Wildcats squeak by Falcons

By Robert Money - rmoney@thestokesnews.com
Derek Jayson tries to make his way down the field on Friday night. - Michael Mullins | For The Stokes News

KING — Friday night’s regular season finale saw the Forbush Falcons travel to West Stokes in a game that ended 10-9. The Wildcats, who have never lost to the Falcons in eight meetings, overcame poor play and miscues to close the season as Western Piedmont 2A runner-up behind North Surry.

For the first time this season, the Wildcats didn’t score first. With less than five minutes left in the first quarter, Falcons kicker, Josh Clark, connected on a 32-yard field goal after the Wildcats attempted a fake punt that gave the visitors good field possession at midfield.

On the ensuing kickoff, senior Tyler Little returned the kickoff back to midfield. Chris Brown gained nine yards on first down and then starting quarterback, Tyler Smith, found Kelin Parson for a 34-yard pickup and gave the Cats a first-and-goal on the 8-yard line. After a 5-yard pickup on first down, the Wildcats lost six yards on second and had an incomplete pass on third down forcing the home team into a 26-yard field goal. Sophomore Caleb Peters nailed the attempt and tied the game at three with less than two minutes left in the quarter.

After both teams traded punts to begin the second quarter, Little intercepted his first of two passes on the night giving the Wildcats possession on the 43-yard line. Five plays later, Brown dashed 21 yards for the score, Peters made the extra-point and West Stokes led 10-3 at the half.

The Falcons opened the second half with the ball and started on their 26-yard line. After a penalty by the Wildcats, Forbush picked up receptions of 18 and 29 yards giving them a first down on the 19, just inside the red zone. On the next play, preseason WPAC Player of the Year Zane Johnson carried several Wildcats 19 yards for the score. The point after was never attempted as the snap was fumbled allowing the Purple Cats to stay ahead and ultimately win the game.

In the fourth quarter, the Forbush offense pushed the Wildcats’ defense on two different occasions. On the first possession, the visiting team ran nine plays and made it into West Stokes territory before the home team forced a turnover on downs on a deflected pass by Brown. After the Cats’ fifth punt of the night, the Falcons used the majority of the remaining clock and drove to the Wildcats’ 17-yard line. Facing a second-and-six with a little over a minute left in the game, Forbush decided to go to the air. Little intercepted his seventh pass of the season near the goal line and returned it 55 yards into Falcon territory. The Wildcats ran out the clock to secure the victory.

This is the second year in a row that Forbush has failed to make the NCHSAA Playoffs. The Falcons ended the 2017 season with an overall record of 4-7, and a WPAC record of 3-3.

Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.

Derek Jayson tries to make his way down the field on Friday night.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_WS-Football-Tyler-Walker-MM.jpgDerek Jayson tries to make his way down the field on Friday night. Michael Mullins | For The Stokes News

By Robert Money