Game Summaries & Headlines.
The Eagles took a serious look in the mirror last week after their 30-27 loss to Freedom on the road. The lessons learned were striking, and the victims in this case were the Hylton Bulldogs. The Forge took down the Dawgs for the seventh time in the 10 game series between the two schools. Hylton has not defeated the GREEN since November 12, 2012….and that will last at least another year.
The Eagles game plan looked strikingly similar to the one they had against Freedom. Strike early and often and throw the first punch. That is exactly what the Eagles did; lighting up the board on their seventh snap from scrimmage when quarterback Madden Lowe hit Elijah Sarratt over the middle and Sarratt took it in from 37 yards out. Phillip Lovelace added the point after, and before many had settled in, the Eagles had a 7-0 lead.
The Forge defense held the Bulldogs on their first series as they forced the home squad to punt from their own 35-yard line. After the return, the Eagles went 60 yards in just six plays with Jamal Thomas bobbing and weaving thru the porous Hylton defense and he hit pay dirt after a 23 yard run with 5:22 left in the first quarter. Lovelace’s point after made it 14-0 and this was looking like a repeat of Freedom just seven nights prior.
Hylton continued to struggle on their next possession going three and out and the Forge started just their 3rd drive of the night at their own 46-yard line. After a false start penalty on first down, Lowe mixed the run and the pass during another mini drive that went 54 yards in eight plays and from the red zone, Lowe connected with Cade Bills on a pass over the middle from 23 yards out. When Lovelace drilled the extra point, the Forge had another 21-0 lead with 1:33 left in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs would again go three and out late in the quarter, but the Forge still had some points to cash in. The quarter ended with the Eagles driving but when they changed ends, the Forge drove the ball down to the Hylton 27 yard line, where the drive stalled. Lovelace came on and drilled a 44 yard field goal that would have been good from 54 yards out and it gave the Eagles a 24-0 lead with 10:29 left until halftime.
The home team continued to struggle and each time they seemed to get positive yardage, they were hit with a penalty, on their first drive of the second quarter, they were moving the ball nicely until the Eagle defense tightened. Hylton had a 4th and 11 from their own 41 when they lost their minds a little bit by going for it on fourth down. Bulldog quarterback Tyler Mitchell was snowed under by a sea of white jerseys and the Forge took over on downs.
The Eagles struck quickly as Lowe put a dart into the bread basket of Delyn Palmer from 41 yards out and the Eagles stretched the lead to 31-0 with 7:03 left until the halftime break.
The Bulldogs did not wait for halftime to re-group and get on the scoreboard, they ran the ensuing Lovelace kickoff back 75 yards and lit the scoreboard on the home side making it read Forge 31 Hylton 7 midway through the second stanza.
Late in the quarter Lowe’s legs got into the act as he scrambled inside the Hylton 20 and before he went to the turf, he was carrying the pigskin into the end zone with 3:15 left before the break. Lovelace kicked the point after and the Eagles were on top 38-7.
Just when you thought that a trip to the concession stand was in your future, Forge’s Max Kauthen stopped you in your tracks. Kauthen stepped I front of a Mitchell pass and headed for the right sideline. There was a gaggle of players in front of the Hylton bench and Kauthen turned on the after burners and outran the defenders to the end zone for another Forge score. Lovelace came on to kick the point after and the Eagles lead grew again to 45-7.
On the ensuing kickoff more special team magic from the Eagles as Lovelace’s kick bounced off the shoulder pad of a Bulldog player toward the on rushing Forge special teamers. Junior Gus Goodell swooped in and fell on the loose change and the Eagles were in business at the Bulldog 37 yard line with 1:37 left until the break. The Eagles got to the Hylton 6 yard line but time ran out on them and they went to the halftime locker room leading 45-7.
The second half featured that merciful running clock and another fruitless opening drive by the home team. The Eagles then went 59 yards in just six plays and that ended well again with Nico Lee punching it in from the one-yard line. Lovelace added the extra point and the Eagles were ahead 52-7 with 7:03 left in the contest.
The reserves for both teams got their time on the field late in the quarter, and it was the Forge reserves with just one more score in them. The night was capped off by Payton Morrison 6 yard touchdown run with 1:20 left. It was Dennys Rubio tacking on the point after and the Forge got back on the bus with another victory over Hylton by a score of 59-7.
The victory improved the Eagles record to 2-1 and they will put an end to this four game road trip next week at Brooke Point. The Forge will open up Commonwealth District play, against the last team to beat them in district competition, back in 2016. In two weeks, the Eagles will be enjoying their home opener on October 4 against the Riverbend Bears at Eagles Stadium.
JUST CALL HER A HALL OF FAMER! - Congratulations to our very own Karen Mays as she was inducted into the Hylton Hall of Fame at halftime on Friday night. Karen was one of two coaches recognized during the ceremony. Mays was a soccer coach at Hylton from 1991-1996, and a volleyball coach from 2001-2005. She came to become an assistant principal at Forge in the fall of 2011.