The Forsyth Panthers are 2-2 for the season after falling 36-20 against the Fair Grove Eagles Friday night.
Friday’s game started off pretty rough for the Panthers. Head coach Kris Conley said they just started out slow.
“We made a bunch of mistakes across the board,” Conley said.
By the time halftime rolled around, the Eagles had put up 28 points and Forsyth had failed to put any points of their own on the scoreboard.
Fair Grove started out the second half with a long drive, but they were unable to capitalize on it. Instead, Forsyth took over at their own three yard line. The team had 97 yards to go if they wanted to get their first touchdown of the game.
The Panthers made it happen in one play. Senior Hunter Creson took off with the ball, which he then passed to senior Buck Sanders. Sanders took it into the end zone, scoring the Panthers’ first touchdown of the game with 5:48 remaining in the third quarter. Forsyth’s attempt at the extra point was no good.
Less than two minutes later, Fair Grove scored another touchdown. It pulled them up to a 34-6 lead. The Eagles completed a two-point conversion, adding another two points to the scoreboard.
Forsyth spent the rest of the third quarter working their way back up the field, but couldn’t make it into the end zone before the clock ran out.
However, things got started pretty fast in the fourth quarter. With 11:46 left to play, Corgan Strong found his way into the end zone for the Panthers. The play pulled them up six points, and their attempt at a two-point conversion was good. The Panthers now trailed Fair Grove by 20 points.
The Panthers would score once more before the clock wound down, senior Hunter Creson was responsible for that one. Forsyth now trailed by just 16 points with a score of 36-20.
Forsyth would get possession of the ball one last time before the game would end, but struggled to complete the necessary passes to bring them closer to another touchdown. A pass finally found its way into Sanders' hands, but the ball was intercepted by Fair Grove on the next play. Despite that, Fair Grove couldn’t make much happen in the late minutes of the game.
Conley said he felt the team gave themselves a chance in the second half, since they outscored Fair Grove 20-8.
“Overall, I’m really proud of the way we played in the second half,” Conley said.
The 36-20 loss put the Panthers at 2-2 for the season. They play at home again next weekend, where they will face Skyline (3-1).
Conley is hoping to see a faster start in next Friday’s game, and he added it’ll be really competitive if Forsyth plays that game like they did in the second half.
He said the team is getting better with each day, the players are learning a lot and the coaching staff is working hard.
“I know it didn’t show up on the scoreboard tonight,” Conley said. “But they’re playing a lot of football, and they’re working really hard. So, I think we’re growing as a program.”
In other area news, Branson won at Neosho 49-15 and Hollister won at Marshfield 27-24. Both teams are now 2-2 for the season. Reeds Spring’s game against Springfield Catholic was canceled.