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Foreman headed to semifinals

Updated: December 1, 2017

By Quinton Bagley

Little River News

(Editor’s Note): This story was written and published before Earle was disqualified from the Class AA playoffs.

With 9:08 to play in the first quarter of last week’s Class AA quarterfinal game, Danville’s Trent Cathey ran one yard for the first touchdown of the night. The extra point was no good and the Little Johns led 6-0. From that point on it was all Foreman Gators as they defeated Danville, 51-6, to advance to this week’s Class AA semifinals.

“I was extremely pleased with the way we traveled and played at Danville on Friday night,” Foreman head coach Mark King said. “We were very sharp on both sides of the ball. Our defense had another great night holding Danville to six points and just 193 yards of total offense. Danville had been averaging over 30 points per game.”

While the Gators defense was chomping away at the Little John offense, the Foreman offense was showing no mercy.

“Our offense rolled up 528 yards offense and 51 points which hadn’t been done to Danville all year,” King said. “I thought that our kids were very focused on both sides of the ball Friday night and they played fast on both sides.”

Following Cathey’s touchdown to give the Little Johns the early advantage, Foreman’s Kyren Batey put the Gators on the board on a 2-yard run with 5:42 to play in the first quarter. Sam Gamble kicked the extra point to give Foreman a 7-6 lead.

Gamble increased the lead with 3:12 to play in the first quarter with a 28-yard field goal to make the score 10-6 in favor of the Gators.

Batey continued the scoring explosion in the second quarter with a 43-yard touchdown run with 8:33 to play in the opening half. The PAT was good to give Foreman a 17-6 lead.

Just to mix things up a little late in the second quarter, C.J. Green threw a 25-yard pass to Chase Gross for the touchdown. Gamble added the extra point and with 2:49 to play in the second, the Gators led 24-6.

Foreman wasn’t done yet as Batey put an exclamation point on the first half with a 49-yard touchdown run with 1:42 to play in the second quarter. The PAT was good and the Gators led 31-6 at halftime.

Batey scored his final touchdown of the night with 3:52 to play in the third quarter on a 92-yard run. Gamble added the extra point to give Foreman a 38-6 lead.

With 9:25 to play in the game, Corey Lovewell scored on a 19-yard run. Gamble added the PAT to give the Gators a 45-7 lead and put the Arkansas Activities Association mercy rule in effect.

Isaac Carver ended the scoring with 6:42 to play in the game with a 4-yard run. The PAT was no good making the final score 51-6.

With the win, the Gators advance to the Class AA semifinals. Foreman will travel to Earle, which is just west of West Memphis, on Friday with a berth in the Class AA state championship game on the line.

“Earle is a very good and extremely athletic team,” King said. “They have the No. 1 recruit in Arkansas at quarterback. He is the real deal at 6-feet, 4-inches and 245 pounds. He is very athletic and a great arm.”

King said that not only was the Earle quarterback good, but so were the skill players.

“They have very athletic and fast receivers and backs,” King said. “They will be the most athletic and best team that we have played all year.”

According to King, the Bulldogs try to keep their offense very balanced.

“On offense they run the spread with a lot of inside and outside zone runs and QB sweeps, and then they have a very good passing game,” King said. “They will throw short quick passes but also love to throw the deep ball to their speedy receivers.”

King said the Earle defense was physical and aggressive.

“On defense they are a 3-3 stack team that loves to slant and stunt on every play,” King said. “They are a pressure defense and try to swarm your offense real fast. They will play a lot of man coverage in the secondary so they can do a lot of blitzing with their front six or seven.”

King said the long bus trip was not a concern.

“We will handle the long trip just fine,” King said. “We will break it down into segments and stop and do a little run through along the way.”

Kickoff for Friday’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium in Earle.