Marc Morris wasn’t concerned with his players seeing the final score and getting ahead of themselves.
Yes, Carolina Forest moved to 2-0 on the year with a resounding 41-7 win over St. James on Friday, and yes, the Panthers’ run-first scheme put up another impressive outing, rushing for 353 yards and adding six more touchdowns on the ground.
But before the Panthers made the score look as lopsided as it was, the fourth-year coach had a few choice words.
“Our guys understood that at halftime,” Morris said.
Carolina Forest and St. James combined for five total turnovers. The Panthers also piled up 11 penalties for 85 yards and at times looked like they were the relatively inexperienced team that they are.
However, that rushing production was more than enough to carry Carolina Forest to another win.
The game, moved up a day to Thursday earlier in the week, was eventually suspended with under 4 minutes to play in the first quarter after heavy storms halted play. Field conditions at Carolina Forest then led to the game being moved to St. James for its final three-plus quarters.
Carolina Forest was already leading by six points in the second quarter when the Panthers forced a fumble on a quick Sharks’ pass attempt. Three minutes, 11 seconds later, Marquavious Collier punched in his first touchdown of the season to extend the lead. The game would never get closer than that.
Matt Beale: The Carolina Forest quarterback topped 100 yards rushing before halftime and finished the game with 123 on just eight carries.
Quasim Porter: The Panthers’ tailback also eclipsed the century mark, going for 121 yards on 14 attempts.
Gage Flohr: The St. James receiver added four more receptions to his season tally and also threw a touchdown on a nifty double pass in the first quarter.
By the numbers
Nearly 24 hours passed between the initial kickoff on Thursday and the final buzzer Friday.
The teams combined for five total turnovers, including three interceptions and two fumbles.
St. James was called for just one penalty in the game, and it came on a kickoff return with under 35 seconds to go.
They said it
“We gotta go. Whoever is in the play has to make the play. We trust each other. We’re not selfish.” - Carolina Forest’s Quasim Porter, on the team’s three-back system.
“The main thing early in the season is to go out and make perfect plays, not perfect games. Obviously, we didn’t do that. Last week, we played a clean (game). That’s not what happened against (St. James).” – Carolina Forest coach Marc Morris
“These kids have been beat so much, sometimes a little bit of adversity gets them. That’s the part that we’re working really, really hard to overcome. Right now, we’re not there, but we’re going to get there. We’re in for the long haul.” - St. James coach Joey Price
St. James: at Lake City, Friday
Carolina Forest: vs. Hoggard (N.C.), Friday
CF - Matt Beale 29 run (Freddie Kane kick)
STJ - Ames Fowble 39 rec from Gage Flohr (Riley Parker kick)
CF - David Legette 1 run (conv. failed)
CF - Marquavious Collier 1 run (Kane kick)
CF - Quasim Porter 2 run (Kane kick)
CF - Collier 2 run (Kane kick)
CF - Jackson Weatherwax 6 run (Kane kick)
Rushing: St. James: Chris Anderson 17-44. Carolina Forest: Player Quasim Porter 14-121; Matt Beale 8-123; David Legette 14-60; Marquavious Collier 12-49.
Passing: Passing: St. James: Jacob Tyler 2-8-1, 29 yards; Berkeley Young 7-11-1, 19 yards. Carolina Forest: Matt Beale 3-6-1, 30 yards.
Receiving: St. James: Gage Flohr 4-31; Grant Duvall 2-17. Home: Player Shawn Mallo 1-20.