FORNEY, Texas — Unity Bowl 2019 is a night Jackrabbit fans will certainly want to forget.
The Jackrabbits, the game’s visiting team on a night in which Black and Gold covered the East side bleachers, mustered only 140 yards of total offense. Meanwhile the North Forney Falcons compiled 363 yards in the 57-10 route in the district opener and took the Unity Bowl Trophy back to North Forney High School for just the second time in its history.
Most of the offense produced by the Jackrabbits was late in the game when the score was already heavily lopsided.
After forcing a punt on the opening drive of the game, the Jackrabbit Offense began on their own 20 yard line. On the very first offensive play of the game, Senior Quarterback Campbell Anderson threw his first interception of the night, compliments of a spectacular play by the Falcon Defense. North Forney took over with great field position and a play later found themselves leading 7-0. Hoping to respond, the Jackrabbits were then forced to punt on their next drive. The odds stacked against them, and with the Falcons offense already in Jackrabbit territory, the Forney Defense recovered a fumble and momentum seemed to be shifting back to the visiting team. However, the Offense was still unable to move the ball against a very stingy defense and the Jackrabbits were three and out once again. At this point the Falcons proceeded to run the ball taking chunks at a time, ultimately scoring on an 8 yard touchdown run making the score 14-0. Another Jackrabbit fumble as well as a 27 yard touchdown run by Jacob Soto and a 2 point conversion to boot gave the Falcons a 22-0 lead with a minute still to go in the first quarter.
North Forney had a great game plan coming in to this game and executed it beautifully. In typical Coach Randy Jackson fashion, you run the same play over and over until the opposing team proves they can’t stop it. The Jackrabbits did not give him such proof and therefore did not have to dig very deep into his playbook. Although much of the credit for this win in my opinion goes to their defense. Linebackers and secondary were flying all over the field and the defensive line appeared to be unblockable. The one touchdown the Jackrabbits were able to obtain was a 15 yard pass from Anderson to Junior Wide Receiver Aaron Mount.
The Jackrabbit offensive line - AJ Shultz, Micah Owens, Brayden Carroll, Cade Crawford, Alex Bowen and Reese Mercer all had their hands full with a very strong and athletic defensive line and pass rush. Anderson was only able to complete 5 passes. Aaron Mount, Sam Guercia, Brayden Kirkland and Riley McMurren all had catches and for the second week in a row, Braden Benjamin was held without a reception. Tight Ends Chase Berg and Nick Newville (both of which have found the end zone this year) were also held without a single catch. On the ground, RB Jayln Phillips had 16 carries for 25 yards, Tayton Auldridge had 4 carries for 25 yards, and Sophomore RB Josh Stephens had 13 carries for 54 yards and was the spark on the only touchdown drive averaging 4 yards per carry.
The loss puts the Jackrabbits season record at 1-2, but more importantly puts their district record at 0-1. In a district in which several teams are ranked in the top 25 in the area, district wins will come at a premium. I talked to Campbell about this after the Saturday morning Brotherhood Bruch and he said “I know we CAN do it, it’s just WILL we?” The Falcons improve to 3-0 on the season, and at 1-0 appear to be in the driver’s seat of District 8 5AII. Ennis, Terrell,
and Corsicana all had wins in the district opener. Ennis is ranked #10 in the area, Corsicana is also tough and Terrell with new Head Coach Marvin Sedberry seems to have its program back on track once again. Forney, Sulphur Springs, Greenville and Kaufman all start their district play off with a loss and will each be giving their best effort to not fall to 0-2.
Next week the Jackrabbits will host theTerrell Tigers on Homecoming night at City Bank Stadium. Tune in to the game on www.sportsgram.net and listen to Brandon, Nate and Ben bring you all of the action.