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.
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“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.