Mistakes cost Green Forest in season-opening loss
HUNTSVILLE -- Heading into last Friday's season opener, Green Forest Coach Jay Martin stressed that his needed to avoid the mistakes it had committed in a preseason scrimmage. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they weren't able to do so as Huntsville defeated Green Forest 25-15.
"We gotta get better and we have to get more disciplined," Martin said after the game. "But we will get there."
After Huntsville jumped out to an early 8-0 lead, Green Forest's Dalton Anglin broke loose for a 24-yard touchdown run to make it 8-7. On the ensuing series, Huntsville answered promptly with quarterback Wil Weaver running it in from 5 yards out to make it 15-7.
With time running out in the first half and Green Forest driving, Martin opted to go for a first down rather than attempt a field goal on fourth down. The pass fell incomplete to end the drive. With only a few seconds left, the Eagles called a timeout and quarterback Wil Weaver launched a 58-yard pass to Mackenzie Elsey at the Green Forest 7. Juan Hernandez kicked a 24-yard field goal, and Huntsville led 18-7 at halftime.
"Our field goal team is still awful green," Martin said of his decision to go for the first down. "Our kicker is new. He is doing a good job, but I don't think he has been out on the field enough, I just felt like it was best to go for it."
In the third quarter, neither team could do anything offensively, but the game turned in Huntsville's favor on the first play of the fourth quarter. On third and 10, when Green Forest had two consecutive offsides penalties, which resulted in a first down for Huntsville and eventually led to another touchdown.
Green Forest answered with Cory Bryant's 37-yard touchdown run. The Tigers ran for a two-point conversion to cut Huntsville's lead to 25-15.
On Huntsville's next possession, Green Forest forced the Eagles into a fourth-down situation but a Tigers lineman jumped offsides and Huntsville was able to run out the clock.
Huntsville was a very physical football team, something that Martin expected and was glad to see, because he believes it will help his young team.
"You got a lot of young guys who have been around but haven't been able to play on Friday nights," Martin said. "Learning that speed, learning that environment is what we are doing right now. We are going to have to learn to do that."
Green Forest will play its first home game Friday against Pea Ridge, and Martin said his team better be prepared for another physical contest.
"They were in our situation last year," Martin said. "We are expecting a great battle."