Tigers cash in on BV errors to win Super Bowl
The Green Forest Tigers defeated the Berryville Bobcats 23-20 Friday night at Ronnie Clark Field to win the Carroll County Super Bowl.
Berryville committed 19 penalties and turned the ball over four times.
"As a team we let our emotions get the best of us and did not make good decisions under pressure," Berryville coach Doug Shott said. "It's as simple as that. We got nobody to blame but ourselves for it. And we will get that corrected."
With Green Forest leading 23-20, the Bobcats had two separate chances to tie the game or take the lead. With 7:03 remaining, Berryville had a first down at its own 40. Charlie Archer gained eight yards on a third and five, but a holding penalty on the next play pushed the Bobcats back and they were forced to punt. Green Forest was forced into a three-and-out but forced Berryville to use all three of its timeouts. Berryville got the ball back at its own 24 with 2:04 remaining, but threw four consecutive incomplete passes.
"I felt like our kids improved considerably over the last week," Green Forest coach Bobby Bishop said. "I thought our kids competed hard. They played smart and showed some character."
With the game tied at 7-7 with 3:34 remaining in the first half, Green Forest took over at its own 45. Jose Hernandez ran for 30 yards to help move the Tigers to the Berryville 15. After the Tigers used their final timeout of the half with 34 seconds left, Jordan Zepeda lost two yards. As the clock was ticking down, Matt Owens rushed the Tigers to the line of scrimmage and threw the ball to a wide-open Dakota Grigg in the end zone.
"We thought there for a little bit we were going to have to settle for a field goal, but we decided to throw the power pass and see if we could get Dakota leaked out behind the top of them," Bishop said. "It worked out well. Matt made a good throw and Dakota made a good catch. That gave our kids a sense of 'hey, we can win this thing.' "
Berryville fumbled on its first play from scrimmage in the third quarter and Green Forest took advantage. The Tigers had an eight-play, 46 yard drive that resulted in a 31-yard field goal from Edson Merida.
Berryville responded, though. A 35-yard kick return by Tristan Updegraff gave the Bobcats great field possession and Archer's 37-yard touchdown run made it a one-possession game. Armando Mojica's extra point made it 17-14 midway through the third quarter.
"I can't overlook some of the individual efforts, but for the most part we will be correcting team behavior this week," Shott said.
After Berryville forced a three and out, the Bobcats went on a seven-play, 70-yard drive, which was capped by a 25-yard touchdown run by Updegraff with 1:43 left in the third quarter. The extra point was blocked, but Berryville recaptured the lead, 20-17.
"The flow of the game changed so many times," Bishop said. "We came from behind twice and led pretty much the entire way of the fourth quarter to get the win. It was a big win and is a building block for the future."
After Green Forest was forced to punt again, the Bobcats fumbled the ball on a first down play at their own 22. Green Forestís Alex Herrera recovered the loose ball. Three plays later, Hernandez scored a touchdown from seven yards out. The extra point was blocked, but Green Forest had a 23-20 lead to open the fourth quarter.
"Jose had to miss that opening series because he got hit in the kneecap on the opening kickoff," Bishop said. "We were a little bit worried, but he came back and fought hard. To be 5-4, 5-5, whatever he is, he plays a whole lot bigger than that. Twenty-four carries (for 109 yards) shows you his durability."
Archer scored a touchdown on the opening drive of the game for the Bobcats and Green Forestís Will Chaney scored from a yard out to tie the game a 7-7 midway through the first quarter. Bishop said this will be a victory that the Tigers remember for the rest of their lives.
"Getting a win against Berryville in that last game as a senior is huge for them," Bishop said. "I never got to experience it as a player, but it's something these kids can be proud of. The thing that we don't want to do is allow this to be the big game of the year. It was great to win it and it's important, but it's not what makes or breaks your season."
Archer finished with 142 yards rushing, while Updegraff had 79 and Luke Britt had 73 for Berryville. Hernandez finished with 147 total yards of total offense. Creel Roberts had 22 tackles, while Braden Smith had 10 and Anthony Castillo had nine. Castillo also recovered a fumble.
On Friday, Berryville hosts Shiloh Christian and Green Forest travels to Marshall. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.