E.A. Sports Today

Weaver wins, secures playoff spot

Bearcats score four long touchdown runs in second half to beat White Plains

Weaver's Delo Forbes (7) scored touchdowns the first two times he touched the ball in the second half to spark the Bearcats' 28-0 victory. On the cover, quarterback Paul Hubbard is collected by White Plains' Dillon Greenwood. (Photos by Greg McWilliams)

Weaver’s Delo Forbes (7) scored touchdowns the first two times he touched the ball in the second half to spark the Bearcats’ 28-0 victory. On the cover, quarterback Paul Hubbard is collected by White Plains’ Dillon Greenwood. (Photos by Greg McWilliams)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

WHITE PLAINS — Daryl Hamby never lost confidence his Weaver football team would make the playoffs. Not when it went into the weekend facing a potential crazy tiebreaker or when it was locked in a scoreless tie at halftime Friday night.

If the Bearcats would take care of their own business he was convinced they would prevail.

Delo Forbes scored long touchdown runs on his first two touches of the second half and the Bearcats did uphold their end, roaring past White Plains 28-0 in a non-region season finale Friday that clinched a berth in the Class 3A playoffs.

The Bearcats entered the weekend tied with Pleasant Valley and Westbrook Christian for the fourth spot in Region 6. They needed to win and the other two to lose their final games in order to get the spot. Had all three lost, the spot would have been decided by a coin flip.

“All I knew is this: We have to win,” Hamby said. “That’s just the way we approached the last two weeks — we’ve got to win — and the kids bought into it. I thought if we played our best we would (get in). I always believe we’re going to win.”

Forbes said it would have been “not only sad but embarrassing” if the Bearcats were denied because of all the work they had put in during the season. Sophomore defensive back Kyle Clapper said “we prayed for the other teams to lose.”

It all worked out for them. They got some help Thursday when Pleasant Valley lost at Gaston and then Westbrook lost at Ranburne Friday night.

Now in the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, the Bearcats (4-6) play at 10th-ranked Region 7 champion Plainview (8-2) in Rainsville next week.

Even though they were fully focused on their own game, the Weaver players and coaches had an ear out for the Westbrook result. They were still hanging on the outcome as that game was still in progress when theirs ended.

“You guys never have coached, though,” Hamby said. “I’ve been up 24 points before at halftime (in basketball) and thought we were about to go to Birmingham; it didn’t work out too well. I’m a superstitious guy.”

No problem this time.

Forbes’ two scores, on runs of 54 and 33 yards, “brought a life” to the Bearcats in a game that was scoreless at halftime. He had 100 yards rushing in the third quarter and 181 in the game.

The runs came off the same trap call to a spot where the Wildcats had lost Macey Carr, a key piece of their defense, to injury earlier in the game.

“Going into halftime everybody was down,” quarterback Paul Hubbard said, “but the first play Delo scored a touchdown he got everybody going. Everybody’s confidence got up and we managed to pull it out. This is all we worked for the whole year. We pulled it out.”

All four of Weaver’s second-half touchdowns came on long runs. Hubbard had a 75-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter and Tyrik Hall scored from 44 yards.

The Bearcats had 230 of their 371 total yards in the second half — all on the ground.

“At halftime I said don’t panic,” Hamby said. “I did a lot of things well, but we shot ourselves in the foot with three turnovers and some holding calls. We stopped doing that and the coaching staff got together and saw something we could run and it worked out for us.”

The Weaver defense, meanwhile, held White Plains to 61 net yards in the second half. The Wildcats’ offense took a hit when Lawrence Jackson was helped off the field early in the third quarter. The shutout was Weaver’s first since Sept. 9, 2011.

“I was running out of bullets,” White Plains coach Larry Strain said. “I had to put people playing out of position in the second half on offense and defense. Putting all the pieces of the puzzle together you’ve got to have them all in the right spot. But they came out here and played hard. They had something on the line, that’s the way they’re supposed to play.”

Kyle Clapper (34), wrapping up White Plains' Lawrence Jackson, played a big role in the Bearcats' shutout. (Photo by Greg McWilliams)

Kyle Clapper (34), wrapping up White Plains’ Lawrence Jackson, played a big role in the Bearcats’ shutout. (Photo by Greg McWilliams)

Weaver 0 0 14 14 — 28
White Plains 0 0 0 0 — 0

W – Delo Forbes 54 run (Riley Benavides kick)
W – Forbes 33 run (Benavides kick)
W – Paul Hubbard 75 run (Benavides kick)
W – Tyrik Hall 44 run (Benavides kick)

Category Wea WP
First downs 11 8
Rushes-yds 37-343 39-97
C-A-I 3-10-1 4-11-1
Passing yds 28 18
Fumbles-lost 2-2 0-0
Punts-avg 3-28.7 5-21.2

You must be logged in to post a comment Login