FMS crushes Liberty in Homecoming rout

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
The Forrest Middle School Homecoming Court before the game versus Liberty Thursday at Murrey E. Holton Field in Chapel Hill.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The FMS Rockets (6-1) secured a spot in the Duck River Valley Conference title game with a big 44-6 homecoming win Thursday night at Murrey E. Holton Field in Chapel Hill.

“It was a big win for us, it was a crazy week with homecoming and a lot of activities, but we won and that’s the main thing,” Forrest coach Corey Searcy said.

Forrest put up 356 yards of total offense versus the Patriots with 317 coming in a grueling ground attack led by Cason Warner, who rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown.

The Rockets break out before pounding Liberty 44-6 on Homecoming.

Johns Dippold also had a big night for the Rockets, rushing for 38 yards with a touchdown and Dippold threw a 37-yard TD pass to Hunter Bennett.

Warner made his presence known on Liberty’s first possession of the game when he stripped a Patriots receiver after a catch and returned the fumble 20 yards for a touchdown. Dippold ran in the 2-point conversion, giving the Rockets a lead they would never surrender.

“We are not overly athletic or the fastest team in the world, but what we can be is physical,” Searcy said. “If we can stay physical we will be alright.”

The FMS defense stopped the Patriots on downs on their next series, but fumbled the ball back to Liberty on the next play.

Cason Warner scores a touchdown after stripping a Liberty receiver in the first quarter of the Rockets’ 44-6 blowout win over the Patriots.

Liberty could not get anything going on offense and had to punt before FMS made it 14-0 four plays later on a Warner 16-yard TD run. Warner pounded in the 2-point conversion run on the last play of the first quarter, making it 16-0.

Liberty put together a drive that was squashed on a fourth down incomplete pass at the FMS 43-yard line and five plays later, Dippold ran for a 17-yard touchdown.

On the ensuing kickoff, Liberty scored its only points of the game on a Connor Landers 55-yard kickoff return TD.

The Rockets added to their lead on the final drive of the first half, scoring on Dippold’s TD pass to Bennett with no time left on the clock, making it 28-6 at the half.

Deason Jones had a long kickoff return to the Liberty 30-yard line to begin the second half for FMS and it only took a couple of plays before Micah McClendon scored his first middle school touchdown from 11 yards out with 6:38 remaining in the third quarter. Bennett passed to Tayton Swift for the 2-point conversion, giving the Rockets a 36-6 lead.

Brayden Jones (32) chases down Liberty quarterback Weston Coop (3).

The FMs defense stopped Liberty on downs and put the icing on the game with a Dippold 25-yard touchdown run and Brayden Jones PAT run.

Searcy went to his reserves for the remainder of the contest and got some fine play out of the youngsters in the 38-point win.

The Rockets travel to Fayetteville for the DRVC championship game on Monday, October 16 at 6:30 p.m.

“We face a very good Fayetteville team now, but this is what we wanted,” Searcy said. “At the beginning of the year I don’t think many people gave us a chance to be here.”

The Tigers beat the Rockets 24-0 in the title game last season.

“We have to learn how to tackle a little better and stay physical,” Searcy said. “These kids have overachieved and I think they are the hardest working team in middle school football.”

FMS has one huge regular season remaining when they host LMS Thursday night at “The Rock” with a 6:30 p.m. kickoff.

TSSAA Hall of Famer Bob Edens and Marshall County Commissioner Dean Delk will serve as honorary captains for the intra-county rivalry contest.

“There is a lot of great football that has been played in Marshall County with Coach Edens winning a state championship (MCHS-1984 14-0) and all the history here in Chapel Hill,” Searcy said. “We are by no means trying to separate the county, we are just here to have fun, see who the best man is and hopefully that will be us.”

Liberty 0 6 0 0-6

FMS 16 12 16 0-44

Scoring

First Quarter

FMS-Cason Warner 20-yard fumble return, John Dippold PAT run

FMS-Warner 16-yard run, Warner PAT run

Second Quarter

FMS-Dippold 17-yard run, PAT pass incomplete

Liberty-Connor Landers 55-yard kickoff return, PAT run NG

FMS-Hunter Bennett 32-yard pass from Dippold, PAT pass incomplete

Third Quarter

FMS-Micah McClendon 11-yard run, Tayton Swift PAT pass from Bennett

FMS-Dippold 25-yard run, Brayden Jones PAT run

Forrest

Rushing-Cason Warner 6-131-TD, Tayton Swift 3-45, John Dippold 5-38-2TD, Brayden Jones 2-27, Micah McClendon 2-18-TD, Hunter Bennett 2-16, Chris Davis 2-10, Brenton Burchell 2-10, Jamie McDaniel 2-4

Passing-Hunter Bennett 1-4-2, John Dippold 1-37-TD

Receiving-Hunter Bennett 1-37-TD, Tayton Swift 1-2

Next Game: Thursday, October 5 vs. LMS, 6:30 p.m.