Rockets can’t take too much Moore
In the end, Fayetteville senior Brandon Moore was too much for Forrest to handle as the standout Tiger running back wore the Rockets down in a 27-14 non-region loss Friday night at Murrey E. Holton Field in Chapel Hill.
“We knew they were a good football team and we knew 22 (Moore) was going to get his,” Forrest coach Brent Johns said. “We needed to bottle him up and in the second half, we didn’t.”
Knowing it didn’t help as Forrest could not stop Moore, who rushed for 208 yards on 25 carries with two touchdown runs, including an 86-yard third quarter scamper.
“It feels good being the workhorse, it’s a lot on me, but I’ll take whatever I gotta take to win,” Moore said. “Forrest is a good team, they have really good players on their team and they gave good hustle and good effort on every play.”
Forrest started the game as the aggressor, stopping Moore and the Tigers after the opening kickoff before going on a 68-yard scoring drive, capped off by a Nick McClendon 23-yard touchdown run.
McClendon had another big game for the Rockets, rushing for 150 yards on 21 carries and the sophomore running back caught four passes out of the backfield for 40 yards.
After unsuccessful drives by both teams, Dylan Pendley recovered a Moore fumble and the Rockets turned the miscue into six points in just five plays with the touchdown coming via a Layton Bennett 14-yard touchdown pass to Troy Turner.
The PAT kick was no good and Forrest led 14-0 with 10:05 remaining in the first half.
A Parker Stuard interception spoiled Fayetteville’s next drive, but the Forrest offense was forced to punt after a failed series.
Fayetteville and Moore drove all the way to the Forrest 6-yard line on their next series, but once again Moore fumbled and Pendley recovered.
The Rockets ran out most of the clock and the first half ended with Forrest leading 14-0.
Forrest fumbled the ball away on its first possession of the second half, but the Rocket defense held and forced the Tigers to punt with 6:45 remaining in the third quarter.
The Rockets’ ensuing series was spoiled by two big penalties and on the first play after a Forrest punt, Moore took the rock to the house from 86-yards out, making it a 14-6 contest after the PAT run was stopped.
“It was penalties, it was us, we beat ourselves with penalties,” Johns said. “If you go back and look, I guarantee that every drive that was stopped in the second half was due to a penalty.”
“It’s frustrating, especially when you work as hard and coach as hard as we do, it’s frustrating.”
Forrest was stopped again and Fayetteville took the ball into the fourth quarter where they tied the game at 14 on a Moore 2-yard TD run with 9:54 left.
The Tiger defense stayed firm, forcing another Wes McCoy punt that pinned Fayetteville back at its own 13-yard line.
Moore began to wear the Rockets down via a five-minute drive and when the Forrest defense keyed on the Fayetteville running back, the Tigers went over the top as Lex Marsh tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Zorion Pullen to make it 20-14 with 1:27 remaining the game.
Forrest got the ball back with a chance to tie or go ahead, but it was not to be as Jacious Clark stepped in front of a Bennett pass and turned it into a 66-yard pick six, putting the Rockets away for good.
“Jacious came up clutch for us with that interception,” Moore said. “We got past the two toughest teams on our schedule and now we go on to region play next week with our goal of getting a number one seed.”
The task for Forrest doesn’t get any easier this week when they open up Region 5/2A play at undefeated Eagleville, who pounded Cornersville 31-6 at home Friday night.
“We have to start over next week,” Johns said. “We have good senior leadership and they will be ready to go. All we have to do is fix the mental mistakes and we will be fine.”
Fayetteville 0 0 6 21-27
Forrest 7 7 0 0-14
Forrest-Nick McClendon 23-yard run, Carson Baker PAT, 6:24
Forrest-Troy Turner 14-yard pass from Layton Bennett, Dalton Colvin PAT, 10:05
Fayetteville-Brandon Moore 86-yard run, run failed, 4:03
Fayetteville-Moore 2-yard run, run failed, 9:55
Fayetteville-Zorion Pullen 30-yard pass from Lex Marsh, Moore run, 1:27
Fayetteville-Jacious Clark 66-yard interception return, 0:16, Weston Moon PAT
Total Offense: Fayetteville 398, Forrest 398
Rushing: Fayetteville 284, Forrest 307
Passing: Fayetteville 114, Forrest 91
First Downs: Fayetteville 15, Forrest 17
Turnovers: Fayetteville 3, Forrest 3
Penalties: Fayetteville 3-40, Forrest 10-98
Rushing: Nick McClendon 21-150-TD, Layton Bennett 5-49, Troy Turner 10-39, Josh Meglis 1-20, Wes McCoy 7-17, Austin Porter 2-12, Drew Carlisle 4-11, Cole Villazon 1-9
Passing: Layton Bennett 7-16-91-TD-2INT
Receiving: Nick McClendon 3-49, Troy Turner 2-20-TD, Wes McCoy 1-16, Josh Meglis 1-6
Tackles: Drew Carlisle 14, Wes McCoy 4, Troy Turner 4 (SACK), Blaize Sweeney 3, Parker Stuard 3 (INT), Austin Geeting 2, Nick McClendon 2, Bryton Spitzley 2, Cole Villazon 2, Joel Burton, Josh Hill, Dowlen Hosford, Dylan Pendley (2 fumble recoveries), Nathan Trout
PAT: Carson Baker 1-1, Dalton Colvin 1-1
Punting: Wes McCoy 5-198
Kickoff Returns: Troy Turner 1-1, Jacob Wright 1-4, Cole Villazon 1-0