Both teams entered this game knowing it would be a test. The Jaguars were faced with a task of trying to stop East Lincoln’s 19-game winning streak and slowing down Mustang quarterback Chaz Surratt and company. The Mustangs were faced with the task of slowing down Forestview’s high-powered offense led by quarterback Logan Bradley and runningback Bishop Ford.
Early in the game, it would be the defenses that set the tone. The Mustangs would turn it over on their first two drives and the Jaguars turned it over on their second drive as well. In fact, the first score of the game would be by the defense. The Jaguars forced a safety on East Lincoln to get on the board with a 2-0 lead. On the ensuing drive, the offense got on the board too. Logan Bradley connected with Moe Neal for a 29-yard touchdown pass. Just like that, it was 9-0.
The Mustangs went to work and cut Forestview’s lead to 9-7 with a Surratt 80-yard touchdown pass to Chris Tomberlin. The Mustangs would be poised to take the lead later in the second quarter, but fumbled the ball just short of the goal-line. But they would redeem themselves before half-time when Surratt punched it in from the one-yard line. The Mustangs took a 13-9 lead into the break.
Surratt would extend the Mustangs’ lead to 20-9 with a three-yard touchdown run. But that would be the end of their fun as the Jaguars would go on a tear from there. Logan Bradley led his Jaguars to a come-back with three touchdown passes. Two to Mykelti Armstrong (from 24 yards out and 13 yards out) and Moe Neal (35 yards). Bradley’s 35-yard touchdown connection to Neal gave the Jaguars the 23-20 lead early in the fourth quarter. Armstrong’s 13-yard touchdown reception extended Forestview’s lead to 30-20.
The Mustangs were not done yet. Surratt continued using his feet to get the Mustangs back in it. His eight-yard touchdown run cut Forestview’s lead to 30-27. But East Lincoln’s defense could not hold. On fourth-and-goal from the two-yard line, Montavis Rogers punched it in and gave the Jaguars a 37-27 advantage. A sack and forced fumble by Jarvis Jeffries and the recovery by Garrett Robinson of Forestview gave the Jaguars one more chance to put points on the board. And they do with another Bradley-to-Armstrong connection. This time from ten-yards out. Kicker Colton Rouse was perfect on his extra points, going 6-for-6.
Forestview had two turnovers on the night (one fumble and one interception) while East Lincoln had five (four fumbles and one interception).
“We got tired and we were not as deep as they were.” East Lincoln head coach Mike Byus said “You got to run some fresh bodies out there. We just didn’t have the depth (due to injuries). We got to get healthy and we got to execute better.”
“That’s why we play two halves.” Forestview head coach Chris Medlin said “They played a complete game and responded to the challenge. I am proud of them.”
Said Medlin about his defense that forced five turnovers “We played well on defense. We bent and bent, but we stood up when we had to.”
On Logan Bradley’s five-touchdown performance “Logan stepped up to the challenge. He showed the type of leadership that he was capable of. I’m proud of him.”
Both teams will have a bye week next week before opening conference play. Forestview will be home against Lake Norman Charter in two weeks. East Lincoln will travel to Bandys.
“It’s a great time for a bye week.” Medlin said “Have a chance to get some rest and to get healthy.”