Rockets trounce Fayetteville
After a 42-7 season opening blowout loss at third-ranked BGA, the Forrest Rockets bounced back in a big way via a 51-0 trouncing at Fayetteville Friday night.
“The players came out focused and hungry,” Forrest coach Eli Stephenson said. “We had a bad taste in our mouth from last week and we wanted to prove that we are a better team than that.”
The Rockets scored 37 points in the first quarter and led 44-0 at halftime to improve to 4-0 all-time over the Tigers.
Forrest outgained the Tigers 283 yards to just 71 and won the turnover battle 5-1.
Senior Wes McCoy sparked the Rockets’ win with an 82-yard touchdown return on the opening kickoff and added a first quarter 40-yard TD run from scrimmage.
“We jumped on them early with the opening kickoff return from McCoy,” Stephenson said. “It is always great to get the momentum in our favor and we were able to keep the momentum on our side for the whole game.”
Blaize Sweeney and Nick McClendon also had touchdown runs in the first quarter, plus the Rockets picked up a safety and 26-yard interception return for a touchdown by sophomore linebacker Noah Hill.
The game was essentially over in 12 minutes and the Rockets played their reserves for much of the contest.
“It was very important to get the younger players used to speed of the game,” Stephenson said.
Eleven players had at least one rush for the Rockets with Sweeney leading the way with 82 yards on three carries and two of the touches went for touchdowns.
Aiden Freeman had nine carries for 62 yards, McCoy had just one touch that resulted in the 40-yard TD, and Joseph Whitaker toted the rock six times for 25 yards.
“The offensive line was able to control the line of scrimmage and the backs hit the holes,” Stephenson said. “Once Sweeney broke a long run, the other backs wanted to get involved. They feed off of each other.”
Jeff Gross and Justin Leonard led the Rockets with five tackles apiece and Leonard, McClendon, and Sweeney all had one fumble recovery apiece, while Hill and Braden Bowyer picked up one interception apiece on defense.
“It always good when the defense spots the offense eight points,” Stephenson said. “Our defense came out reading their keys and flying to the ball.”
“We were able to force the five turnovers and I am proud of the whole defense, especially the young guys in holding them to a shutout.”
The Rockets return home this week to open up Region 5-AA play when they take on longtime rival Eagleville, who got completely dismantled at Cornersville 41-0.
“This is a region game and counts for playoff seeding,” Stephenson said. “We have got to focus on the process of getting better every week and that starts at practice.”
Stephenson is expecting a big crowd for the 7 p.m. kickoff at Murrey E. Holton Memorial Field in Chapel Hill Friday night and he knows the players are looking forward to playing their first home game of the season in front of their fans.
“It is always good to come home to play in front of the home crowd,” Stephenson said. “I know the home crowd and student section will be there in full force to support the Rockets as we take on Eagleville.”
The two teams have split the last 10 matchups between the two schools with Forrest winning three games at home and the Eagles winning three at home.
Forrest 37 7 7 0-51
Fayetteville 0 0 0 0-0
Forrest-Wes McCoy 82-yard kickoff return, Dalton Colvin PAT, 11:46
Forrest-Blaize Sweeney 12-yard run, Colvin PAT, 10:14
Forrest-McCoy 40-yard run, Colvin PAT, 8:02
Forrest-Noah Hill 26-yard interception return, Colvin PAT, 6:17
Forrest-Nick McClendon 11-yard run, Colvin PAT, 0:52
Forrest-Sweeney 69-yard run, Colvin PAT, 8:50
Forrest-Max Kirby 1-yard run, Colvin PAT, 1:28
Forrest 283, Fayetteville-71
Rushing- Forrest 271, Fayetteville 71
Passing- Forrest 24, Fayetteville 0
Turnovers- Forrest 1, Fayetteville 5
Penalties-Forrest 3-25, Fayetteville 3-25
Rushing-Blaize Sweeney 3-82-2TD, Aiden Freeman 9-62, Wes McCoy 1-40-TD, Joseph Whitaker 6-25, Jacob Wright 4-17, Nick McClendon 3-16-TD, Cole Villazon 1-11, Josh Meglis 1-3, Christian Hammond 1-2, Max Kirby 1-1, John Dippold 2-0.
Passing-Max Kirby 1-1-13, Josh Meglis 1-1-11.
Receiving-Hammond 1-13, McClendon 1-11.
PAT-Dalton Colvin 7-7.
Kickoffs-Wes McCoy 2-112-TD.
Punts-Spencer McCown 1-7, Cole Villazon 1-9.
Tackles-Jeff Gross 5, Justin Leonard 5 (FUM REC), Gauge Anderson 2, Cannon Cervantes 2, Aiden Freeman 2, Christian Hammond 2, Cole Geeting 2, Max Kirby 2, Nick McClendon 2 (FUM REC), Noah Hill 2 (INT TD), Joel Burton 1, Dalton Colvin 1, John Dippold 1, Spencer McCown 1, Jayme Ozburn 1, Billy Perryman 1, Blaize Sweeney 1 (FUM REC), Sammy Williams 1, Jacob Wright 1, Cole Villazon 1, Brayden Bowyer (INT).