Tigers put up a fight in loss to Huntsville
By Scott Loftis
When Friday’s game at Tiger Stadium ended, the scoreboard reflected a 48-12 Huntsville victory over Green Forest.
That doesn’t reflect how competitive the game was for much of the first half.
After Green Forest senior quarterback Reiley Gordon threw a short touchdown pass to Fredy Juarez jr., Huntsville led just 14-6 with 3:05 left in the first half.
From there, however, things started to get out of hand.
Huntsville answered Green Forest’s touchdown with a score of its own less than a minute later, then returned a blocked punt for a touchdown that gave the Eagles a 28-6 halftime lead.
After Green Forest recovered a fumble on Huntsville’s first possession of the second half, junior Barrett Phillips ran 12 yards for a touchdown that cut the Eagles’ lead to 28-12.
Huntsville answered with two third-quarter touchdowns to push its lead to 41-12, then returned an interception for a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.
“Like I told our kids, I think we were a lot closer than the final score showed,” Green Forest coach Greg Tibbitt said. “We just had some mistakes we couldn’t overcome — two blocked punts and a fumbled punt snap, a pick-six, just things like that.”
Tibbitt was especially pleased with the Tigers’ defense.
“Our defense played lights out,” he said. “That’s the most energy they’ve played with all year. We had a lot of good stops. We forced turnovers. We did a lot of good things. You take some of those special teams breakdowns and some offensive mistakes away, and we only gave up 21 points defensively, really. And it was on three plays pretty much. I felt like our defense played really well.”
Tibbitt said the Tigers are showing progress, but the end of the season is approaching quickly. Green Forest will travel to Berryville on Friday for the annual Carroll County Super Bowl to close the regular season.
“I told our kids on Saturday when we met, I feel like we’re a month away from being a really good football team,” Tibbitt said. “The bad thing is we’ve got a week of football left. It’s just where we are right now in the season. It’s been small steps, but it is steps.”