Cascade 3, Forrest 0
Penalties-Forrest 3-40, Cascade 4-22
Passing-Layton Bennett 1-2-29-TD, Josh Meglis 4-5-90-TD
Receiving-William Rorabaugh 1-42, Luke Cunningham 1-31, Anthony Kritz 1-29-TD, Kagan Warren 1-10-TD, Scrappy Osborne 1-7
Rushing-Scrappy Osborne 11-82-TD, Nick McClendon 7-58, Slayton Wild 5-31-2TD, Parker Stuard 1-27, Jacob Jones 2-15, Austin Porter 2-12, Dylan Pendley 2-5, Joel Burton 2-4, Wes McCoy 2-3-TD, Gavin Adams 2-2, Blaize Sweeney 1-1, Cole Villazon 2-(-2), Josh Meglis 2-(-5), Layton Bennett 1-(-6), Troy Turner 2-(-6)
Tackles- Billy Clanton 6, Jacob Jones 5, Jonathan Lykins 5, Garrett Nevison 4, Parker Stuard 4, Austin Porter 3, Luke Cunningham 2, Josh Hill 2, Dowlen Hosford 2 (sack), Austin Porter 2, Wes McCoy 2 Gauge Anderson 1, Austin Geeting 1, Sean Higgins 1, Alex Patmore 1, Bryton Spitzley 2, Slayton Wild 2, Javier Rios 1, Nathan Trout 1, Cole Villazon 1 (INT), Gavin Adams .5 (sack), Anthony Kritz (INT)
PAT-Javier Rios 5-6
Punting-Jacob Jones 2-41