Tigers lose final game, miss playoffs
ELKINS -- Missed tackles have been a major problem for the Green Forest Tigers this season and that is what led to their demise Friday night in a 21-7 loss against the Elkins Elks.
On Green Forest's first possession, the Tigers turned the ball over on downs after a screen pass to Carl Roberts fell short of the line to gain.Two long runs by Elkins' JJ Miller took the ball to the 1-yard line and Jake Strode scored on a quarterback sneak. The extra point made it 7-0 midway through the first quarter.
After Elkins was unable to capitalize on a blocked punt, a Green Forest three-and-out gave the Elks a second chance as the quarter came to a close. Minutes into the second quarter, Miller busted loose for a 35-yard gain to the Tiger 10. Strode ran it in from a yard out, and the extra point gave Elkins a 14-0 lead.
On the ensuing Green Forest possession, Green Forest worked its way to the Elkins 30. A 4-yard pass to Austin Pruitt on fourth and 5 gave the Elks the ball back with seven minutes remaining in the half. On the Elks' 13th play, they found themselves at the 1-yard line with four seconds remaining. An incomplete pass gave the Elks a 14-0 halftime lead.
"That was a big play right there," Green Forest coach Bobby Bishop said. "I really felt like tonight our kids played about as hard as they had since the Berryville game."
Green Forest's Trace DeLozier got an interception to start the second half and the Tigers started at their own 41.
"We knew we would have to have a few breaks go our way," Bishop said. "We were going to have to take advantage of them, though."
A Carl Roberts run on third down gave the Tigers a first down, but they were forced to punt it back to Elkins. After a 60-yard drive, the Elks decided to attempt a 37-yard field goal. The kick failed.
Desperate for points, the Tigers went for it on fourth-and-9 from their own 34, but an incomplete pass turned the ball back over to Elkins. A 34-yard quarterback keeper by Strode made it 21-0 with 8:38 remaining in the fourth quarter.
After another Green Forest turnover, the Tiger defense forced a punt. Green Forest's Nathaniel Harp scored on a 60-yard touchdown pass from Cory Bryant. Edson Merida's extra point was good.
Elkins was forced to punt again and a bad snap caused the Elk punter to down the ball at his own 30 with 3:05 remaining.
"We kept on playing until the very end," Bishop said. "For that I am very proud of my kids."
While Bryant scrambled for a first down on third-and-11, a pass to Harp on fourth down was short of the line to gain and an Elkins defender tackled him before he got the first down. Elkins ran out the clock to win the game.
Bryant completed 3 of 13 passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. Harp had one reception for 60 yards and a touchdown while Tristan Snyder had a reception for six yards and Pruitt had a reception for four yards. Roberts rushed the ball 19 times for 70 yards. DeLozier had an interception return for 26 yards.
Green Forest finished the year 3-7 overall and 2-5 in 3A-1.