Tigers rally with 22 points in fourth to win Homecoming

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Green Forest Tiger football team wasn't happy with itself last Friday when it went into halftime of Homecoming down 13-0 to the Gravette Lions.

So they did something about it.

The Tigers got over a flat first half by scoring 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to earn a 29-19 victory, keeping their record clean at 6-0.

"It was Homecoming and we were flat for a while," Coach Bill Gotto said, "but we turned that around. We scored 22 points in nine minutes in the fourth. The players did that.

"Our halftime talk was that we just weren't getting it done. It was good leadership the second half, and a team effort to come back. Our offensive line, backs, quarterback and defensive line all did their part," Gotto said.

"Gravette had a lot of players back from last year and they were strong. But at the end we got a little stronger," Gotto said about the exciting comeback that had a big Homecoming crowd going wild at the end.

GAME ACTION

Green Forest made it to the end zone first when quarterback C.J. Matthews sprinted around right end behind good blocking early in the first period. But a holding call wiped out the score, and Gravette took advantage.

The Lions scored with 2:31 to go in the second quarter, then hit paydirt again with just 26 ticks on the clock when they connected on a pass play to make it 13-0, Gravette, at the break.

But the fired up Tigers came out strong in the third quarter, with halfback Tim Ellison scoring with 8:37 on the clock. That 13-7 score stood until the fourth quarter, when Gravette added another TD at the 10 minute mark on a 20 yard pass.

They missed the point after and Green Forest was down 19-7 ---- but not for long.

At the 9:28 mark, Matthews got an amazing 53-yard run, breaking three tackles before his sprint.

"He showed some strength on that," Coach Gotto said, and after the PAT the Tigers trailed just 19-14.

The defense held, then Ellison scored again at the 3:15 mark on a 15-yard run to make it 20-19, and Coach Gotto elected to go for two. Matthews got it on a sweep for a 22-19 edge.

That decision kept Gravette from looking for a field goal to win, and forced them to play for a touchdown as the game wound down.

They helped the Tigers by turning the ball over on their next possession, and all Green Forest had to do was snap the ball a couple of times and this one was over.

Coach Gotto called a quarterback sneak as a safe play, but nobody was home for the Lions on defense, and the speedy Matthews stepped untouched into the secondary, cut for the sideline, and sprinted 60 yards for a surprise touchdown.

Trey Kerby was good on the point after, his third of the night, and the Tigers celebrated a 29-19 Homecoming win.

GAME STATS

Rushing- Matthews- 11 for 121 yds., 2 TDs, 1 2-pt. conversion; Ellison- 12 for 47 yds., 2 TDs; Naaman Warren- 6 for 24 yds; Neil McCutcheon- 8 for 21 yds.

Passing- Matthews- 1 for 4, 53 yds. to Brett Conner.

1st Downs- GF- 7; GV- 12

Penalties- GF- 3 for 20; GV- 3 for 25.

Fumbles- both lost one.

Tackles- Guy Joubert- 5 solo, 14 assist; Ellison- 3 S, 8 A; Cody Parton- 2 S, 6 A; McCutcheon- 1 S, 8 A; Warren- 1 S, 4 A; Jehiel Shudy- 2 A; Matthews- 2 S, 1 A; Juan Pineda- 3 A; Adam Wade- 6 A, caused fumble; Coey Bellinger- 1 A; Josh Arnold- 1 S, 3 A; Adam Serena- 2 A; Kerby- 1 S, 2 A; Adam Plagge- 3 A; Conner- 1 A; Johnny Demeyer- 1 A.

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