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You can stop calculating the "what if" scenarios. Going into its last two games of the season, Forest had the slimmest of hopes of making the post-season. However, every possible scenario started with the Cavs winning their final two games.
Last weekend, Jefferson Forest's scant playoff hopes were dashed to the rocks as Bassett racked up 28 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. In addition to suppressing those playoff aspirations, the visiting Bengals also put a damper on the Forest homecoming crowd. The game was played Saturday evening, having been moved because of Friday's torrential downpour.
Bassett threw a one-two punch of halfback Martin Scales and quarterback Boo Woods. Scales scored thirty of the Bengals' points, finding paydirt five times (three times in the fourth quarter). Woods ran for over 100 yards and passed for another 90. He threw for a touchdown and ran for another.
Forest's Mark Carter scored the Cavs' only touchdowns, both on completions from quarterback Craig Banks. Carter's first touchdown was a rocking and rambling scoot for 70 yards that drew the Forest even with Bassett at 7. His second, a five yarder, kept them alive at 20-14 in the third period. But that was all the points the Cavs would get as they watched Scales run wild in the fourth.
Forest was certainly in a tough spot, facing an undefeated Bassett team that has been hitting on all cylinders lately. The Cavs, who has dropped five in a row before squeaking past Rustburg, had its work cut out for them. As a result, the Cavs now sit at 3-6, overall (2-4, Seminole).
It never should have come to the going-in scenario. The Cavs needed to beat the second-rated team in Region IV (the Bengals only trail Salem) plus hope for a lot of help from teams in the Massanutten and Southern Valley District to work its way to a playoff berth.
This season wasn't lost at Sabre Stadium last Saturday, it was lost during a puzzling streak of one-touchdown losses that started with E.C. Glass and ended with Brookville. That streak was followed by a pasting at the hands of Amherst, before the Cavs were able to right the ship against lowly Rustburg, although that game's outcome was in doubt until the very end.
Disappointment is too light a word for how adherents of the Cav program view this year. The one thing that could turn it around? A victory over arch-rival Liberty.
This game shapes up to be a good one on a number of fronts. Liberty's bread-and-butter this season has been its running game. Forest's has been its run defense. Forest's passing offense has grown during the season to the point where the Cavs' air game has to be considered its primary weapon.
Both teams are possessed of as fine a group of linebackers as you'll see. Both defenses love to hit. Both teams' offensive lines have been in flux, experiencing personnel changes.
Liberty's playoff ticket is punched. The Cavs know that this is their last game this season. For many, this will be the last game played for Forest and, short of the occasional pick-up game, for their career.
Liberty will be seeking to avenge last season's loss, which helped to keep it out of the playoffs while Forest will be seeking to find a silver lining to this season of discontent. Liberty's Coach Watts may have said it best when he said, "It's always a tough game, no matter what's going on."