RONDA — Friday night football had a new look last week as several local games were moved up to Thursday night due to inclement weather. Forbush traveled to Ronda to take on the undefeated East Wilkes Cardinals in a non-conference game.
When it comes to 1A football, the East Wilkes Cardinals have one of the best programs in the western part of the state. The powerhouse Cardinals showed just how good they are as they took a 42-0 win over the Falcons.
The Cardinals relied on each of their players to make an impact, but four players stood out among the crowd. Quarterback Bryce Vestal made an impact with his passes, while Damien Reid, Deven Couch and Jared Wood made the difference in the end zone. All of East Wilkes’ touchdowns came from three different players, Couch scored three, Reid scored two, and Wood scored one.
“I thought we played well, I was really pleased,” said East Wilkes Head Coach J.K. Adkins. “I thought offensively we moved the ball and we were smooth doing it. We did what we needed to do there.”
It took East Wilkes three plays to score its first touchdown of the night. Vestal pitched to the outside where he found Reid for a 19-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion was no good for the Cardinals, but the tone was set for the rest of the game.
The defensive plays for East Wilkes was the deciding factor as the Cardinals were able to hold the Falcons to only one first down in the first quarter.
East Wilkes scored on its next play to take a 12-0 lead over Forbush. The Cardinals started on the 56-yard line and advanced down the field with several first down runs. Vestal found Couch for a 15-yard touchdown run to give East Wilkes another scoring play.
As the end of the first quarter was looming, East Wilkes had the ball in its possession once again. As the first quarter ended, the Cardinals found themselves at the 33-yard line. Vestal handed the ball off to Reid who ran for a 29-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was good as Vestal handed the ball to Couch. East Wilkes was sitting pretty in the second quarter with a 20-0 lead over Forbush.
Three minutes later, East Wilkes was able to score another touchdown to make the score 28-0. Wood caught an 87-yard pass from Vestal and the two-point conversion was good.
Forbush’s offense struggled to make a first down until the seventh minute of the second quarter. Jacob Shore was able to fight his way to a first down on the 55-yard line. Forbush kept pushing the ball as quarterback Blake Winebarger found space for a six-yard run, which was followed by a first down run by Derek Jayson. Just as it looked like the Falcons would score their first touchdown, East Wilkes’ defense stepped up and stopped the Falcons’ drive. On fourth and 12, the Falcons were unable to get a first down and turned the ball over to East Wilkes.
With the turnover East Wilkes took over on the 15-yard line, but was unable to score another touchdown. At halftime, East Wilkes had a 28-0 lead over Forbush.
In the third quarter, the Cardinals scored two additional touchdowns to make the score 42-0. Things didn’t get any better for the Falcons as East Wilkes’ defense kept up its pressure, allowing the Falcons only 33 yards in the final two quarters. Overall, Forbush had just 56 rushing yards and 18 passing yards.
“Forbush is a very big team and we were worried about their size,” said Adkins. “I was concerned about them just grinding us and ball controlling. But we did good on defense and gave our offense extra plays.”
With the loss, Forbush moves to 1-2 overall. The Falcons face off against their cross-county rivals, Starmount (0-3), on Friday night. Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m.