Bearcats show out in 37-8 win over Kemper CountyBy ALLEN ARDREY,
In their away game, the Forest Bearcats showed off their offensive and defensive chops against the Kemper County Wildcats last Friday night in a decisive 37-8 win. This most recent victory came at a crucial time for the Bearcats, which landed them a spot in the playoffs of the 2017 MHSAA Football Championships of the 3A division. They begin the playoffs with a record of 8-3 this season.
The two teams appeared to be evenly matched at the end of the first quarter in which #43 Presley Wade (Sr.) kicked in a field goal as first blood of the scoring rampage for the Bearcats. By the end of the half the Bearcats were up two scores. The score was Bearcats 23, Wildcats 8 when halftime came around.
Coach Jonathan Worrell said, “Although they’ve had a tough season, Kemper County still has tremendous physical ability. Their talent gave us fits in multiple areas throughout the night.” Forest continued to bring their A-game into the second half of the game.
In the end, the Bearcats had scored two more times, once in the third quarter and once more in the fourth quarter, finishing the game strong with a score of 37-8, Forest. Coach Worrell said, “We played well in all three phases. Offensively we moved the ball at will and only had to punt once. Defensively, we forced four turnovers and only gave up the one big play. On special teams, we blocked a punt and dominated the field position battle all night.”
Despite several offensive turnovers, on 48 carries, the Bearcats gained 281 yards and five rushing touchdowns. Forest’s kicker, senior Presley Wade, scored a field goal, and four point-after-touchdown kicks for a total of seven kicking points, which contributed more than a fifth of the total of the Bearcat’s overall score against Kemper County. Wade’s keen ability to kick the football through the uprights is demonstrative of how valuable a strong kicker can be to a football team.
The Bearcats seem to get stronger every week, which is fitting since the playoffs begin this week as Forest hosts Wilkinson County in their first-round match of the 3A division Championships.
Coach Worrell said, “We’re extremely excited about hosting Wilkinson County this week and feel like we’re starting to play our best ball at the right time.” The Wildcats of Wilkinson County (not to be confused with the Wildcats of Kemper County) have an overall record of 3-6 this season and will be a good starting point for the Bearcats to climb the ladder of the championship.