Rockets grounded in season opener at BGA

Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Forrest junior Blaize Sweeney hauls in a pass from Max Kirby and rumbles in for a 23-yard fourth quarter touchdown at BGA Friday night.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Battle Ground Academy Wildcats trounced Forrest 42-7 in Friday night’s season opener at Guffe-Brown Stadium in Franklin.

“BGA is a very good football team, but that loss is on me,” Forrest coach Eli Stephenson said. “We didn’t come out and play our physical game of football, so we have to have to follow the process of getting better every week.”

Divison II-AA BGA dominated the game from the opening whistle as they scored on a Tiy Reed 4-yard run on the game’s opening drive and after stopping Forrest on a three-and-out, the Wildcats made it 14-0 when Zion Morris scooped and scored on a blocked punt with 6:40 remaining in the first quarter.

Forrest’s Joel Burton (12) comes up to make the tackle on BGA running back Kaleb Seay (5).

The Rockets’ offense went nowhere on another three-and-out and BGA made it a three touchdown game when Briston Bennett capped off a quick, six-play scoring drive via a 25-yard touchdown run.

Forrest picked up their initial first down via a BGA penalty on their next drive, but once again it sputtered out and the Rockets punted the ball back to the Wildcats early in the second quarter.

BGA proceeded to drive the ball inside the Forrest 10-yard line, but the Rockets came up with a big turnover when Cole Villazon stepped in front of a Nick Semptimphelter pass for an interception with 7:04 left in the first half.

Cole Villazon (3) comes up with an interception for the Rockets.

Unfortunately, Forrest could only get one first down and had to punt again.

The Wildcats burned mostly all the time left off the clock in the first half and scored on a Reed 1-yard run with 30 seconds left to take a huge, 28-0 lead at the break.

Forrest got the ball to begin the second half and gave it up after just three plays before BGA put the game away on a Semptimphelter six-yard TD toss to Bennett with 7:24 remaining in the third quarter to make it 35-0.

The clock ran the rest of the game on the 35-point mercy rule.

Forrest fumbled the ball away on its next possession and BGA made it 42-0 on a Garrett Hollis Jr.13-yard TD catch from Semptimphelter.

Semptimphelter went 18-for-25 for 234 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Georgia Tech signee Chico Bennett Jr. caught five passes for 97 yards.

The Rockets broke the shutout with 47 seconds remaining in the game when Max Kirby found Blaize Sweeney for 23-yard TD.

“That touchdown was big, it is always good not to get shutout,” Stephenson said. “I’m glad we kept fighting the whole game and never gave up.”

“That was the one positive from the game, we never gave up, we fought from the first whistle to the last whistle.”

The Rockets travel to Fayetteville this week to take on the Tigers, who opened with a 41-28 home loss to Nolensville.

“Fayetteville City is a very athletic team, we have to show up and be ready to play,” Stephenson said. “We just have to work on ourselves this week and get ready for Fayetteville City.”

“The only way we can go is up now, we just have to work on the things that went wrong and get it fixed.”

Forrest 0 0 0 7-7

BGA 21 7 14 0-42

First Quarter

BGA-Tiy Reed 70-yard run, Jack Sauder PAT, 9:08.

BGA-Zion Morris blocked punt return, Sauder PAT, 6:40.

BGA-Briston Bennett 25-yard run, Sauder PAT, 2:06.

Second Quarter

BGA-Reed-1 yard run, Sauder PAT, 0:30.

BGA-Bennett 6-yard pass from Nick Semptimphelter, Sauder PAT, 7:24.

BGA-Garrett Hollis Jr.13-yard pass from Semptimphelter, Sauder PAT, 2:50.

Forrest-Blaize Sweeney 23-yard pass from Max Kirby, Dalton Colvin PAT, 0.47

Total Offense: Forrest 96, BGA 339

Rushing: Forrest 674, BGA 96

Passing: Forrest 32, BGA 339

Penalties: Forrest 5-50, BGA 4-40

Turnovers: Forrest 1, BGA 1

Forrest Offense

Passing: Max Kirby 1-23-TD, Josh Meglis 2-8-9

Rushing: Joseph Whitaker 7-45, Blaize Sweeney 7-15, Jacob Wright 5-10, Wes McCoy 2-4, Nick McClendon 5-2, Meglis 1-(-9), Hunter Pendley 1-(-3).

Receiving: Sweeney 1-23-TD, Spencer McCown 2-9.

Kicking

PAT: Dalton Colvin 1-for-1.

Punting: McCoy 6-196-32.7

Returns

Kickoffs: McClendon 4-107, McCoy 2-18, McCown 1-0.

Forrest Defense

Tackles: Noah Hill 5, Sweeney 4 (Sack), Jeff Gross 4, Kirby 3, McClendon 3, Gauge Anderson 2, Joel Burton 2, Justin Leonard 2, McCown 2, McCoy 2, Jayme Ozburn 2, Alex Patmore 2, Sammy Williams 2, Cole Villazon (INT).