Forest roars past Franklin Co.

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, November 14, 2010

MEADVILLE – “We just played the 3A State Champions!”

Franklin County head football coach Rickey O’Quinn Jr. may havesummed it up best with that statement after watching Foresteliminate his Bulldogs from the 3A State Playoffs with a 43-7rampage.

The Bearcats (12-0), ranked first in the 3A ranks, were not to bestopped on a warm and muggy November night in Louie MullinsMemorial Stadium. Forest built a 28-0 halftime lead and neverlooked back in a second round playoff meeting of two talentedteams.

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“They are as good as advertised,” said O’Quinn following the game.”Defensively they are the best team we’ve played thisseason.”

Forest headlined by its “Red Brick Wall” defense, held FCHS tominus-14 yards rushing. The Bulldogs’ only score came in the fourthquarter on a 64-yard pass from quarterback Jay Davis to wide outMilton Griffin. Both Griffin and Davis rotated in and out atquarterback a majority of the game.

Matthew Evans, the Bearcats’ starting quarterback, accounted forthree touchdown passes, connecting with Josh Pinkston for 30 yards,and both TreShawn Mitchell, and Marquez Johnson from 5-yardsout.

Pinkston (6-2, 195), whose older brother Todd is a former NFLreceiver with the Philadelphia Eagles, caught 5 passes for 87 yardsFriday night. He is considered the best wide receiver prospect inthe State with offers from Alabama, MSU, USM, Ole Miss, andMemphis. He was a member of the Bearcats’ 2010 Class 3A StateChampionship basketball team, at forward.

“We’ve got to get a ring in football now,” echoed Pinkston afterthe game to teammates. Forest will play host to Hazlehurst Fridaynight in the third round of the 3A State Playoffs.

Early on it was the Forest ground attack that caused the mostproblems for the Bulldogs, who finished a major rebuilding year 5-8overall. Forest fullback Quillion Jones added touchdown runs of 5and 2 yards respectively for an early 14-0 lead. The Bearcats wentto the air in the second and third quarter as Forest head coachJudd Boswell kept pressure on the Dawgs the entire game.

“We got beat by a real good team tonight,” said FC juniorsafety/receiver Fred Coleman. “They got us. It’s tough to end theseason like this.”

FCHS, under the direction of its third head coach in four years,continued its domino effect in the playoffs since winning the StateChampionship in 2006. The Bulldogs have since ended its season oneround less each season.

“We’ve got to get in the weight room and bounce back next year,”said junior fullback Jimmy Barnes. “It’s just something we’ve gotto do for next year.”

FCHS senior kicker Coleman Graves expressed gratitude in the lockerroom following the game, as one of several FC seniors to play theirlast game in Louie Mullins Memorial Stadium.

“I love you boys,” said Graves. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.These last two years are something I’ll never forget.”