FORNEY, Texas — The Falcons were looking to bounce back this week with a district win after back-to-back losses to Ennis and Corsicana. Things didn’t go according to plan in Greenville, however. North Forney’s defense had absolutely no answer for the Lions’ offensive attack. Greenville put on a scoring barrage that helped defeat the Falcons, 38-49.
The Falcons’ defense had been the team’s backbone all season, so these following stats may be tough to process for some as they were for myself. On the night, the Falcons’ defense would allow 580 total yards, 386 yards rushing, 194 yards passing (to a QB who only had 21 yards passing the week prior), 25 first downs and most importantly 49 points. The previous high for points allowed from the defense was just 33 to Ennis.
Greenville quarterback Brandon Stephens ended the night with 194 yards passing, 113 yards rushing and 3 total touchdowns. However, Lions running back Lester Turner arguably had an even better night, rushing for 218 yards on just 20 carries. He also scored 3 times. His 10.9 yards per carry average meant every time he touched the ball, in theory, he was getting a first down.
The Falcons could not figure out how to stop the Run-Pass Option attack of Greenville. That dilemma was also aided by the fact that North Forney seemingly forgot how to tackle on the night. Some credit goes to Lester and other Lions players, but the Falcons are better tacklers than they showed on Friday night.
North Forney’s offense did not have nearly the same struggles as their defensive teammates did. The Falcons offense would get the ball first and proceed to go 80 yards on 11 plays. The drive took just 2 minutes and 52 seconds and the Falcons were up 7-0. The score would come via a 14-yard scramble from quarterback Jacob Acuna (12 of 27 passing for 194 yards 0 TD, 0 INT and 19 yards rushing and 1 TD).
After Greenville answered with their own 13 play, 73-yard touchdown drive to tie the game at 7-7 North Forney would see-saw back in front with a quick strike 5 play ,51-yard touchdown drive that started out at their own 49-yard line thanks to nice kick return from LaMarcus Kirk. The drive would have a pair of 25-yard runs from running back Ty Collins the latter of which would put the Falcons up 13-7 as the extra point would fail.
Greenville would leap ahead by a point thanks to a 6-play scoring drive capped off by a 40-yard touchdown run by Turner towards the end of the 1st quarter. On the next drive, following a 49-yard pass completion from Acuna to wide receiver Kam Allen, the Falcons would turn the ball over on downs inside the Lions’ 10-yard line. That result in hindsight would prove costly on the night.
Greenville’s next possession would be one of the few times they would not make it into the endzone on the night. They would miss a 40-yard field goal attempt.
North Forney would respond with a 12 play, 77-yard touchdown drive highlighted by a 27-yard scamper by Collins and capped off by a 9-yard touchdown run from Jacob Soto (15 carries for 84 yards and 1 TD). The Falcons would convert the 2 point try and lead 21-14 with 4:23 left before halftime.
The 2nd half started just the way Head Coach Randy Jackson and the rest of the Falcons hoped it would. A three and out defensively, followed by an 11 play, 60-yard touchdown drive ending with a 1-yard Collins touchdown run put the Falcons up 28-14. Things seemed like they were starting to fall into place for the Falcons second district win of the year.
Greenville had their own agenda, however. Outside of a Falcons’ interception by Tre Barksdale, the Lions would score touchdowns on 5 of their last 6 possessions of the game. 3 of those 5 touchdowns would come from 22, 45 and 65 yards out. Big plays and poor tackling once again plagued the Falcons defense late.
Those scores were sandwiched around the last North Forney touchdown of the night coming off a beautiful 39-yard touchdown run that would make Earl Campbell jealous. Collins broke 5 tackles from Lions defenders on his way to the endzone.
The Falcons would also kick through a 39 yard 4th quarter field goal thank to the leg of Carlos Rodriguez who got a little kiss from the left upright before going through.
But one of the biggest plays of the game came from an excruciatingly costly error by the officials. On what clearly (and after watching the film, it stands out even more clearly) should’ve been a sack and forced fumble caused by Aqunimo “Nemo” Asuquo the head official erroneously called it an incomplete pass allowing the Lions to retain possession instead of turning the ball over to North Forney up by 10 points. Greenville would go on to score a touchdown.
Greenville trailing 38-35 with 5:58 to play in the game recovered a perfectly executed onside kick that would help them take the lead for good just two plays later.
The super Falcons’ defense finally met their kryptonite. On Friday night the Greenville Lions offense proved to be just too much. North Forney would fall with a final of 38-49.
The loss moves North Forney to 3-3, 1-3 in district on the year. Next week they come home to face the Kaufman Lions for Homecoming. The kickoff is at 7:30pm and the pregame show starts on SHN sports on youtube.com at 7:10pm.