LOCKDOWN DEFENSE

Rockets cap regular season with big win over Mt. Pleasant

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CHAPEL HILL — A steady dose of an effective ground attack was enough for the Forrest Rockets (7-3, 5-0) to finish the District 5-2A schedule unbeaten in Friday night’s regular season finale against Mt. Pleasant.
The Rockets were led by a one-two punch of Tayton Swift and Liam Bell, who combined for over 200 yards on the ground, in the Rockets’ 25-7 win over the Tigers.
In total, Forrest cranked out 411 yards of offense, with 360 coming on the ground.
Swift was the top producer on the ground, toting the rock 13 times for 125 yards, while Bell added 99 yards on 16 carries.
Rocket quarterback Hunter Bennett added 51 yards through the air, completing 4-of-10 tries. 
The Rockets kept with the trend of stingy defense and allowed Mt. Pleasant (2-7, 1-4) to total just 66 offensive yards, an even split of 33 on the ground and 33 on through the air.
Forrest took the game’s opening drive and marched it down the Tigers’ throats, milking nearly six minutes off the clock.
The drive spanned 12 plays before Bennett blasted his way into the end zone on a 5-yard score.
Gavin Grissom’s kick after put the Rockets up, 7-0, with 6:01 left in the first quarter.
After forcing a punt on the first Mt. Pleasant drive of the night, the Tigers caught a break on the second Forrest drive and came up with an interception with 3:39 left in the first frame. 
The following Tiger drive still couldn’t muster any momentum against the Rockets’ defense and was forced to punt again.
The turnover bug hit the Rockets again early in the second quarter at the Mt. Pleasant 3-yard line. 
Even with the turnover, the Tigers again were held in check and forced to punt the ball back to the Rockets. 
Two drives later, the Rockets took possession at their own 40-yard line and with just 2:15 left on the clock, marched the ball five plays over the course of just a minute before Bell rattled loose for a 27-yard score, and following Grissom’s successful kick after, Forrest led 14-0 at the half.
Mt. Pleasant sustained its best drive of the night on the first possession of the third quarter after taking over at its own 12-yard line.
The Tigers orchestrated a 11-play drive that took 7:28 off the clock and pushed to the Forrest 32-yard line before Brenton Burchell picked off Mt. Pleasant quarterback Nick Brown, setting the Rockets up with their first second-half possession on their own 33-yard line.
Five plays later, Bennett found Christian Hammond on a 34-yard touchdown pass and again went to the air for the 2-point conversion to Swift for the 22-0 lead with 2:20 left in the third.
The Tigers finally got a flicker of life on the ensuing kickoff when Keevan Cooper found a crease and returned the ball 85 yards for the lone Mt. Pleasant score of the night. 
Following Cooper’s kickoff return, Forrest answered with a drive that pressed into the fourth quarter and near the Mt. Pleasant red zone.
The drive, however, stalled near the 23, prompting the Rockets to turn to Grissom for a 40-yard field goal, which he connected on for the final score of the night.
Friday night’s win puts a cap on what’s been a stellar regular season and sets the Rockets up for a first-round Class 2A playoff meeting against Adamsville.
Adamsville enters Friday night’s playoff meeting against the Rockets after securing fourth-place in Region 6-2A.
The Cardinals finished the regular season with a 4-6 overall record and have averaged over 30 points in four wins this season, but in six losses, have managed just 11.5 points per game.
Kickoff is set for Friday night at 7 p.m. in Chapel Hill. 
 
Mt. Pleasant 0   0   7   0 —   7
Forrest 7   7   8   3 — 25
 
First Quarter 
F — Hunter Bennett 5 run, (Gavin Grissom kick), 6:01.
Second Quarter 
F — Liam Bell 27 run, (Grissom kick), :56. 
Third Quarter 
F — Christian Hammond 34 pass from Bennett, (Swift 2pt. Pass from Burchell), 2:02. 
MP — Keevan Cooper 85 kickoff return, (Jackson kick), 1:45. 
Fourth Quarter 
F — Grissom 40 field goal, 10:48. 

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