Bulldogs bite Tigers in playoffs -- Injuries mount,Waldron advances

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

The Green Forest Tiger offense moved the ball last Friday night during their state football playoff game with Waldron, but an injury-riddled defense wasn't able to stop the Bulldogs speedy running backs, who led the hosts to a 46-6 victory.

"We knew what they had going in," Coach Bill Gotto said. "We got the ball first and drove from our 20 to their 20, but we missed an assignment on fourth down and didn't get it."

Waldron wasted no time in getting the Tigers attention, as fullback Keith Dedman busted up the middle for 60 yards on their first play, then Sean Kearney dashed 17 yards for six.

The Bulldogs' speed created long runs all night, including touchdowns from 60, 54, 54, 36, 32, and 17 yards. The team finished with 410 yards on 27 carries and led 32-0 at halftime.

Kearney had three touchdowns the first half, then went 60 yards to paydirt on the first play of the second half and watched the rest of the game from the sidelines.

"We were pretty consistent on offense, made some first downs and got field position, but we lost two fumbles and had two interceptions," Coach Gotto said. "We played their sweep pretty well, but they hit us with their big fullback, and Kearney made cutbacks inside the tackle box.

"Our offensive line came off hard, and Justin Wyas and John Talent rushed hard. Both had more than 90 yards rushing. Dan Punchak helped at fullback as Neil McCutcheon was still out with an injury from Berryville."

Punchak, an all-everything player for the Tigers, hurt his shoulder in the second quarter and had to leave the game, joining a number of teammates who have gone to the sideline with injuries this year. That included Josh Fritz, a lineman, who was also injured during the game.

"In the second half, we had one or two seniors on defense, the rest were sophomores, a junior, and a ninth-grader," coach said. "Waldron is a good team. The big stat for us was our turnovers. The field was nice, but it rained some during the game and the ball got slick."

Green Forest scored their only touchdown at the 4:53 mark of the third quarter when quarterback Naaman Warren fired a touchdown pass to running back Justin Wyas. Trey Kerby's kick was no good.

Seven seniors ended their careers in the playoff game, with Coach Gotto saying, "Barring injuries, it could have been better. It was a good trip to the playoffs, good for our younger people to make the trip."

GRADUATING SENIORS

Justin Wyas, John Talent, Michael Clark, Dan Punchak, Jacob Bosshardt, Josh Fritz, Will Babb.

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