Forest City Cavs end season in Rocky Top
As new members of the Mid-Atlantic Carolina Youth Football Conference, the Forest City Cavaliers were expected to struggle. After all, the teams in the MAC conference came from larger cities or covered more area and thus had more kids. More kids should mean more talent but someone forgot to tell the Cavaliers.
The team strolled through the regular season on their way to their first MAC championship with a 9-0 record before dominating the postseason. Their impressive run earned them a National Prep Youth Football No. 7 ranking in the 10-and-under division for North and South Carolina and a trip to the Battle in Rocky Top National Championships.
The Cavaliers notched their first win 6-0 over a Virginia Tide team that had not lost a game in over two seasons. They now faced a well-coached All-Star squad from Zionsville, Ind. in the second round and the game was getting out of hand. For the first time all year the Cavaliers trailed in the third quarter with time slipping away.
A 12-yard pass from Trey Mauney to Akerion Flack gave the Cavalier faithful a glimmer of hope as they pulled to within 16-12 heading into the fourth quarter.
After a quick three-and-out, the offense took over with an opportunity to take the lead for the first time in the game.
A couple of hard runs by Grantt Logan softened the edge before Ed Wright exploded around the right side for a 64-yard run.
With the ball resting well inside the 10-yard line and momentum firmly on the Cavalier side of the ball, everyone expected them to finish the drive and snatch another victory.
However, the Eagles refused to roll over. The Cavaliers took four shots from inside the 10 but after the dust had settled the Eagles defense held on fourth and goal from the 4.
The Eagles took over needing to simply hold on to the ball and run 1:40 off the clock.
On first down, Cavalier Cole Jennings broke free from his nose-tackle position and caught the ball carrier in the backfield. With the ball resting at the 2-yard line, the Eagles tried going off tackle but were swarmed under by a desperate defense.
Needing to run 74 seconds off the clock the Eagles took the third-down snap.
The defensive line surged towards the end zone and the ball disappeared in a mass of helmets and shoulder pads. The crowd, once deafening, had long since left their seats and now lined the fence in silence.
Time stood still as the precious seconds ticked off the clock. Suddenly the referee’s arms went skyward, the crowd went wild and the Cavaliers went up 18-16 after recovering the fumble in the end zone.
hat proved to be the Cavaliers’ last win of the season as they fell in the semifinal game the following day. However, it won’t be the loss that people talk about as time goes by, it will be the fourth-quarter miracle that these kids pulled out on that cold November afternoon.