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Forestview nips Freedom with late game-winning drive

                Things did not start well for Forestview in this game. The Patriots got the ball first and scored right out of the gate. Quarterback Titus Smith got things started when he hit Khris Gardin for a 25-yard touchdown pass. McCartney Barrier’s extra point gave the Patriots a 7-0 lead. After stopping the Jaguars, the Patriots added to their lead with a nine-yard run by Chris Bridges. The point after was missed, though. That would be huge.

                Then Forestview went right to work. Logan Bradley, whom returned back to quarterback after missing the previou two games due to an injury, hit Mykelti Armstrong for a 54-yard touchdown pass. Colton Rouse’s kick cut Freedom’s lead to 13-7. Following an interception by Caleb Mills, Forestview tied the score with a four-yard run by Bradley. Rouse’s kick gave Forestview a one-point lead.

                The Patriots were poised to score again before half-time, but Smith’s pass was intercepted by Trell McCaskell near the goal-line. However, the Patriots did take the lead back in the second half when B.J. Emmons raced 75 yards for a touchdown score. Bridges added another touchdown of his own, this time from six-yards out. Barrier’s extra point made it 27-14.

                The Jaguars stormed back. Moe Neal cut the Patriots lead to 27-21 with a ten-yard run. Emmons would make life harder for Forestview with a 45-yard dash into the end-zone. It was 34-21 right then.

                Neal, like last week, continued to carry the Jaguars on his back. His 25-yard touchdown run cut Freedom’s lead to 34-28. The Jaguars then needed to make a stop on defense and they did. The Jaguars drove down the field with a strong passing game by Logan Bradley. But Neal’s one-point touchdown run was the tying score. Rouse’s kick gave Forestview the 35-34 lead with 16 seconds left.

                Freedom drove down the field but ran out of time. The Jaguars reach the third round of the playoffs for the first time in school history. They will travel to take on Hibriten, a 28-18 winner of Pisgah.

                Neal finished the game with 134 yards and three touchdowns. Mykelti Armstrong finished with 107 yards receiving and a touchdown. Bradley finished with 171 yards passing, a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown. Emmons led Freedom's offense with 233 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

                “We deserved one like that.” Forestview head coach Chris Medlin said “After the Ashbrook game last year (40-36 loss), the Nation Ford game this year (57-56 loss) and the Ashbrook game this year (34-31 loss), the kids deserved this one. I knew we had to score. It was a matter of someone making a big play.”

                “First off, I couldn’t be more proud of these kids.” Freedom head coach Blair Hardin said “We had some missed opportunities. Playing a good team, we did not capitalize. But I could not be prouder to coach a great group of kids and Seniors.”

                Hardin also mentioned that this was a foundation year and expressed excitement for the future of the Freedom program.

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