EAST BEND — With rain in the forecast for Friday night, the Forbush Falcons moved their home conference game against the South Stokes Sauras to Thursday night. The change in the schedule didn’t deter the crowd in East Bend, as the stands were packed for Forbush’s 50th Homecoming. The Falcons put on a show on the field as they overcame a tough South Stokes football team to earn a 39-37 win.
While the Falcons eventually got the win, the first play of the game didn’t go Forbush’s way as it fumbled on the kickoff and the Sauras took over at the 45-yard line. The Falcons didn’t let the fumble deter them from making the right plays, as the Falcons defense came up with a stop on third down. The Sauras attempted a field goal, and came away with a 3-0 lead.
On the next kickoff, Tony Douglas made up for the Falcons’ earlier fumble as he evaded three tackles to run for 81 yards. Douglas’ run gave Forbush a first down at the 8-yard line. Ninety-two seconds after the Sauras earned a field goal, the Falcons answered back with a touchdown by Zane Johnson, who ran the ball in for a 10-yard touchdown run. With 7:46 left in the first quarter, the Falcons lead the Sauras 7-3.
On the Sauras’ next drive, the Falcons defense had trouble coming up with a stop. The Sauras had a four-minute drive for 67 yards, which resulted in a touchdown to give South Stokes a 10-7 lead over the Falcons. Going into the second quarter, the Sauras had a lead, but the Falcons had the momentum they needed to score another touchdown.
Forbush quarterback Jackson Cooper took the ball into the end-zone for a 13-yard run to give Forbush a 13-10 lead with 9:42 left in the second quarter. On the next Sauras drive, the Falcons defense came up with a stop and forced South Stokes to punt. Five minutes after Cooper scored his first touchdown, he took the ball into the end-zone for his second of the night. Cooper ran for 49 yards and evaded two tackles to give the Falcons a 19-10 lead.
Before the half was over, South Stokes scored another touchdown to cut the Falcons’ lead to 19-16. While it looked like Forbush would only have a three-point lead heading into the half, Cooper handed the ball off to Johnson who gave the Falcons a 26-16 lead at halftime.
The third quarter saw both teams’ defense come out to play as they both made crucial stops. The Sauras struck first in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 26-23. Forbush’s offense kept going at the Sauras’ defense and ultimately found a weak spot, as Johnson found a hole in the Sauras defense to give Forbush a 32-23 lead.
It was a tale of touchdowns in the final quarter as both South Stokes and Forbush were battling for the win. The Sauras struck first in the fourth quarter to cut Forbush’s lead, 32-30. Five minutes later, Johnson scored his third touchdown to give the Falcons a nine-point lead with 6:28 left in the game. Three minutes later South Stokes answered back with an 8-yard run to take the game to 39-37.
With time winding down, the Sauras ended up with the ball on the 48-yard line. The Falcons defense hadn’t came up with a huge stop the whole game, but in the fourth quarter, it showed up when it needed to. On third-and-two, the Sauras lined up on offense to run a pass-play. Forbush read the play perfectly and came up with a sack in the backfield to take the Sauras to four-and-20. With 1:15 left in the game, the Sauras turned the ball over on downs and the Falcons took over. Forbush knelt the ball out, and earned its first conference win of the season.
Zane Johnson rushed for 242 yards, with 28 carries and four touchdowns. Cooper rushed for 109 yards, with 10 carries and two touchdowns.
The Falcons go to 5-2 overall and 1-0 in the WPAC. They take on West Stokes in Walnut Cove on Oct. 14.