Brody Cagna (12) powers his way through the East Wilkes defense on Friday night. – Kristian Russell | The Ripple
RONDA — 2004 was an interesting year for several reasons; the New England Patriots were the Super Bowl Champions, American Idol was in its prime and the Forbush Falcons had started the season with a 3-0 record. 15 years later, New England are once again the Super Bowl Champions, American Idol is back on TV and the Forbush Falcons are starting the 2019 season with a 3-0 record.
East Wilkes has not taken a loss to the Falcons since 2014, this time around Forbush was able to break their losing streak. Both the Falcons and the Cardinals were coming off of wins in the second week. Both sides of the field were looking to keep their win streaks alive, and it happened to be the team from East Bend.
Forbush put together a four quarter game that threw the Cardinals off their usual performance. The Falcons played a tough game as they took a 30-0 win, for their third win and second shutout of the season. East Wilkes earned its second loss of the season, and its first home loss since last year’s playoff run.
“We kind of expected it,” said Forbush head coach Chris Johnson on how it feels to be 3-0. “Granted we did not expect to win 30-0. East Wilkes is a good team and we just caught them on a bad night. They had a few turnover issues which helped us out a lot. They are going to win a lot of games this season and that is a good team we just beat. Again, we did expect to be 3-0 tonight and I am very happy and proud of our kids. I’m even more proud of our coaches as they have came in and gotten our kids prepared for this game. Big congrats to the coaches as well.”
Forbush was able to take an early lead over the Cardinals as the clock read 8:13. The Falcons put a field goal through the uprights to take a 3-0 lead over East Wilkes.
East Wilkes started its opening drive on the 35-yard line. On first and ten, Caeden Howell passed the ball down field to Bryson Sidden for a three yard gain. On second and seven from the 38, Howell went to the air once again and found the hands of Sidden. Sidden put down 11 yards to give the Cardinals a first down on the 49-yard line.
As the drive continued on, Howell handed the ball off to Brayson Church who gained five yards with his run. On the next play, Church received the ball once again and gained 19-yards for East Wilkes. On second and 12 from the 35-yard line, East Wilkes was looking to keep its drive going. Unfortunately for the home team, the Forbush Falcons defense had a different idea. On the pitch off to Church, Howell fumbled the ball and the Falcons were able to recover it at the 35-yard line.
The Falcons were looking to capitalize off of the fumble recovery, but they were unable to make it down the field. Forbush gained only six yards before they had to punt the ball away in fourth and four.
With 3:16 left in the opening quarter, East Wilkes started its drive at the 34 yard line. The drive started backwards for the home team, as a flag was thrown for a hold which backed the Cards up to the 24-yard line. On the next play, Howell passed the ball off to Church who was immediately brought down in the back field by Luke Bowers. The play resulted in a loss of five yards, which brought up second and 25 from the 20.
The next play was an incomplete pass, and on third down the Cardinals were unable to make any positive movements which resulted in the punting crew taking the field. The Cardinals punted the ball away and Forbush took over at the 44-yard line.
The Falcons once again made it down the field, but this time they were able to make it into the end zone. On third and three from the 49-yard line, Casey Graham handed the ball off to Luke Bennett who made his mark with a 32-yard run. The run by Bennett gave Forbush a first down at the 17-yard line.
Graham handed the ball off to Brody Cagna who ran the ball for a gain of eight. On second and two from the 10, East Wilkes was flagged for a face mask which took the ball to the 3 yard line. The Falcons set up in a T-Formation with Cagna to the right of Graham. When the ball was snapped, Graham handed the ball off to Cagna who ran for a five yard touchdown. The point after attempt was successful and with 9:32 left in the second quarter, Forbush had a 10-0 lead over the Cardinals.
East Wilkes went three and out on their next drive, as they only accumulated two yards. The Cardinals punted the ball away and it landed on the 42-yard line which put Forbush in prime position.
