Carroll County Super Bowl: Bobcats, Tigers square off for county bragging rights

Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Berryville quarterback J.D. Smith has a history of playing well against Green Forest.
Charles Chappell / CCImages.PhotoShelter.com

By Scott Loftis

CarrollCountyNews@cox-internet.com

There is no bigger game on either the Berryville or Green Forest football schedules than the teams’ annual meeting in the Carroll County Super Bowl.

This year’s game will be played Friday at Bobcat Stadium. Kickoff time is 7 p.m.

It’s been a tough season for both Carroll County teams. Neither Berryville (0-6) nor Green Forest (0-9) has won a game this fall. Aside from playing in the rugged 4A-1 Conference, both teams have also been affected by COVID-19.

COVID-19 concerns forced Green Forest to miss two weeks of summer practice, and Berryville has had three games canceled. Both teams have frequently played shorthanded because of players being placed on quarantine.

But none of that will matter at 7 p.m. Friday when the ball is kicked off and bragging rights are decided for the next year.

“I think it’s going to be a battle,” Berryville coach Doug Shott said. “We want to win it and I know they want to win it. I think the team that executes the best and plays the hardest all the way to the end will be the one that wins.”

Shott’s Bobcats will rely on a run-based offense led by senior running back Dominic Henry and senior quarterback J.D. Smith. Both have had big performances in the past against Green Forest: Henry ran for 157 yards and a touchdown as Berryville rolled to a 42-14 victory last season, while Smith passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more as a sophomore in Berryville’s 43-6 victory in 2018.

Henry turned his ankle early in last Friday’s loss at Prairie Grove but is expected to be full speed this week.

While Shott has coached in three Carroll County Super Bowl games, it will be a new experience for first-year Green Forest coach Greg Tibbitt.

“I’ve been hearing about this one since I got here,” said Tibbitt, who was hired over the summer. “It is what it is. Berryville’s kind of in the same situation we are. They’re trying to hold it together, too. They’re in the bottom part of the conference just like us and fighting against the big boys week to week. It should be a very competitive game.”

Tibbitt has installed a pass-based offense at Green Forest, led by senior quarterback Reiley Gordon. But the Tigers are also capable of running the ball. Junior running back Barrett Phillips had 110 yards and a touchdown on six carries against Berryville last season.

The Tigers will have a bit of extra incentive for Friday’s game. The Arkansas Activities Association will allow Class 4A teams the option of participating in the state playoffs this season. Whether Green Forest does so, Tibbitt said, depends on whether the Tigers can beat Berryville.

“You kind of have a choice,” he said. “You can opt in or opt out. If we beat Berryville, I think we’re going to opt in. And if (not), I think we’re going to opt out. I think that’s kind of where we are. I want our kids to have a chance to see what the playoffs are like.”

Shott said Berryville was still considering its options as of Monday afternoon.

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