The Carolina Forest football team had something to prove on Friday.
And they did.
Despite posting a losing record, The Panthers made a statement as they upset rival Conway 27-24 in a double-overtime thriller.
“That was the big thing we needed,” Carolina Forest coach Drew Hummel said of the win.
“Our players are just young, and they haven’t learned how to do the little things yet to win consistently and this is going to be a big step for us going into the offseason.
“The Conway game is always a big game. It’s a rival game, and I couldn’t be more proud of these guys,” Hummel added.
“We have a great group of young men. We faced adversity all year and ended 2-9. But, we have a good football team.
“We’ve been in games like this all year long, and couldn’t find a way to win it.
“It’s been a really weird season in that regard, when you’re 2-9 it seems like you’re getting blown out all the time but it hasn’t been that way. Our kids never quit, and we beat a good football team. The kids played outstanding and I couldn’t be more proud to be their coach.”
The Tigers were without quarterback Mykal Moody, but looked as if they were going to put the game away with about a minute left to play.
However, Panthers linebacker Kyle Rice intercepted a Sawyer Jordan pass with 57 seconds left to force the game into overtime.
“Moody is a fantastic player and he brings a whole new dimension to the game,” Hummel said. “but, [Conway] is a good football team that’s averaging 45 points a game and it was a tremendous effort by our kids.”
Carolina Forest had possession to start the first overtime, and quarterback Will Brunson scored on an 8-yard rush to put the Panthers up 21-14.
Conway answered right back.
Jaquail Crosland forced a double overtime as he scored on a 4-yard rush in the first overtime to tie the game at 21.
The Panthers stopped the Tigers from scoring in the second overtime, as Conway kicker Ashton McCants nailed a 21-yard field goal to put Conway up by three.
On Carolina Forest’s possession in second overtime, Brunson completed a pass to Kyle Belack for a touchdown to hand the Panthers their second win over Conway in the last three seasons.