In a game that saw the North's past 2 state representatives, it was also the 4th time that Forreston and Stark County have met in the playoffs in 5 seasons. Both teams have become very familiar with each other. Forreston came into this game as the #1 ranked and #2 seeded team, while Stark County was the preseason #1 state ranked team.
This game would be the Anthony Christensen show, as the junior ran 14 times for 281 yards and 4 TD's, as the Rebels had no answer for the speed of the Cardinals offense en route to a 43-14 victory to propel them into the quarterfinals.
Forreston would quickly jump out to a 14-0 lead as Christensen and Gavin Fuchs would get the Cards on the board with 68 yard and 3 yard TD runs respectively. Stark County would answer when Cade Tuthill connected with Logan Knobloch on the 1st play of their 3rd offensive series on a 68 yard TD pass. The extra point was good as Forreston led 14-7 to end the 1st quarter.
At the start of the 2nd quarter Forreston would strike again, as Christensen would find pay dirt from 11 yards out. The extra point failed and Forreston led 20-7. The Rebels would quickly answer that score with a 59 yard drive in just over 2 minutes capped by a Knobloch 4 yard TD run as they closed the gap to 20-14.
As time was winding down in the first half, Forreston would drive to the Stark County 4 yard line where a 21 yard field goal by Shaun Wedmaier would give the Cards a 23-14 halftime lead.
The second half belonged to Forreston, as Christensen would hit on a 42 yard TD run less than 4 minutes into the 3rd quarter. Hunter Daws would get in the action with a 2 yard TD run with a minute left in the 3rd quarter to extend the lead to 36-14 in favor of Forreston. And that man Christensen came through 1 more time from 24 yards out with just under 9 minutes left in the game to put the final touches on the 43-14 final.
For the night Forreston would rack up 586 yards of total offense with 552 yards rushing and 34 yards passing. Matt Akins would finish the night with 13 carries for 77 yards, Gavin Fuchs would add 13 carries for 61 yards and 1 TD, and Garett Badertscher would pitch in with 12 carries for 75 yards. Hunter Daws was 3-8 passing for 34 yards and 4 carries for 11 yards and 1 TD.
For Stark County they would finish with 268 yards of total offense with 220 yards passing and 48 yards rushing. Cade Tuthill was 17-27 passing for 212 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT. Logan Knobloch hauled in 7 receptions for 105 yards and 1 TD and had 1 carry for 4 yards and 1 TD. Bryce Knowles had 7 receptions for 48 yards, James King had 2 receptions for 55 yards, and Wyatt Schupp carried the ball 15 times for 48 yards.
With the win Forreston improves to 11-0 and will travel to Lena to take on the Le-Win Panthers (9-2) in the quarterfinals next week at 1 pm.
Head over to our Flickr Account to view all game photos.