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Forrest to Titans: ‘I want the ball’

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He caught the winning TD pass

By Josh Cook

It was a play these Titans will likely remember of a long time.

It was a moment that gave Jerry Lucas and Lawson Page goose bumps.

It was like a scene from a movie, albeit a basketball one. 

It was Collins junior Landon Forrest’s declaration, during a timeout with a little more than three minutes left in Friday night’s county clash, as his team trailed Shelby County 33-28 and faced a fourth-and-10 from the Rockets’ 11, that he wanted the ball on the next play.

“It was like Jimmy Chitwood in Hoosiers,” Lucas, the Titans’ coach, said afterward referencing the basketball movie released in 1986. In the film Chitwood, the star player for the fictional Hickory Huskers, tells his teammates and coaches, “I’ll make it” during a timeout before he hits the game-winning shot in the Indiana high school state championship game.

“He said, ‘I’ll catch it,’” Lucas recalled of Forrest. “He said, ‘I want the ball.’”

He got it. Moments later, Forrest made a sliding catch of Page’s 11-yard touchdown pass that gave Collins a 34-33 victory over Shelby County.

Forrest finished the game with three catches for 31 yards, and although none was bigger than the final one, he also had a 10-yard catch in the third quarter that kept a scoring drive alive.

At the end of that play, in fact, Forrest fumbled, but the ball bounced right back to him. The Titans eventually would take a 28-27 lead seven plays later on Page’s 1-yard quarterback keeper.

Shelby would respond to that score quickly – with Zach Shipley’s 41-yard touchdown pass to Michael Barry. The two teams then traded possessions before the Titans got the ball back for the game-winning drive.

Collins relied mostly on the legs of Page during that march, but after he was sacked for a 6-yard loss the Titans called a timeout facing fourth down from Shelby’s 11.

“I told coach to call the comeback,” said Forrest, whose older brother Logan graduated from Shelby County in 2011. “I knew I could get it.”

Added Page: “He looked me in the eye, he was like, ‘I got you.’ I said, ‘Okay, you want it, I’m going to give it to you.’”

So on fourth down, Forrest split out wide right. Page took the snap and rolled to his right while Forrest ran into the end zone. He hesitated for a moment, then came back toward the front pylon and made a sliding catch as Shipley, Shelby’s safety, made a diving attempt to knock the pass down a few yards in front of Forrest.

“Shipley cheated out; I think he knew the play; he almost got it,” Page said. “Landon made a great catch.”