By Chris Johnson

Sports Correspondent

An amazing offensive night, with historic significance, greeted the Forreston Cardinals in their opening round clash with the Wildcats of Chicago Luther North. With the final score of 67-0 in the books and a total of 717 yards recorded on the field, the two-seed pushed forth into the second round of the Class 1A State Tournament and a meeting with seven-seed Stark County. With both the Rebels and Cardinals hosting their opening round games, the IHSA regulations require the higher seed to host the second round game. Forreston will be home this weekend.

Gavin Fuchs got the scoring going for Forreston as he found room and ran away from any trouble. His 61-yard run paired with the extra-point strike by Shaun Wedmaier, gave the Cardinals the 7-0 edge, just minutes into the game.

After a successful defensive stand, Forreston got the ball back and made it count in a hurry. Matt Akins pushed through his line and into end zone for the one-yard score. Wedmaier was good with his kick attempt as Forreston stretched the lead to 14-0. A powerful defense met Luther North and gave the ball back to the Cardinals. Forreston on the next drive broke through again. Lane Henneman used his field vision and followed his blocker to open field. He scored from 49-yards out. The extra point kick failed. Forreston’s lead grew to 20-0.

As time wound towards completion in the first quarter, Forreston scored again. Aj Christensen broke a tackle and carried it from midfield. His 50 yard run pushed Forreston’s offense towards the 200 yard mark before the first period came to a close.

There was no let-up in the second quarter. Forreston found a new offensive level and an enhanced path to the end zone. Akins stared off the scoring with the three-yard carry as time began in the period. Fuchs followed minutes later on a 67-yard scamper. The Forreston lead grew to 40-0. The Cardinals had a running clock to work with in the third quarter already built. A lot of time remained in the second quarter. Forreston stayed focused. With minutes remaining, Henneman broke free from coverage and scored on a 55-yard strike. The extra-point kick pushed the total to 47. The halftime break still waited for Luther North. Forreston kept moving. Akins score on a 49-yard run worked the half into view. At the break, Forreston was in front 61-0.

600 and soon to be 700 yards offense was to be secured for Forreston as the night wound down. Akins carried the ball eight times for 112 yards. Fuchs had three carries for 142. Henneman averaged over 22 yards a carry and Rogers finished the night with 103 yards on the ground. Four backs for Forreston crossed the 100-yard mark in the 67-0 win.

Stark County is 7-3 as they prepare to visit Ogle County this weekend. Forreston is 10-0 and knows it will have a chance to meet up with a familiar opponent in the Quarterfinal, if they get past the Rebels first. A win by Forreston this weekend could mean they might have to contend with the Lena-Winslow Panthers if they have any desire to reach the Class 1A Semi-Final.

The previously undefeated Stockton Blackhawks were stunned by 14-seed Catlin-Salt Fork in their Class 1A Tournament opener, 43-42. Salt Fork’s reward is a home game this weekend. Lena-Winslow hosted their opening round match with the Bureau Valley Storm. The Panthers came away with the 40-point win, 54-14 and will now need to take the nearly four-hour road trip to Catlin, to play this weekend for a shot at the quarterfinal and a possible rematch with Forreston.

5443: Forreston's Gavin Fuchs runs for a touchdown on their first play of the IHSA Class 1A playoff game in Forreston Friday, Oct. 28.

5443: Forreston’s Gavin Fuchs runs for a touchdown on their first play of the IHSA Class 1A playoff game in Forreston Friday, Oct. 28.

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