Rockets look solid in Jamboree action

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Nick McClendon gets ready to run over a Giles County defender on his way to a touchdown.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

After a washout on Friday, the Forrest Rockets hosted Giles County and RePublic in three quarters of Jamboree action on Saturday night at Murrey. E. Holton Field in Chapel Hill.

The Rockets’ varsity came up with a close win over 3A perennial playoff powerhouse Giles County in the first quarter and Chapel Hill came back in the third quarter to defeat the Nashville based RePublic Trail Blazers.

“The challenge to the team tonight was to come out and be physical early, we got out-physicaled at Trousdale County and that doesn’t happen to us a lot,” Forrest coach Brent Johns said. “The last two Friday nights the team has come out and earned that physical respect back.”

Cade McCown (9) runs for a touchdown after catching a long pass from quarterback Layton Bennett versus Giles County.

Cade McCown, Nick McClendon and Layton Bennett all scored touchdowns versus Giles County and Blaize Sweeney pounded in the rock versus RePublic.

The Rockets played primarily the varsity squad versus Giles County and the group looked like they were ready for the season opener this Friday night versus BGA at Chapel Hill.

“We feel like they (Giles County) are in the hunt in 3A, especially with that coaching staff that has won a state championship before,” Johns said. “That quarterback coming back (John Bachus) has been picked as one of the top quarterbacks in the Mid-State and I think we did a really good job against him.”

Parker Stuard (22) and Dylan Pendley (4) meet to crush a Giles County receiver.

In the scrimmage versus RePublic, the majority of the junior varsity mixed with some starters held the Trail Blazers in check for most of the quarter and Johns liked what he saw from the younger members of the Forrest squad.

“Our theme of this Thursday’s practice was grow up,” Johns said. We made some of our younger lineman go against Josh "Tank" Hill, Dylan Kydd, and Billy Perryman and some of those older lineman one-on-one.”

“That was the best thing that could have happened to us, going to Trousdale County and have that happen to us. If we would have played a lesser opponent that night and had a blowout win we would not have improved as much as we have in the last two weeks.”

Blaize Sweeney pounds his way into the end zone for a touchdown versus RePublic.

Forrest posted an 11-2 mark last season and was undefeated at home in the regular season.

BGA has won six state titles, but went 8-4 and lost in the DII-A playoffs quarterfinal to the University School of Jackson last season.

“I can’t emphasize enough how good this BGA team is,” Johns said. “I don’t know of a team that has ever come in here that is as good at the skilled positions as this BGA team that is coming in here Friday night. We are going to have to play our smash mouth physical game and keep the ball away from them and give ourselves a chance in the end.”