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Defense, freshmen lead Rockets to 1st region win

Posted on Thursday, September 14, 2023 at 8:14 am

Post Photo by Kacy Kincaid
Fletcher Fields and Eli Bell celebrate after a Fields touchdown run.

By Kacy Kincaid
Sports Writer
Chapel Hill — Despite it being beautiful evening at ‘The Rock’ on Friday, it was a cloud of miscues rained penalty flags all over the field in the second half of the Forrest Rockets’ (3-1) gritty 21-10 Region 4 2-A win over the Cannon County Lions (1-3).

The Rockets racked up 14 penalties equaling 160 yards, while the Lions had 12 for 109 yards.
Passion and determination held the Rockets together.
“Jesse Lindeman has stepped up and been a great leader,” said Forrest head coach Eli Stephenson.
“Liam Bell stepped up as a leader. They’re bringing the motion out there, and the other kids are feeding off of it.”
The Lions were first on the board in the form of a 20-yard field goal from Jackson Byford just three and a half minutes into the first frame.
It took the Rockets a few minutes to gain some momentum, but freshman Fletcher Fields got them going with an interception at the Rocket 32-yard line. Forrest moved the ball upfield over the next eight plays, setting up Liam Bell to cross the goal line from the four with 32 seconds left in the first.

Post Photo by Kacy Kincaid
Fletcher Fields breaks the tackle to head to the end zone. Fields led with 187 yards.

Gavin Grissom added the extra point, the Rockets taking the lead, 7-3.
Late in the half, Cannon County kept moving the chains, making their way into Rocket territory.
Quarterback Kolby Miller found Jahari Bowen on a pass, Bowen working his way to the Rocket goal line.
Despite a

Post Photo by Kacy Kincaid
Ben Villazon grabs the interception late in the fourth quarter.

good defensive effort by the Rockets, Miller dipped into the end zone from the one.
Byford’s kick was good, the Lions snatching the 10-7 lead with 33 seconds left in the half.
With six seconds left in the third quarter, Fields went on a 39-yard sprint to the end zone, but the touchdown was called back due to a penalty on the Rockets.
“We have to keep working on our technique,” said Stephenson.
“A lot of them are effort penalties, and I can live with some effort penalties, but we have to play a little bit smarter in the crunch time. We can’t get dead ball penalties.”
Heading into the fourth, the Lions held onot the 10-7 lead.
On the first play, again it was Fields breaking loose on a 52-yard touchdown run. Grissom tacked on the extra point, the Rockets securing a 14-10 lead.
Forrest persevered with an extraordinary defensive effort, forcing punts and turnovers on downs from the Lions.
On Forrest’s last drive of the game, despite penalties on each play from either side, Fields sealed the deal with a 65-yard trek to the end zone, giving the Rockets a comfortable 21-10 lead after Grissom’s kick with just 1:15 left in the game.
The Rocket defense stayed fired up, complete with a quarterback sack from Senior Jesse Lindeman and a Ben Villazon interception.
Fields had a stellar night, leading both organizations with 187 yards over 11 carries.
The Rockets will host White County Heritage for homecoming on Friday.
Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.

Cannon County 3 7 0 0 — 10
Forrest 7 0 0 14 — 21

First Quarter
C — Jackson Byford 20-yard field goal, 8:30.
F — Liam Bell 4 run, (Gavin Grissom kick) 0:32.

Second Quarter
C — Kolby Miller 1 run, (Byford kick) 0:33.

Fourth Quarter
F — Fletcher Fields 52 run, (Grissom kick) 11:47.
F — Fields 65 run, (Grissom kick) 1:15.