Bearcats maul South East Lauderdale 48-19 in district play

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

The Forest Bearcats hosted SE Lauderdale in district play this past Friday night with the Bearcats looking to make it three wins in a row. The Cats accomplished their goal with a 48-19 thumping of the over matched Tigers.

“We came out playing really well on both sides of the ball and got up 21-0,” said Forest head coach Jonathan Worrell. “When we went up by 21 they started throwing the ball and we had a couple of busted coverages that allowed them to get back in the game, but Jeremiah Odom made a big play and intercepted a pass that gave us a little momentum at halftime.”

When the second half got underway it was deja-vu from the previous week’s game when sophomore Jarahvea “Rocky” Washington scooped up the kickoff at the 15 yardline and returned it 85 yards for the TD. Worrell said, “Rocky’s 85-yard kickoff return to start the second half really jump started us and it was all Bearcats after that.”

“We are playing some good football and we have some key players like Paul Hughes who is finally getting back to full speed after an ACL tear from last year,” Worrell said. “Hughes had a big game for us with 13 carries for 175 yards and 3TDs with two of those being long runs of 60 plus yards.”

With the win the Bearcats move to 5-3 on the year and 2-1 in the district. Forest currently has sole possession of second place within the district with Winona at the top. Worrell said, “this was a big district win because we are in control and we just have to win out in our district to make the playoffs.”

The Bearcats defense had a strong showing causing 3 turnovers in the game. Junior Devonyal Lofton led the way with 18 tackles while junior Dylan Grayson was a ball hawk with 14 tackles, 3 tackles for a loss and 1 interception. 

The Bearcats will face a tough challenge to run their winning streak to four in a row. Thursday night the Cats hit the road as they travel to Class 4A No. 1 Louisville (7-1) who is also the overall No. 10 team in the state.

Worrell welcomes the challenge of playing-up a class and facing a team as talented as the Wildcats. “Playing a team like Louisville is a good challenge for us because they will hold us accountable for every mistake we make, and it will be a good measure of where we are as a football team,” said Worrell. 

The game is set to kickoff at 7:00 p.m. in Louisville.