Big first half propels Rockets to win over Cascade
The Forrest Rockets came off a bye week and kicked it right back in gear with a big 42-14 win over archrival Cascade Friday night at the Murrey E. Holton Memorial Field in Chapel Hill.
“It’s always great to get a win over your rivals,” Forrest coach Eli Stephenson said.
A Nick McClendon two-yard run opened the scoring for Forrest late in the first quarter before the Rockets exploded with 21 second quarter points to take a 28-0 halftime lead.
“The offensive line was able to control the line of scrimmage, and our skill players made some plays,” Stephenson said.
McClendon led the Rockets’ punishing ground game with 130 yards on seven carries
Blaize Sweeney made it 14-0 with a 4-yard run and after a Forrest defensive stop, Joseph Whitaker finished off another Rockets’ scoring drive with an 8-yard run.
The Rockets sent Cascade to the locker room down by four touchdowns when Josh Meglis hooked up with Spencer McCown on a 47-yard scoring strike with 1:16 remaining in the first half.
“In the second quarter we were able to cut out the pre-snap and post-snap penalties,” Stephenson said. “That allowed us to get into rhythm.”
The Forrest defense stopped the Champions on scoring drives several times in the first half and only allowed a pair of touchdowns when the game was out of reach in the fourth quarter.
“Our defense played great all night,” Stephenson said. “They did a great job of relentless pursuit to the ball and gang tackling.”
A third quarter touchdown by Wes McCoy on an 11-yard scamper made it 35-0 to invoke the 35-point mercy rule and a running clock until Cascade quarterback Colby Melson scored on a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter.
“We came out of half and were able to get a stop on defense,” Stephenson said. “That set the tone for the half.”
“We were able to get some younger players some quantity reps.”
Aiden Freeman scored Forrest’s final touchdown to reopen the 35-point lead, but Melson found Seth Countess on a 54-yard touchdown pass with just over two minutes left in the contest for the final score of the night.
A win this week at home on senior night versus Community (1-8, 0-5) gets the Rockets (4-5, 2-3) into the playoffs.
“It is a region game, they are always important,” Stephenson said. “It is also senior night and we want to send them out with a victory.”
Forrest will have to go on the road for the opening round for the second season in a row and will more than likely face the same Waverly (6-3, 4-0) team that blasted the Rockets 63-36 last season in the first round.
Cascade 0 0 0 14-14
Forrest 7 21 7 7-42
Forrest-Nick McClendon 2-yard run, Dalton Colvin kick, 10:07.
Forrest-Blaize Sweeney 4-yard run, Colvin kick, 6:26.
Forrest-Joseph Whitaker 8-yard run, Colvin kick, 3:51.
Forrest-Spencer McCown 47-yard pass from Josh Meglis, Colvin kick, 1:16.
Forrest-Wesley McCoy 11-yard run, Colvin kick, 5:19.
Cascade-Colby Melson 3-yard run, Drake Hodge kick, 9:28.
Forrest-Aiden Freeman 17-yard run, Colvin kick, 5:43.
Cascade-Seth Countess 54-yard pass from Melson, Hodge kick 2:13.
Total Offense: Cascade 221, Forrest 307.
Rushing: Cascade 113, Forrest 232.
Passing: Cascade 108, Forrest 75.
Turnovers: Cascade 1, Forrest 1.
Penalties: Cascade 9-69, Forrest 5-55.
Rushing: Nick McClendon 7-130-TD, Blaize Sweeney 4-24-TD, Aiden Freeman 2-24-TD, Wes McCoy 5-21-TD, Jacob Wright 3-19, Max Kirby 3-16, Joseph Whitaker 6-7-TD, Josh Meglis 1-(-4), Cody Sisk 1-(-5).
Passing: Josh Meglis 4-6-75-TD-INT.
Receiving: Spencer McCown 2-56-TD, Joseph Whitaker 1-10, Cole Villazon 1-9.
PAT: Dalton Colvin 6-6.
Punting: Wes McCoy 1-27.
Kickoffs: Wes McCoy 1-19, Nick McClendon 1-5.
Punts: Cole Villazon 1-(-3).
Tackles: Noah Hill 5, Blaize Sweeney 5, Max Kirby 3, Jayme Ozburn 3, Cannon Cervantes 2, Aiden Freeman 2, Jeff Gross 2, Kody Patin 2, Cole Villazon 2, Sammy Williams 2, Cole Geeting 1, Pryor Haines 1, Nick McClendon 1 (SACK), Wes McCoy 1, Billy Perryman 1, Cody Sisk 1, Cason Warner 1, Joseph Whitaker 1, Jacob Wright 1.