Bearcats fall to Florence 21-6

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

The Forest Bearcats hosted the Florence Eagles for homecoming this past Friday night. The Bearcats came into the game looking for a win to stop their two-game losing streak. For the second straight week Forest had what they thought to be an excellent game plan prepared, but this week mother nature worked against the home team from the beginning and Florence came away with a 21-6 victory dropping the Cats to 2-3 on the season.

The Bearcats believed that they held an advantage over Florence in overall team speed and athleticism and looked to exploit those advantages. “We wanted to get the ball on the outside early and use our athleticism and using our speed to get our passing game going,,” said Forest head coach Jonathan Worrell. “Size wise they are much bigger and with the weather conditions slowing us down it seemed to play right to their strength.”

“Even though we came up on the wrong side of the score, we played really hard in some tough weather conditions and fighting through some injury issues,” said Worrell. “Due to injuries we had multiple players going both ways and late in the game they were worn down.” But he was quick to point out that his team squandered some chances. “Injuries and weather don’t matter when you keep shooting yourself in the foot and we wasted some good opportunities with penalties and turnovers,” added Worrell. “We cannot make those type of mistakes and expect to beat good football teams.”

The weather was a factor for both teams and it showed throughout the game. In the first quarter both teams had miscues and it was slow going. Forest was able to emerge with a 6-0 lead after the first 12 minutes of the game.

The second quarter was more of the same as both teams struggled to get anything going offensively. The visiting Eagles were able to piece together one drive that ended in a touchdown and a 7-6 lead. That would be it for scoring in the first half and as the teams headed in out of the rain for halftime the homestanding Bearcats trailed Florence 6-7.

When the third quarter got underway both teams again struggled to get anything going on offense. With the weather and field conditions acting as a stout 12 defender for both defenses the offenses were bot able to muster any sustained drives that landed them in the endzone and the third quarter ended just as it began with the visiting Eagles leading 7-6.

When the fourth and final quarter got underway it was still either teams game to be had, and by the end of the quarter the Eagles would prove to be the team that made enough plays to take control of the game and come away with the win. Florence was able to score two touchdowns in the final period and upset the Bearcats on homecoming night. Coming in to the game Worrell said that Florence was a much better than their record indicated, and on this rainy Friday night they bested the homestanding Bearcats.

With the loss Forest drops to 2-3 on the season but is looking to stop the loosing skid this coming week when they travel to Carthage to take on Leake Central. Coach Worrell said he will be making some personnel changes that he believes will help his team moving forward. “We are going to get some younger guys some playing time so that we don’t have so many going both ways,” said Worrell. “More than anything we just have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot and play good football.

The Bearcats will look to get back in the win column this Friday night in Carthage against the 0-5 Gators. The kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.