Week 6: Forreston vs East Dubuque
The Cardinals become playoff eligible in a blowout win over East Dubuque
Forreston - Saturday afternoons in Forreston are commonplace in the postseason, but this was only week 6 as a shortage of referees moved this game from its regular slated time of 7 pm on Friday to an 11 am kickoff on Saturday. Throw in the COVID era we find ourselves in, combined with setting up homecoming activities for an outdoors event, and that is how we end up with a kickoff time normally scheduled for the day after Thanksgiving.
Forreston would go to work quickly in this game, as they forced the Warriors to punt on their first possession. Starting their first drive from the Warrior 36 yard line quick runs by Quinten Frederick, Jacob Fiorello, and McKeon Crase would push the Cards into the red zone. Fiorello would punch it in from a yard out to give Forreston a 6-0 lead just 3:59 into the game.
The ensuing Warrior drive would end in an interception by Payton Encheff after the Warriors had moved the ball deep into Forreston territory. The Cards would drive 79 yards in just 2:02, sparked by a big pass from Logan Dyson to Fiorello for a 24 yard gain. Fiorello would add a 21 yard run, while Kaleb Sanders picked up 11 yards on the drive, with his final 4 yards capping the drive with the score. The 2 point conversion would give Forreston a 14-0 lead with 2:15 left in the 1st quarter, and would hold heading into the 2nd quarter.
The Warriors would get good field position, starting at their own 40 yard line, but the drive would quickly stall out at the Cardinal 46 yard line. Just two plays later it was Fiorello taking the give up the middle, hit a slide step to his left and he was gone for a 53 yard TD run. With the 2 point conversion the Cards extended their lead to 22-0 with 8:52 remaining until the half.
Forreston's defense went back to work, quickly forcing a 3 and out and a punt. Starting at their own 39 yard line, the Cards would cover the 61 yards in just 2:24 with Devonte King-Black putting 6 on the board from 7 yards out. Another successful 2 point try would give Forreston a commanding 30-0 lead with 4:47 left before the break.
Beginning their fifth possession of the day from their own 35 yard line, the Warriors would put it all together. Sam Bowman would get big connections with Zach Freiburger for 31 yards and Bradey Huseman for 28 yards to move the Warriors into the red zone. Bowman would connect with Freiburger from the 2 yard line for the score, cutting the deficit to 30-6 with 1:01 left in the 1st half.
This would prove to be too much time for the Cards, as Keynon Janicke rallied his team up for big push in the no-huddle offense. Matthew Beltran would almost single handedly take care of the drive, popping off a 38 yard run, and then capping off the drive with an 18 yard TD burst up the middle to give Forreston a 36-6 lead at the half.
The Cardinals would start the 2nd half right where they left off. Beltran would get a give up the middle on a double dive and had nothing but day light as he gashed the Warriors for 55 yards before Brevin Lee tracked him down. Sanders would pick up his 2nd TD on the day as he punched it in from 5 yards out to give Forreston a 42-6 lead just 1:03 into the 3rd quarter.
The next possession for East Dubuque would end quickly, as they were forced to punt. Covering 38 yards in 2:04, the Cardinals would get the clock running with a 5 yard TD run by Fiorello, his 3rd score of the game that would give Forreston a 50-6 lead with 7:00 left in the 3rd quarter.
The Warriors would answer quickly, as Sam Huntington broke free for the bulk of his yards on the day with a 46 yard TD run. East Dubuque would get the 2 point conversion to cut the lead to 50-14 at the 4:44 mark of the 3rd quarter.
With the Forreston subs in, the offense would have the only drive of the day that didn't end in a score, as they turned the ball over on downs. Taking over at the Cardinal 32 yard line, Bowman would quickly strike again with a 20 yard TD connection to Freiburger to cut the lead down to 50-20 with 10:50 left in the game.
Forreston would eat up the remainder of that 10:50 with a 57 yard drive that would be capped by Sanders' 3rd TD run on the day from 4 yards out to bring the final score to 56-20 and give Forreston the big win on homecoming.
Matthew Beltran paced the Cardinal rushing attack with 139 yards on 7 attempts with 1 TD, and he added 21 yards receiving. Jacob Fiorello added 106 yards rushing with 3 scores, and picked up 24 yards through he air. Kaleb Sanders had 25 yards rushing with 3 TD's. Logan Dyson went 3-4 passing for 45 yards. Devonte King-Black had 21 yards on the ground a score.
Sam Bowman went 13-22 passing for 115 yards and 2 TD's to lead the Warrior offense. Zach Freiburger hauled in 6 passes for 90 yards and had 2 TD's. Sam Huntington picked up 53 yards rushing with 1 TD.
Forreston (5-1) will hit the road in a big game with Fulton (4-2) that will have playoff seeding on the line between two state ranked foes.
East Dubuque (1-5) will return home to play EPC (0-6).