Hornets sting Gators

Updated: October 26, 2018

By Quinton Bagley

Little River News

Foreman quarterback Kyren Batey (5) gets tackled by a gang of Mount Ida defenders while teammate Donovin Willis blocks downfield during the Gators’ recent 7AA Conference game with the Lions. Foreman is scheduled to face Murfreesboro at 7 p.m. Friday in The Swamp. – Photo by Kadi Downs

The Foreman Gators’ journey to their first conference title in 31 years hit a snag Friday night as Mineral Springs defeated the Gators, 14-13.

“I felt that we gave one away against Mineral Springs,” Foreman head coach Mark King said. “I don’t want to take anything away from Coach [David] Bennett and Mineral Springs because they played a great game, but we didn’t play very well at all.

“You can’t win when you have five turnovers and that was the story of the game,” King said. “If we don’t turn the ball over we win easily. It was just one of those games where everything went Mineral’s way. Even as bad as things went we had a chance to win the game in the end and didn’t execute on a couple of plays.”

The Hornets scored first in last week’s contest as Ladarrius Hicks ran it in from a yard out with 9:43 to play in the second quarter. Hicks’ extra point was good and Mineral Springs led 7-0.

Foreman tied the game later in the second quarter on a one-yard run by Isaac Carver. Shea Logel added the extra point with 4:53 to play in the opening half to knot the score.

The Gators took the lead in the third quarter on a 10-yard run by Kyren Batey. The extra point was no good but with 7:14 to play in the third, Foreman led 13-7.

The Hornets regained the lead with 5:13 to play in the third on a 51-yard run by Cameren Lee. Hicks added the extra point to give Mineral Springs a 14-13 lead they would not relinquish.

Despite the loss, the Gators are still in good shape of winning that elusive conference championship but there is still work to be done.

“We are still in control of our own destiny, win the next two games and we are conference champions and No. 1 seed with a bye in the first round and home field advantage throughout the playoffs,” King said. “We just keep reminding the kids of that and that it’s not about our opponents its about us – taking care of us and getting better and learn from our mistakes.

“Our kids know that they let one get away last week and they are going to come out angry and play with much more intensity the rest of they way. I reminded them that it was about this time last year that we got beat and had to regroup and we became a much better football team.”

With last week’s game behind them, the Gators now focus on their next opponent – the Murfreesboro Rattlers.

“Murfreesboro is a team that has gotten better each week, they have big lineman and some talented receivers,” King said. “They will probably be our No. 5 seed out of our conference. I am sure we will get their very best game this week.”

The Rattlers primarily run the spread offense. While they do like to throw the ball around, King said they try to keep the offense balanced with their run game.

“They are a spread team on offense and they use a lot of different formations and motions to try to confuse your defense and get numbers,” King said. “They run a lot of counters and jet sweeps. They love to throw the deep ball and their receivers play the ball in the air as good as anyone we have played.”

King expects several different looks from Murfreesboro’s defense.

“They base out of a 3-3 stack but will give you a 6-2 cover three look,” King said. “They are very big up front on the defensive line. They like to stunt the three inside linebackers out of the 3-3. They will also give us a 6-3 cover one look.”

Kickoff for Friday’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at The Swamp in Foreman.