BOONVILLE — On Friday night under the lights in Yadkin County, the Starmount Rams and the Forbush Falcons brought a whole new level to the term “rivalry”. For the 21st annual Unifi Bowl, both teams came out fired up and put on a tough performance.
From the opening kick-off to the final play, the Falcons and Rams gave their fans something to cheer about. When it was all said and done, the Falcons came away with a 28-18 win over their in-county rival.
The first plays of the game didn’t end up the way either team wanted. Forbush received the opening kick-off and were forced to punt as the Falcons went three-and-out.
Starmount’s first drive saw the Rams come up with an interception. Trey Dezern was looking for an open Starmount player down the field, but his throw hit a Falcon and ended up in the hands of Myzeck Kurian. Although Forbush intercepted the ball, they were unable to capitalize off the turnover.
Forbush’s quarterback, Casey Graham, was sacked by Jonah Pendergrass which resulted in a loss of yards. The Falcons punted the ball away and Starmount took over. The Rams’ drive died out on fourth-and-seven, and the orange and blue had to punt the ball away.
After the first few drives, both teams started to settle down and put together successful plays.
Forbush’s first touchdown came with less than four minutes left in the first quarter. Graham handed the ball off to Dillon Johnson who ran the ball in for a 15 yard touchdown. The extra point by Dasaun Dalton was good and Forbush had a 7-0 lead over Starmount.
The second Forbush touchdown of the night was scored in the second quarter. With 7:03 left in the half, Johnson found the end zone for a seven yard touchdown. The Falcons had the momentum with a 14-0 lead.
Before the half was over, two additional touchdowns were scored. The Falcons put another one on the board, and Starmount scored their first of the night.
The third touchdown was scored once again by Johnson. Graham handed the ball off to Johnson who powered his way through a herd of Rams. Johnson made his way down the field and turned on his jets for a 78-yard touchdown run. The touchdown gave Forbush a 20-0 lead with 2:39 left before halftime.
Starmount put down its first touchdown with a drive that started on the 38. Dezern handed the ball off to Ethan Barnes and J. Max Swaim as the Rams made their way down the field. With time winding down, Dezern was able to put the ball into the end zone himself. Dezern made his way to the right, then faked back left until he found a hole in the defense for a Starmount touchdown. The extra point was blocked by the Falcons. At halftime, Forbush had a 20-6 lead over the Rams.
The third and fourth quarters saw turnovers and touchdowns. The Rams had a fumble on the opening drive of the half, which was recovered by the Falcons. Forbush recovered the ball, but their drive lasted two plays until they fumbled and Starmount recovered.
The third quarter continued on for both teams with minimal yardage on both sides of the ball. At the end of the quarter, neither team put the ball into the end zone and the Falcons still had a 20-6 lead over Starmount.
The fourth quarter saw the action heat up. Forbush put in its final touchdown of the night as Graham put up a pass to Landon Rockett. Rockett was able to shake his defender and run into the end zone for a 36-yard touchdown. The two point conversion was good and Forbush had a 28-6 lead.
Starmount started chipping away at Forbush’s lead as Barnes scored a touchdown with 7:40 left in the quarter. Barnes’ touchdown made the score 28-12, as the two point conversion was no good.
The final touchdown of the night came three minutes later as Swaim found the end zone with a 38-yard run. The two point conversion was no good and the score remained 28-18 in Forbush’s favor.
The Falcons were able to stand strong on offense and defense until time ran out. When the final whistle blew, Forbush had successfully won the Unifi Bowl 28-18 over Starmount.
Starmount moves to 0-4 overall, while Forbush is now 1-3.