Special teams help Jr. Bobcats beat GF

Friday, September 22, 2017

Special teams plays can make all the difference. This was the case Thursday night when Berryville defeated Green Forest 15-0 at Tiger Stadium. Leading 9-0 with 4:00 left in the game, Berryville attempted a punt, but the snap went over Jaeden Tanksley's head.

"We practice it all the time in practice," Berryville coach Cody Curtis said. "We call it a 'fire call' just in case we can't handle the snap. We have a fake punt we run when something like that happens. The bad snap rolled to him, he yelled 'fire, fire, fire' and he scooped it up and took it 100 yards for a touchdown. That about sealed the deal."

Berryville's two-point conversion attempt failed. Green Forest coach Ryan Whetham said the Tiger offense never could get rolling.

"We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot," Whetham said. "We couldn't run the ball and I had to call more passes than I wanted to because we were in second and long and third and long. When you do that, you have to make up some yards somehow."

Green Forest received the ball to start the game, but the Bobcat defense forced a safety. It stayed that way until halftime.

"It was a big game from the defense," Curtis said. "You can't speak enough about the first team defense playing their butts off. From the get go, they set the tone. They started out with a couple big tackles for loss and ended up chasing down the quarterback for a safety."

Berryville led 2-0 going into halftime. The Bobcats received the ball to start the second half and J.D. Smith threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jarrett Stringer.

Whetham was disappointed with the loss, but he is proud of the way his defense played.

"The entire defense played well," Whetham said. "That is probably the best defense we have played in a long time. They took one drive and scored a touchdown, but outside of that, we played great. If our defense plays like that all year, we will be OK."

Curtis was glad to get the win over their rival and he said the win should give Berryville confidence heading into conference play.

"I told them all week that this can either be a springboard into conference play or a big letdown into conference play," Curtis said. "It's a game that can affect the rest of the season for sure. The kids played their butts off. It's one of my prouder moments as a coach. The kids played as hard as they have all year long."

On Thursday, Berryville travels to Shiloh Christian and Green Forest hosts Mountain Home. The action starts at 5:30 p.m.

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