When adversity strikes, North Forrest often thrives. Friday night was just another example of that.
Despite opening the 2A playoffs on the road with several key players out with injury, the Eagles defeated Mize, 50-30, in advancing to the second round of the postseason.
“It’s a great feeling. We were facing a lot of adversity coming in and playing this team, a very good Mize team with a great coaching staff of veteran coaches,” North Forrest head coach Anthony Dillon said. “We knew we had a big test before us.”
“We were banged up a lot with injuries and playing a lot of young guys, but I tell you, those guys really rose to the occasion tonight, man.”
It was quarterback Daylyn Croom and running back Rhyen Brisco who put on a show for Eagle fans. In what was a back-and-forth game pretty much the whole way, the duo made play after play for North Forrest.
Croom finished with six total touchdowns (3 passing, 3 rushing). Brisco was on the receiving end of two of those scores and also returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
“Rhyen’s been that impact player all year long along with Daylyn Croom,” Dillon said. “I tell you, that’s a one-two punch, and I’m so grateful for those guys.”
On defense, Croom added an interception in the fourth quarter that helped seal the win.
“Daylyn’s that type of player. An impact player.”
When the game was still up for grabs, Mize tied it, 22-22, on a 31-yard rushing score by Rayshaud Haynes with 5:12 left in the third quarter. North Forrest answered big-time with a 28-8 scoring run the rest of the way.
“We couldn’t call up here and forfeit the game, because of a few injuries. Those guys stepped in, and we coached them up all week,” Dillon said. “They were up for the challenge. Those guys came in and gave great effort. We put them in position, and they rose to the occasion. Very proud of those guys.”
Dillon’s Eagles improved to 8-4 with the win and will face Enterprise in the second round next Friday night.
“It’s win or go home,” Dillon concluded. “It’s like I told these guys at practice Monday, there’s a lot of guys that wish they were still practicing. Fortunately with this win tonight, we get another week and opportunity to chase the gold ball.”