Opening round 35-14 loss ends Bearcats season

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

The Forest Bearcats hosted Crystal Springs last Friday night in the opening round of the Class 3A state playoffs. The Bearcats used a late season district winning streak to take the Region 5 district championship which led to hosting.

Crystal Springs came in to the game with a record of 7-3 and a fourth place finish in Region 3. The Bearcats knew coming in to the matchup that Crystal Springs was a very athletic team that likes to run the ball and control the clock. The Bulldogs worked that plan well as they came away with the 35-14 win.

The game stayed close throughout the first half. Both teams found the endzone once in the opening quarter, and Crystal Springs added another second quarter touchdown to take a 14-7 lead into halftime.

In the third quarter, the visiting Tigers ground game took over, and CSHS stretched its lead with two third quarter scores. Entering the final quarter, the Bearcats trailed 28-7, and only mustered one more score which the visiting Tigers matched bringing the final score to 35-14.

Bearcats senior quarterback Dylan Grayson accounted for both of the scores. Grayson threw one scoring pass and ran for another touchdown on the night. He finished the game completing 7 of 19 passes for 85 yards with one touchdown and one interception, and added 39 yards on 8 carries on the ground. Joshua Nicks led the way rushing with 60 yards on 17 carries.

Forest was plagued by injuries to key players throughout the year and was not able to really get healthy until the last two weeks of the season. The Bearcats accomplished one goal in winning the district crown but had far better expectations for the season.