It took Forbush six plays before they put another seven points on the board. On first and goal from the six yard line, Graham once again handed the ball off to Cagna who made his way into the end zone for the touchdown. The extra point was good, and with 6:17 left before the half, Forbush had a 17-0 lead.
As the second quarter continued on, East Wilkes kept struggling to maintain control of the ball. On third and eight from the 42, the Cardinals fumbled the ball and Forbush’s Malik Dunlap recovered it at the 44-yard line.
Forbush was able to make the most of the turnover as they drove down the field and added seven more points to the board. This time around, Graham put the ball into the hands of Derek Matthews who ran for a four yard touchdown. Forbush was sitting in control as they had a 24-0 lead heading into the halftime break.
“First half was fantastic for us,” said Johnson. “We punted the ball one time, we had zero penalties and zero turnovers. Second half I wish we could have come out and finished it off better than we did. We only scored one touchdown in the second half, but all in all I have a big smile on face.”
After the break, both teams stalled out on their first drives of the third quarter. Cagna was able to sack Howell for a loss of nine yards, then Bowers tackled Church once again for a loss of two yards. On third and 21 from the 29-yard line, Howell was pressured out of the pocket and with Forbush bearing down he put the ball in the air. Trey Lambert came down with the catch and gained 16-yards for the Cardinals but it was not enough for the first down. East Wilkes punted the ball away and the Falcons took over at the 30.
Forbush’s drive also stalled out as they went three and out. The Falcons were forced to punt and the home team received the ball and the 32-yard line. East Wilkes started the drive with a false start which brought up first and 15. On the next play, Lambert picked up 13 yards for the Cardinals which brought up second and two. Two plays later, the home team put down a first down as Howell handed the ball off to Church, who picked up another 13 yards and gave East Wilkes the ball at the 43-yard line.
Just as it seemed East Wilkes was shaping up for a good drive, the play was stalled. On first and ten from the 34, Howell threw the ball down field and it was intercepted by Nathan Hampton. Forbush took over with 6:21 left in the third quarter.
As the third quarter turned into the fourth, the visitors were able to put up another touchdown. With 9:22 left in the game the Falcons put the final nail in the coffin. Cagna scored his third touchdown of the night with a five yard run. The point after was wide left, but the Falcons held a 30-0 lead over East Wilkes.
As the fourth quarter was winding down, East Wilkes was unable to come up with positive plays as they were faced with a tough Forbush defense. The Falcons were able to see the rest of the game out, as they took a 30-0 win over East Wilkes.
East Wilkes is 1-2 and will host Winston Salem Prep on Friday night. Forbush is now 3-0 overall and will host Starmount in the Unifi Bowl.
“Again that’s a team that is 2-1, it is a rival game and we know we are going to get their best shot,” said Johnson on Friday night’s game against Starmount. “We beat them last year so they are out for revenge. Hopefully we can meet and exceed their passion and intensity when we play.”
Forbush offensive stats:
C. Graham – Nine carries for 59 yards, 4-10 for 56 yards.
L. Bennett – 100 rushing yards
A. Cranfill – 57 rushing yards and 17 receiving yards
D. Matthews – 25 rushing yards and 35 receiving yards
B. Cagna – 29 rushing yards and three touchdowns
N. Hampton – 24 rushing yards
T. Martin – 20 rushing yards
D. Hutchens – five rushing yards and one touchdown
J. Hennings – four recieving yards
Forbush defensive stats:
J. Ramey – one sack
D. Hutchens – one sack
N. Hampton – one interception
M. Kurian – one fumble recovery
M. Dunlap – one fumble recovery
From the quarterback position, Casey Graham was 4-10 for 56 yards.
Brody Cagna (12) powers his way through the East Wilkes defense on Friday night.
Forbush took a 30-0 win over East Wilkes on Friday night.
Dasaun Dalton was 3-4 on Friday night. He kicked one field goal from 18-yards out.