BROOKLYN, Miss. (WDAM) - Forrest County Agricultural High School struggled in 2018 – a record of 1-10 by season’s end.
No one hurt more watching the Aggies than Evan Clark, knowing he couldn’t help his team with a broken collarbone. The fire brewed as he sat sidelined for seven games and he’s finally been able to let it out this season.
“We just had to about hide his stuff rom him,” said FCAHS head coach Brad Calcote. “Take his pads up, take his helmet up so he couldn’t get back out on the field before he was released. He’s hard-headed. That’s the best thing about him and that’s the worst thing about him. Just that willpower of, man I get to do this one more time. It absolutely shows up in him.”
“There’s nothing I love more than football,” Clark said. “[Sitting out] killed me, that was huge. That was a big booster going into this season to play ten times better than I would have, to work ten times harder than I was going to.”
It certainly showed in Friday night’s 20-7 win over Sumrall. Clark rushed for a season-high 130 yards, tossed a touchdown and led FCAHS with seven tackles and two forced fumbles – one of which he returned to the house.
“He got a spark going then everybody else started playing a little better, playing a little harder,” Calcote said. “Like, man if this guy can break how many tackles he did and score, just keep sticking his nose in there over and over. He picked us all up.”
“We had talked with some of the seniors before the game and we just talked about if we lose these games, these are the last three games we’ll ever get to play,” Clark said. “The coaches told us, this is a playoff game for us. So, we just went in with that mindset that it’s a win or go home.”
That line of thinking doesn’t change the next two weeks with contests against Purvis and Stone. The Aggies (5-3, 1-2 region 7-4A) are fighting for the fourth and final playoff spot in their region.
Clark represents a group of seniors that intend to win that fight.
“We’ve won games when we needed to, we’ve won games when it mattered,” Clark said. “You can definitely see the atmosphere in the field house change. People are starting to believe. We’re a team that’s not just going to come over here and let somebody walk over us. We’re a team that’s going to fight for every down, every play and other teams are starting to see that too.”