SHANE SHOEMAKER – Writer
In a reshuffling of the regions this season, the Warriors were given a set of new opponents, with the closest team within a reasonable distance being 52 miles away in Cascade; the furthest of those being Forrest, the Warriors’ opponent on Friday night.
After some 70 miles worth of anticipation to get to Chapel Hill, TN, home of the Forrest Rockets, the Warriors took the same 70 miles back with a victory in hand, beating the Rockets 21-12, moving to 8-0.
The last time the Warriors were in region play was a month ago when they hosted Fayetteville at Baxter Stadium. The results were the same in both games.
After failing to score in the first quarter and letting the Rockets take a 6-0 lead, the Warriors scored a touchdown in every remaining quarter.
Their first came off only five plays at the top of the second quarter when quarterback Tilton Pickett found one of his favorite targets in Sam Pickett on an 18-yard touchdown reception.
Sam Pickett, who is usually moving all over the field, either on offense or defense, had himself quite a night.
To go along with his three catches for 30 yards and a touchdown reception, the speedy receiver/running back carried the ball 10 times for 56 yards and another score in the fourth quarter. Not to mention on defense, he had one of the three Warriors interceptions.
The other two were picked off by Braydon Coffelt, who came away with both in the first half and finished the night with six solo tackles, 10 assisted tackles, and one tackle for a loss.
The Rockets did their best to keep the ball away from the Warriors on Friday night and limit their possessions. In virtually every category, the Warriors were outgained – except in points scored.
“Run Forrest, run” seemed to be the play call most of the night for the Rockets, as they kept the ball on the ground, rushing for 286 yards, to the Warriors’ 100 yards less.
They also outdid the Warriors through the air, but just by 11 yards.
The Rockets ran 61 plays to the Warriors’ 38, where they held the ball for 32:39, which was over 17 minutes longer than the current leaders of the region.
But what hurt the Rockets was their three costly turnovers and 14 penalties for 144 yards.
The Warriors were penalized seven times for 75 yards and were marked with zeros in the turnover column of the stat sheet, as well as in the loss column.
Before the Warriors move on to their second consecutive region game, third overall, they’ll have a bye week, then it will be another road game to face Cannon County.