Eagles miss chances in 10-0 loss

By Kristian Russell - krussell@elkintribune.com

EAST BEND — After a rainy week in Yadkin County, the Forbush Falcons football team was back in action on Friday night under chilly temperatures. It was Homecoming for the Falcons, and the stadium was packed as the home team hosted Surry Central in a Western Piedmont Athletic Conference game. The Falcons (4-4, 3-0) came into the game on a two game conference winning streak. Their opponents, the Golden Eagles were coming off of a loss to North Surry.

Forbush was able to put the only touchdown of the night on the board, and followed it up with a field goal to take a 10-0 conference win over Surry Central. During the game, the Falcons were penalized 11 times, while Surry Central was penalized five times.

Surry Central started off the game with the first drive of the night, where it accumulated 60 yards. The drive started with a flag on Forbush which brought up first-and-five. The Golden Eagles tried to make the most of the penalty on the next play, but Maisen Holt was tackled in the backfield by Brody Cagna.

On second-and-eight, Ryan Martin gained four yards with a run up the middle. Surry Central was able to come up with a first down on the next play, when Tanner Boone turned on his jets and found a hole in Forbush’s defense. Boone ran for 45 yards to give Surry Central a first down at the 45-yard line.

Surry Central tried to maintain its momentum after the run, but the Falcons eventually forced them into a fourth-down situation. The Eagles went for it on fourth down, but they came up short by four inches. The Falcons’ defense stood strong with tackles by Landreth Cockerham, Cagna, Garrett Cowart and Casey Graham.

Forbush took over on its 37-yard line and the Falcons were unable to come up with a first down play. Surry Central made defensive stops which forced the Falcons to punt the ball away.

With 6:33 left in the first quarter, the Eagles had the ball back and were looking to advance down the field. Surry Central’s drive started at the 13-yard line and the Eagles accumulated 71 yards on 16 plays. The Eagles’ drive stalled at the seven-yard line on fourth down. Instead of going for it, Central sent in its field-goal unit. The kick went wide right and the game remained scoreless at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter started off on the right foot for the Falcons. Forbush came put swinging as they took over on the 20-yard line. Graham ran the ball on the first play for a 13-yard keep. Dillion Johnson put down a two-yard run which was followed up by two additional carries by Graham. The Falcons had a first down on the 48-yard line and gained additional yards as Surry Central was flagged for offside. On first-and-five from the Eagles’ 47-yard line, Graham handed the ball off to Johnson.

Johnson was able to make the safety miss and take the ball to the house for a 47-yard touchdown run. The point-after attempt was successful, and Forbush took a 7-0 lead over Surry Central with 9:10 left in the second quarter.

As the second quarter went on, Surry Central came close to tying the game, but came up short on both drives. The Eagles had two drives in the final nine minutes. The first drive lasted nine plays and the Eagles came up with 28 yards. The drive stalled out on fourth-and-eight from the 26-yard line, which resulted in a turnover on downs.

The second Surry Central drive lasted over three minutes, and saw the Eagles almost make it into the end zone, but they once again came up short. The visiting team accumulated 64 yards and the drive ended with a field goal attempt. The attempt was short and the half ended 7-0 in Forbush’s favor.

Things continued in a mellow fashion for both teams in the second half of play. The first two third quarter drives saw Forbush accumulate negative nine yards. Surry Central was on the positive side of the line during its first drive, as they came away with 14 yards. The Eagles’ second drive was on the downside, when the offensive line failed to stop the rush by the Forbush defense and the drive stalled with a negative four yard run.

With 4:07 left in the third quarter, Forbush was looking to put the negative drives behind in the rear-view mirror and pick up its tempo. The drive started on the 28-yard line and the first two plays saw a loss of one yard. On third-and-11, Graham looked down field and hit a wide open Landerth Cockerham who took off down the field for a 20-yard gain.

Forbush was able to keep putting together positive plays, as Johnson had a 21-yard carry, and then Graham threw the ball to Cockerham for a 16-yard pass reception. The Falcons were unable to make it past the 11-yard line, as Surry Central’s defense put a stop to the drive. On fourth down from the 11, the field goal unit was sent on and the kick by Dasaun Dalton sailed through the uprights. The Falcons put three points on the board to take a 10-0 lead over Surry Central with 11:11 left in the fourth quarter.

Things did not get better for the visiting team’s offensive line, as they fumbled the ball on their next drive and Johnson recovered it to give the Falcons possession at the 32-yard line. Surry Central’s defense was able to make a stop as Ryan Martin led the way with two tackles. The Falcons were forced to punt and Surry Central’s offense took the field with 7:26 left in the game.

The Eagles drive down the field, with carries by Matthew White, Chase Holt and Martin. Surry Central had a positive pass play, with catch by Brady Woods on third and six. The catch took the Eagles to the 10-yard line. The Eagles went up for the pass as Holt was looking down field for the open player.

Just as Surry Central looked to be able to make it to the red zone, the pass was intercepted by Cockerham at the 16-yard line. Cockerham evaded three tackles and was finally pulled down on the opposite side of the field after a 65-yard gain. The Falcons had perfect field position to add another seven points to the board.

The home team tried to get the ball down field, but once again they failed to take advantage of their position and turned the ball over on downs. Surry Central took over at its 17-yard line for its third, and final, drive of the fourth quarter.

The Golden Eagles knew they would have to come up with several big plays to make it down the field, but the Falcons’ defense was able to fool the plays and come up with several stops. Surry Central started the drive on the 17-yard line and failed to come up with positive yards. On fourth-and-12 from the 15, the Eagles went for it and were stopped just shy of the first down marker.

With less than two minutes on the clock, Forbush took over at their own seven-yard line. Instead of trying for a touchdown, the Falcons knelt the game out and took a 10-0 win over Surry Central.

With the win, Forbush moves to 3-0 in the WPAC and 4-4 overall. Forbush will travel to North Surry (6-3, 4-0) on Friday night. Surry Central is now 1-2 in the conference and 1-7 overall. The Golden Eagles will host West Stokes (7-1, 3-0) on Friday night.

Central offense misfires in setback at Forbush

By Kristian Russell

krussell@elkintribune.com