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GREEN FOREST — The 4A-1 season has begun for Green Forest.

After an 0-3 start in the non-conference section of the schedule, the Tigers began the toughest part of their conference slate right at the beginning.

Friday night was the first 4A-1 matchup with a road game against Prairie Grove. The results of the game equated to a 52-8 loss for the Tigers.

“They are a well coached football program,” Green Forest head coach Greg Tibbitt commented about his latest opponent. “They do all the right things and have been consistent for a long time and it shows.”

Green Forest is looking for that same consistency. The ballgame on Friday looked like a promising start for the Tigers.

“We had a great start,” Tibbitt explained the first series from scrimmage and how it related to the rest of the game. “We got a sack fumble that gave our offense the ball inside the 10-yard line to start the game. We gained 5 yards on first down, lost 2 yards on second down and then threw an interception.

“Prairie Grove went 97 yards for a touchdown on their first down. I don’t think we ever recovered from that 5-play emotional roller coaster the rest of the night.”

With the quality of competition continuing to rise, the Tiger coach is seeing all of the things that need to get answered as the season rolls along.

“We have to play through mistakes,” said the coach. “Offensively, we need to give more effort. That sounds simple but we need to learn to play faster. Defensively, we have to do a better job of tackling in space.”

One of the positive takeaways from the game, according to the coach was that “we are healthy.”

They will need all hands on deck as they move forward with the season. The guidelines according to the pandemic has put a wrench in the Tiger gameplay dating back to the preseason, but the roster remains intact.

“We are healthy, beat up, but healthy,” Tibbitt noted about his team moving forward through the adversity. “Competition keeps getting better so that makes progress difficult to see sometimes. We are lucky in a sense, we have two of the better teams in the state in our conference.

“We get a first hand look at what we need to do and where we need to be to complete at the 4A state level.”

The conference schedule continues when the 0-4 Tigers host the 3-1 Saints of Shiloh Christian on Bill Gotto Field with a 7 p.m. kickoff on Friday.

Shiloh Christian is coming off a 63-7 win over Green Forest rival Berryville.

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