Tigers lose battle for playoffs

Wednesday, November 6, 2002

FARMINGTON---- The Green Forest Tigers traveled to Farmington last Thursday night so the two teams could battle for the last playoff spot in the 1AAA conference. The night would go to the Cardinals, 32-24, but not before the Tigers gave it all they had.

The Tigers found themselves down 32-24 with 6:18 to play and the ball at their own 19. Three penalties and 16 plays later, the Tigers were left scratching their heads, wishing they had at least one more play.

The final play of the game would end at the Cardinal 15, as Austin Lasater caught a C.J. Matthews pass.

All the excitement didn't just happen in the final 6:18, as the first half could have been the Tigers best offensive performance of the year.

The Tigers struck quickly as they rumbled 60 yards in eight plays with Matthews sprinting in from 5 yards out for the 6-0 lead. The two-point conversion failed.

The Tigers struck quickly, but the Cardinals struck quicker with a 3-play, 66-yard score. All-State prospect Sean Sterling would get the first of four Grant Koettel touchdown passes on a 50-yard strike. Their two-point conversion would fail as well.

The Tigers would get the lead back when they scored on their second consecutive possession. Matthews would stumble, then rumble for 38 yards and the 12-6 lead.

Farmington didn't seem to like being behind, so they promptly came right back with another air strike. Sterling once again scored, this time on a 36-yard catch. Sterling then caught a 3-yard catch for the two-point conversion and 14-12 lead.

As much as Green Forest couldn't stop the pass, Farmington couldn't stop the run, and once again the Tigers regained the lead.

Shawn McGill got the Tigers in scoring position with the first of two big runs. McGill ran 45 yards to the Farmington four before Matthews got his third touchdown on a four-yard sprint to the corner. The two-point conversion would fail, but the Tigers would lead 18-14.

Brandon Tillman got into the act for the Cardinals on their next possession, as he put Farmington in the lead for good with a 9-yard rushing touchdown and 20-18 lead.

Farmington finally got a defensive stop, and scored again when Tillman caught a Koettel pass for a 9-yard reception and 26-18 lead.

The Tigers weren't done as McGill would pass the 100-yard mark when he busted loose on a 58-yard nifty rushing touchdown.

Farmington would score one more time in the second half to give the game its final mark of 32-24.

Matthews would lead the Tigers with 140 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries. He also had three receptions for 40 yards. McGill had one score and 117 yards on 10 carries.

Lasater added 41 yards on eight carries, and John Foster and Josh Brightwell would add 18 and 39 respectively.

The Tigers would accumulate 410 total yards compared to 407 by Farmington.

Tillman led the ground attack for Farmington with 153 yards on 19 carries. He had three scores, including two via the air.

Sterling led the Cardinals in receptions with 140 yards on six catches, with two touchdowns.

Michael Clark had a fumble recovery and Naaman Warren had an interception for the Tigers.

The Tigers will play what will be their play-off game in all respects this Friday night when they host cross-county rival Berryville.

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