By PHILLIP GARDNER
Special to the LTN
GASTONIA –– Not to put too much pressure on his quarterback, but here’s what Forestview coach Chris Medlin told Logan Bradley at halftime:
“I told him he was either going to win the game or lose the game for us,” Medlin said. “It was up to him, and he decided to win it.”
The Forestview offense heated up in the second half as Bradley broke his own single-game school passing record and led the host Jaguars past the state’s top-ranked 2A team, East Lincoln, 44-27 Friday at Joe Alala Stadium.
Bradley, a 6-foot-4 senior, passed for 364 yards and five touchdowns to lead a 393-yard offense that proved to be too much for an East Lincoln team that had won 19 consecutive games. Bradley completed 29 of 38 passes with one interception.
Down 13-9 at the break and 20-9 midway through the third quarter, Forestview scored five touchdowns over the last 15 1/2 minutes, including four in the fourth quarter, to pull out a huge win for this up-and-coming team.
“I was getting down on myself but he told me at halftime this game was up to me,” Bradley said. “That was a lot of pressure, but I realized I had to step up and start making some throws.”
Mykelti Armstrong caught three touchdown passes, Moe Neal caught two and Montavis Rogers rushed for a touchdown for a Forestview offense that exploded in the second half after a slow opening two periods that saw 119 yards and four first downs.
Armstrong’s TD catches went for 24, 13 and 10 yards as the senior finished with 13 catches for 176 yards. Neal caught nine passes for 82 yards, including TD grabs of 21 and 35 yards.
“We started off slow, but once we got rolling, we got rolling,” Armstrong said.
Forestview had a rough time trying to stop East Lincoln sophomore quarterback Chazz Surratt, who rushed for 232 yards and three touchdowns and passed for another 166 yards and a score.
But the Jaguars did take advantage of five Mustangs turnovers (four fumbles, one interception) –– the last one a fumble forced by Jarvis Jeffries one play after Forestview had gone ahead 37-27 with 3:02 remaining.
East Lincoln generated 441 yards of offense –– 275 on the ground and 166 passing –– which wasn’t enough on a turnover-plagued night (four in the first half) against a team with a multitude of offensive weapons.
“We’ve got to execute a little better,” East Lincoln coach Mike Byus said. “We did a pretty good job when we were fresh bottling up their speed. … We’ve got five guys out right now and we just didn’t have any bodies left to run out there and keep people fresh.”
Bradley topped his previous school record of 268 passing yards set against Lexington last season.
Forestview (3-1) is open next week before opening Big South Conference action Sept. 27 at home against Lake Norman Charter. East Lincoln (3-1) is also open next week and then travels to Bandys for a Southern District 7 2A Athletic Conference opener Sept. 27.