BOONVILLE — The last time the Unifi Bowl graced the halls of Forbush High School was September 22, 2006 after a 27-14 win over Starmount. On Friday night, the Falcons broke their long-standing losing streak with a 27-7 over their cross country rivals in Boonville.
“What’s important to me is that we were able to break the losing streak from last week, which was an embarrassing loss,” said Forbush head coach Chris Johnson. “We were able to rebound from that and come out and win tonight.”
The Rams started the game with an onside kick, which they successfully recovered at the 46-yard line. Unfortunately for Starmount, Forbush’s defense came up big as they made the Rams go three-and-out to force a punt.
With the Falcons on offense for the first time of the night quarterback Jackson Cooper, who was back from injury and ready to go, came up big on second down with a 25-yard run to the 48-yard line. Cooper decided to keep the momentum going with three more carries for the Falcons, two of which gave Forbush a first down.
“Getting our quarterback back was huge for us,” said Chris Johnson. “(Cooper) allowed us to be more aggressive in our play calling, and more mobile in what we wanted to do.”
The Rams defense finally got a stop and put the Falcons in a fourth and four situation which the Falcons completed as Cooper found Corey Evans for a first down in the red zone. The Falcons couldn’t make the most of their chances in the red-zone as they earned two flags to back them up to the 23-yard line. Forbush decided to go for the field goal on fourth down, but it was wide left.
In the second quarter, Starmount were able to beat Forbush’s defense and get a first down after a 16-yard run by Henry Stone. The run by Stone was quickly diminished, as the next play saw a fumble by Starmount’s quarterback, Patrick Usher, after a bad snap. The Rams recovered the fumble, but they were tackled for a loss of several yards. The defense for Forbush came up on third down and smothered the run game for the Rams, which forced Starmount to punt.
With 7:26 left in the second quarter, the Falcons offense came through big as Cooper broke through four tackles before running for 30 yards before being brought down by Starmount. Cooper’s run gave the Falcons enough momentum to put up the first touchdown of the night. Zane Johnson broke through three tackles before finding the end-zone to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead. It would be the only touchdown of the half, but it wouldn’t be the last for Forbush.
Before the half was over, Starmount had enough left in the tank to go for another long drive down the field. With the clock winding down, the Rams made it to the 22-yard line on a four-and-inches play made by Brendon Eads. Eads found a way through the Falcon’s defensive line to get the Rams a first down as the clock hit the two minute warning. With the clock ticking the Rams relied on Peyton Mullins to make two first down runs to make it to the red zone. Just as it looked like the Rams would get the tying touchdown, time was not on Starmount’s side as the clock hit zero and the half ended with Forbush leading 7-0.
“We shot ourselves in the foot tonight,” said Starmount head coach Scott Johnson. “We had too many turnovers and didn’t manage the clock well. We just shot ourselves in the foot over and over.”
Coming back to the second half, the Falcons got the start they needed to gain their momentum back. Usher was looking down the field for an open receiver, and instead his pass found the hands of Shane Hutchens, who returned the interception for eight yards. Cooper stepped up for the Falcons once again and found himself with a wide open gap in the Rams defense which he exploited. Cooper ran the ball into the end-zone for a 25-yard touchdown run to give the Falcons a 14-0 lead.
In the final minutes of the third quarter, Zane Johnson found the end-zone for his second touchdown of the night. Johnson made a eight-yard run into the end-zone while several Rams players tried to bring him down. Unfortunately for Starmount, Johnson couldn’t be stopped and gave the Falcons a 20-0 lead. The start of the fourth quarter saw another mistake by the Rams as their punt was muffled by Forbush to give the Falcons starting position on the 25-yard line. It didn’t take long for Forbush to capitalize on their field position, as Johnson scored his third touchdown of the night with a 12-yard run. With 7:27 left to play in the Unifi Bowl, the players on the field began to sense a victory and the fans in the stands began to sense it as well.
Although the Falcons were feeling a victory, the Rams had other ideas as they had a quick turn around with a run up the middle which eventually lead to a Starmount touchdown. With 6:09 left to play, the Rams had finally scored their first touchdown of the night to cut the Falcons lead to 27-7. Unfortunately for the Rams, it was too little too late as the Falcons managed the clock on their final run and time ran out. Forbush had managed to break their losing streak with a 27-7 win over Starmount.
With the loss, the Rams move to 0-3 overall, their next game is Sept. 16 at Thomasville (1-3). On Sept. 23 the Rams will face another rivalry as they take on Elkin (0-4) in the Battle of the Bridge.
“These guys are a tight knit group. They’ll work hard and come back in time for the conference,” said Scott Johnson. “We’ve got one game before conference starts, so they’ll get together and make a comeback.”
The win takes the Falcons to 3-1 overall, their next game will be Sept. 16 at home against East Wilkes (2-1). The Falcons will face an East Wilkes team who are coming off of a huge 56-6 win over North Stokes. Kickoff is set for 7:30 at Falcon Stadium.
“It feels good to get this win,” said Chris Johnson. “It’s important to our kids and to our community, so we’re very happy.”