Fast start fuels Green Forest victory against Berryville
BERRYVILLE -- Most times it is about how you finish, not how you start. As Green Forest walked away with a 20-9 victory in the 2015 Carroll County Super Bowl, the Tigers proved a fast start can make all the difference. All 20 points for Green Forest came in the first 11:23 of the game.
"We knew we would have to get off to a fast start," coach Bobby Bishop said. "That and capitalizing off turnovers were keys for us."
Bishop, a former Berryvlle head coach who won his first game as head coach at Green Forest, said it was the sweetest victory he has ever had as a head coach.
"There has not been a bigger win in my career," Bishop said. "I couldn't sleep last night. Having coached here and having kids come through here (at Berryville), you know I counted it up and I was a Bobcat for about 25 years and I have been a Tiger now about 25 years. I can't remember a sweeter victory since we beat them when I was a junior in high school. To win in Bobcat Stadium with friends and family on both sides is just really special."
"There is disappointment for sure," Berryville coach Austin Winters said. "They jumped on us early and we couldn't recover."
Green Forest running back Carl Roberts started the game off with a 50-yard kick return, which gave the Tigers the ball at the Bobcat 35-yard line. After Roberts plowed through the line of scrimmage for 11 yards on fourth-and-1 from the 13, Dalton Anglin carried it behind left tackle for a 2-yard touchdown. Edson Merida kicked the extra point. On the next Berryville possession, quarterback Jacob Graham scrambled for a first down, but Trace DeLozier stripped the ball away from Graham and Roberts recovered at the Berryville 48. On the next play, quarterback Cory Bryant kept it along the left sideline for a 48-yard touchdown. Merida added the extra point. A three-and-out by Berryville gave Green Forest the ball back at midfield. Berryville's defense made its first stand of the game, as the Tigers went three-and-out too. A Bryant punt pinned Berryville at its 7-yard line. With Berryville unable to get anything going offensively, a 15-yard kick put the ball at the Bobcat 30. Roberts carried on four consecutive plays, capped by a 7-yard touchdown. The extra point failed, leaving Green Forest with a 20-0 lead.
"The line blocked for me and I found the hole," Roberts said. "We came out here and played hard, determined to win."
On Green Forest's next possession, the Tigers punted from their 37 and the Bobcats were able to block it. With nine minutes remaining in the first half, Jacob Graham dropped back on a third- and-10 and fumbled the ball. Green Forest's Wesley Martin recovered.
A Bryant punt pinned the Bobcats at their own 3, and a 6-yard pass to Jonathon Wood with 3:08 left in the second quarter gave the Bobcats their first first down of the game. Berryville was forced to punt on its next set of downs.
Green Forest was stopped on its next series and a 39-yard punt gave Berryville the ball at its 22 with 48 seconds left. On the first play Graham threw a pass to Bryan McIntosh. McIntosh then flipped it back to Wood for a 39-yard gain. A 16-yard run by Graham moved the ball to the Tiger 24 with 13 seconds. After an incomplete pass, Jesse Diaz missed a 41-yard field goal attempt.
Green Forest tried an onside kick to start the second half, but it was recovered by Berryville. On the second play from scrimmage, Garrett Record broke free for a 47-yard touchdown, but it was negated by a personal foul. After an incomplete pass from the 12-yard line on third down, DeLozier blocked Diaz's kick.
"I thought we were in the game," Winters said. "But major penalties hurt us and that will be addressed this week."
Berryville forced Green Forest into a three-and-out and Berryville's Ethan King returned the ball to the Tiger 13-yard line. Record scored from four yards out with 6:18 remaining. Diaz kicked the extra point.
Berryville's defense stood strong on the next possession and a 30-yard Bryant punt gave Berryville the ball at its own 33. Unable to do anything with it, Berryville punted back to Green Forest. Unable to get a first down, the Tigers gave Berryville the ball at its own 43 after a 23-yard punt.
After a pass interference penalty against the Tigers, Berryville got a first down, but that was all. A hook and ladder play on fourth and 19 came up 10 yards short of the first down.
"I think our defense played better than our offense," Bishop said. "If you take away that first quarter, this game is a battle, but our defense played great there for the most part."
With seven minutes remaining, the Tigers had to punt it back to Berryville.
The Bobcats had an 11-play drive that started at their own 46 and resulted in no points. Graham completed a 12-yard pass to Devon Smith on fourth-and-four from the 19, but Graham was stopped at the 2-yard line on fourth-and-goal from the 3.
With less than two minutes remaining, Berryville used its remaining timeouts and on fourth down Bryant took a safety to ensure a punt wouldn't get blocked. Ethan King returned the kick to midfield, but the Bobcats were unable to do anything else in the closing seconds.
For Roberts, this is a win he will remember forever.
"It means everything in the world," Roberts said. "Having never beaten them as seniors, it makes it even more special."
Green Forest's Cory Bryant carried the ball 13 times for 82 yards and a touchdown. Roberts carried it 14 times and a touchdown and Anglin had 19 yards and a touchdown. Anglin had 13 tackles while Cole Chaney had 11 and Roberts had 10. Martin and DeLozier each had a sack.
For Berryville, Graham completed 11 of 24 passes for 108 yards. Record had 17 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown. Wood had three receptions for 51 yards and McIntosh had two receptions for 27 yards. Bryan King had nine tackles and Robert Allen had eight. Devon Smith had two sacks and Dayton Williams got one.
On Friday, Green Forest (1-2) travels to Marshall and Berryville (2-1) hosts Shiloh Christian.