Carolina Forest’s upset bid falls shy to Fort Dorchester

cffoot-fdAs impressive as Carolina Forest’s season-opening victory was last week, the Panthers may have earned more respect in Friday night’s 36-28 loss to No. 2-ranked Fort Dorchester.

Carolina Forest’s final push to force a tie the game ended 2 yards shy of the end zone with a Fort Dorchester interception in the final minute. The play ended a valiant upset bid by the Panthers (1-1) to knock off the visiting Patriots (2-0).

With Fort Dorchester standout sophomore quarterback Dakereon Joyner serving a one-quarter suspension, the Panthers took advantage by jumping out to an early lead on a 3-yard touchdown run by Matt Beale. But the Pats struck quickly on Joyner’s first series with his 33-yard TD pass to Adonicas Sanders.

The Panthers reclaimed the lead on Dyverse Simmons’ 18-yard TD run but a decision to go for it on fourth-and-3 in their own territory proved costly for Carolina Forest. Joyner hit Deandre Champagne for a game-tying touchdown in the final seconds for a 14-all halftime tie.

The two teams traded fumbles deep in their own territory in the third. Carolina Forest cashed in on an 8-yard TD run by Simmons, and the defense held the Pats to a field goal to keep a 21-17 edge. But Joyner threw his third TD pass of the game to give Fort Dorchester its first lead at 23-21.

The Pats took control of the game with a 98-yard TD drive in the fourth, capped by Datron James’ 38-yard TD run. An interception set the table for James’ second TD run and a 36-21 lead with 4 minutes remaining. But the Panthers refused to go away as Beale scored his second TD run from 3 yards out to cut the deficit to 36-28 with 3 minutes.

The Carolina Forest defense made a huge play to force a fumble and return it deep into Forest Dorchester territory with 2 minutes left. But Beale’s fourth-down pass was picked off at the 2 and the Pats ran out the clock to escape with the win.

Carolina Forest returns to action next Friday against visiting St. James.

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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