Late in Saturday’s football contest between Forbush and North Wilkes, when the Forbush Falcons needed someone to move the chain, they could count on Zane.
Zane Johnson capped off a late-game comeback, finding an opening and scoring on a 60-yard run to give the Falcons a 20-19 win over the North Wilkes Vikings. Leading 19-14, the Vikings drove the ball deep into Falcons territory but found themselves short approaching fourth down inside the 10-yard line. The Vikings elected to go for it, but the Falcons defense came through and stopped them on the 9-yard line. From there, the Falcons opted to put the ball in the sophomore’s hands with 6:02 remaining and hoped for the best.
“It was all or nothing, that was our chance to win the ballgame,” Johnson said. “I had some great blocks from my line, and saw an open field and I tried my best to get to the endzone.”
Johnson accounted for all 91 yards on the scoring drive to put Forbush up 20-19 with 4:49 remaining in the game. On the ensuing possession, Forbush senior Jake Widner came up with an interception on third-and-long. With just more than two minutes remaining and North Wilkes out of timeouts, senior Cameron Engebretson ran for a long first down, icing it for the Falcons. With that said, it wasn’t the best game for the Falcons.
“We always want to play our best, but it’s good to know if we don’t play our best we can persevere with character and strong will and pull one out,” Head Coach Chris Johnson said.
Senior Luke Alderman forced a fumble on the second play of scrimmage which was then recovered by senior Chase Martin. Engebretson would score on the ensuing drive to put the Falcons up early Friday night, but before the kickoff, lightning struck and postponed the game until Saturday afternoon.
When the Falcons came out Saturday, they started off a bit flat, while North Wilkes junior Daniel Pruitt proved to be a threat. North Wilkes Dylan Baugess found Pruitt twice in the second quarter for long touchdowns to put the Vikings up 13-7 at the half. Late in the game, the Falcons were able put pressure on the quarterback to keep themselves within striking distance.
Next up for the Falcons (2-1) is arguably the first big rivalry game in Yadkin County. The Unifi Bowl pits the Falcons against the visiting Starmount Rams (0-2) Friday night at 7:30 p.m.. An annual tradition, Forbush has not defeated Starmount since 2006. Zane Johnson could be one of the keys to snapping the Falcons losing streak. Johnson played last year at Starmount, and while there doesn’t seem to be any bad blood against his former team, his confidence level was high leaving the field Saturday.
“Starmount’s always had a great football program, but I got a really good feeling going into next week, I feel sure we’ll come out with a victory,” Johnson said.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.