FMS Rockets crush Cascade with first-half effort

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Cason Warner (4) runs for a 44-yard touchdown that was sprung on the crack back block by Micah McClendon (11).
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

After a disappointing 28-6 loss at Fayetteville on August 17, the FMS Rockets (2-1) posted the identical score the other way versus Cascade on Thursday night in Chapel Hill.

“Last week we felt like we left a lot down there in Fayetteville, we didn’t play up to our potential and made a lot of mistakes,” FMS coach Corey Searcy said. “We are getting better one game at a time and that is the goal for us.”

The Rockets struck early and struck often in the first half, scoring a pair of touchdowns in each of the first two quarters to put the Champions in a hole they would never dig out of.

“Our motto is to run the ball, pound it and come back with play-action,” Searcy said. “We were really physical this week in practice and we felt like we had to get that physical presence back and we did.”

Tayton Swift (2) runs in the first of his two touchdowns in the FMS Rockets’ 28-6 win over Cascade Thursday night at Murrey E. Holton Field in Chapel Hill.

FMS was on the receiving end of the opening kickoff and started at their own 42-yard line where they put together a seven play drive that culminated with a 31-yard Tayton Swift touchdown run.

Cason Warner punched in the 2-point conversion and the Rockets led 8-0 with 5:21 remaining in the first quarter.

Forrest held the Champions and forced a punt where the snap flew way over the punters head and was recovered by the Rockets at the Cascade 35-yard line.

Warner busted a 27-yard run on first down to the Champions’ 11-yard line and Swift ran it in from there on the next snap, making it 14-0.

The Rockets forced Cascade into a third consecutive punt that was shanked out of bounds at the FMS 44-yard line and on the next snap, Warner took it to the house behind a sea of Rocket blockers, finished off by a Micah McClendon block that sprung Warner to the end zone.

The ensuing PAT run failed, but FMS still had a nice 20-0 lead with seven minutes remaining in the first half.

Cascade put together its best drive after the FMS score, driving the ball all the way to Rockets’ 33-yard line where a fourth down pass came up short of the first down marker, giving the ball back to Chapel Hill with 1:52 left in the first half.

FMS quarterback Hunter Bennett tosses a 60-yard touchdown pass to Cason Warner in the second quarter.

Things looked good when the Rockets drove to the Cascade 25-yard before a sack moved the offensive squad back to the 40-yard line where FMS quarterback Hunter Bennett found Warner in the flat.

Warner eluded a host of Cascade tacklers and raced down the visiting sidelines for a touchdown with 1:09 left in the first half.

After John Dippold ran in the 2-point conversion, Forrest took the 28-6 lead to the half.

“We are trying to get to the rhythm where we can just set the tone,” Searcy said. “That’s what we worked on in practice, don’t play up, don’t play down, just set the tone and make them catch up to us.”

On Cascade’s first possession of the second half, Bennett picked off a pass and the Rockets drove to the Cascade 17-yard before they were stopped on downs with 6:20 remaining in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter began with Cascade converting a fourth-and-one play.

Christian Hammond (88) leaps in the air to disrupt a Cascade pass by Elijah Arnold.

The Champions kept going to the FMS 16-yard, but were stymied on a fourth down incompletion with 1:31 left in the contest that ended the last scoring chance for Cascade and the game.

The Rockets put up 257 yards of total offense with 197 coming in the ground game as Warner led the way with 125 yards on just seven carries, while Swift finished with 42 yards and two TDs, and Dippold chipped in with 37 yards on five touches.

“Warner, John Randle (Dippold), Swift, McClendon all do a good job and work hard,” Searcy said. “We have got a good team, we just have to make sure we show it every week.”

The Rockets travel to MTCS on Thursday for another big conference matchup with the Cougars.

“They are probably mad at us from last year when we were up 42-0 at halftime and I’m sure they will use that for motivation,” Searcy said. “I’m just proud of our guys and this has been the best two years of my teaching and coaching career and I just love everything about this community.”

Cascade 0 6 0 0-6

Forrest 14 14 0 0-28

First Quarter

FMS-Tayton Swift 31 run, Cason Warner PAT run, 5:21

FMS-Swift 11 run, PAT run failed, 1:29

Second Quarter

FMS-Warner 44 run, PAT run failed, 7:00

FMS-Warner 60-yard pass from Hunter Bennett, John Dippold PAT run, 1:09

Cascade-Ryan Inmon 30-yard pass from Elijah Arnold, 0:00

Total Yards-Cascade 155, FMS 257

Rushing-Cascade 95, FMS 197

Passing-Cascade 60, FMS 60

Turnovers-Cascade 1, FMS 0

Penalties-Cascade 2-20, FMS 2-25


Rushing-Cason Warner 7-125-TD, Tayton Swift 2-42-2TD, John Dippold 5-37, Brenton Burchell 2-9, Brayden Jones 2-(-16)

Passing-Hunter Bennett 1-2-60-TD

Receiving-Cason Warner 1-6-TD


Tackles-Jeremiah Beasley 6 (.5 SACK), Cason Warner 5, Hunter Bennett 4, Tayton Swift 4, John Dippold 3, Brayden Jones 3, Micah McClendon 2, Brayden Bowyer, Brenton Burchell, Riley Durbin, Akin Duval, Christian Hammond (SACK), Deason Jones, Forest Ozburn, Aiden Spitzley, Layne Strasser