Football: Tigers’ opener delayed
The Green Forest Tigers will have to wait a little longer to kick off their 2021 football season.
Coach Greg Tibbitt said Monday that the Tigers’ game at West Fork, scheduled for Friday night, will be postponed to Sept. 17 because of issues related to COVID-19 at West Fork. The Tigers are scheduled to play at Pottsville on Sept. 3.
Before Monday’s news, Green Forest had been busy preparing to face West Fork this week. The Tigers had a dress rehearsal last week, traveling to Little Rock on Aug. 17 to scrimmage against Pulaski Robinson and Drew Central.
Robinson, No. 3 in MaxPreps’ Arkansas Class 4A rankings, outscored Green Forest 13-0 in one 12-minute quarter. The Tigers and Drew Central played two scoreless quarters.
“Our defense played really well,” Tibbitt said. “Offensively, we’re just kind of inconsistent right now. The defense is ahead. It’s kind of where you feel like you should be right now.”
A bright spot for the Green Forest offense was senior running back Barrett Phillips.
“He ran the ball really well,” Tibbitt said. “He broke off a 15-yard run against Robinson. He had a 10- or 12-yard run against Drew Central. It was four or five yards a pop when he ran the ball. That’s very comforting right now. If we were in a game, we probably would have kept feeding him. But we wanted to get some things on film. You know how scrimmages are — sometimes it looks better than it really is and sometimes it looks worse than what it really is.”
Green Forest played without two starting linebackers. Junior Ryan Bruegel, a returning starter, will miss four weeks after having surgery on an injured hand. Another starting linebacker missed the scrimmage because of a COVID-19 quarantine. Senior Fredy Juarez Jr. and junior Jason Lopez stepped in to fill those two spots.
“Jason hasn’t played much inside backer for us, and he had a really good night, so a pleasant surprise,” Tibbitt said.
The Tigers’ biggest strength might be the defensive line.
“Dalton Randolph, Jazmany Lopez, Rodolfo Mendoza — those guys are three-year starters so you get what you expect out of them,” Tibbitt said. “They played really well. Jaaz Pope and Thurlo Rich are alternating at the other defensive tackle spot. So, we’re pretty solid up front.”