SPORTS >>Red Devils prevail
By FRED CONLEY
Forrest City Times-Herald
Forrest City thought they had won the game in overtime on Niko Walker’s 26-yard field goal.
Jacksonville quarterback Daniel Hubbard knew he had won the game with his 10-yard run one play after Walker’s field goal.
Hubbard’s overtime touchdown gave the Red Devils a 23-20 win over the Mustangs, and combined with West Memphis’ 17-7 loss to Mountain Home, vaulted Jacksonville into a tie for first place in the 6A-East Conference Friday night.
Both West Memphis and Jacksonville are 4-1 in the conference. Jonesboro, a 31-10 winner over Searcy, Marion a 28-6 winner over Sylvan Hills and Mountain Home are tied for second at 3-2. Forrest City slips to 2-3 while Sylvan Hills is 1-4 and Searcy remains winless at 0-5.
Friday’s loss left Forrest City reeling in the wake of their third straight conference loss.
“Our kids played as hard as they could,” said Forrest City coach Scott Reed. “It was a tough way to lose a ball game.”
Jacksonville led 17-10 at the half but Forrest City took the second half kickoff and used seven plays to tie the game when John Washington scored from two yards out with 9:16 to play in the quarter. Walker’s kick made it 17-17 which held through the second half.
Jacksonville had its chances to regain the lead. Manuel Alvidrez missed a 26-yard field goal try wide left with 3:55 to play in the third. Lee Robinson was stopped at the one-yard line by a tremendous Forrest City goal line stand that ended a Jacksonville possession that started with 37 seconds left in the third quarter and ended 19 plays later using up more than eight minutes.
Forrest City reached midfield with 16 seconds to play in the fourth quarter but punted and both teams opted for overtime as regulation ended in a 17-17 tie.
The Mustangs called on Walker for the 23-yard field goal on fourth and four from the Jacksonville 6. The kick was good and Forrest City celebrated the 20-17 lead.
The joy was short-lived as Hubbard took the snap and tip-toed his way just inside the right pilon and into the end zone on a called bootleg play.
Forrest City drew first blood after intercepting a Hubbard pass on the third play of the game.
The Mustangs needed only three plays from the Jacksonville 38 to take a 7-0 lead when Washington scored on a 30-yard run and Walker added the point-after kick.
Jacksonville tied the game at 7-7 after blocking a Forrest City punt and starting at the Forrest City 3-yard line. Justin Akins scored on the three-yard run with 6:08 to play in the first quarter and Alvidrez added the kick.
Jacksonville took a 14-7 lead with 3:57 left in the first quarter when Marcus King hauled in a 53-yard touchdown pass from Hubbard and Alvidrez once again added the kick.
Jacksonville’s Eric Berry picked off a Forrest City passing attempt by senior quarterback Wilson Parker which set the Red Devils up at the Mustang 35. Alvidrez’s fourth down 21-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Forrest City’s Chris Tripp and the Mustangs took over at their own 20.
Barrett Beshear’s fumble gave the ball back to Jacksonville, which promptly turned it over when Hubbard’s pass was tipped and intercepted by Washington.
The Forrest City possession stalled and Jacksonville started from their own 48 with 4:48 to play in the second quarter.
After Jacksonville drove to the Forrest City 22 in 10 plays, Alvidrez connected on a 39-yard field goal with 59 seconds left to put Jacksonville in front 17-7.
Walker made it 17-10 when his 42-yard field goal just cleared the upright as time expired.
Jacksonville finished with 305 total yards – 198 on the ground and 107 passing.
Hubbard completed 7-of-19 attempts with two interceptions and one touchdown pass.
Akins finished with 103 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown while Robinson had 73 yards on 13 carries.
Forrest City rang up 237 total yards with 163 of that coming on the ground. Parker completed 7 of 24 passing attempts and suffered one interception.
Washington finished with 152 rushing yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns.
Forrest City plays at Mountain Home this coming week while Jacksonville will battle it out at home against West Memphis. That game will be for sole possession of first place in the 6A-East Conference.