In a seventh grade football game that saw the teams combine for 621 yards of total offense the Booneville seventh grade Bearcats remained unbeaten on the season with a 32-14 win over Dardanelle, handing the Sand Lizards their first loss in the process.
Dardanelle actually jumped on top when Jack Graves went 70 yards on the first play of the game. Jordan Branson added a two point conversion and the Sand Lizards were in front, 8-0.
That lasted one play because Rocky Ross answered with a 70-yard run of his own, and Ross also took it in for the two point conversion and it was 8-8, just 32 seconds into the game.
Graves would go on to a big night with 10 carries for 158 of Dardanelle’s 268 yards. Ross went on to a bigger one with 13 carries for 260 of Booneville’s 353 yards.
Dardanelle avoided turnovers on a pair of errant snaps from a shotgun formation on the next series and eventually turned the ball over on downs at the Bearcat 44 when Cade Smith and Taiten Rice tracked Branson down for a 6-yard loss.
Seven plays later Randon Ray scored from the 2 and Ross added his second two pointer for a 16-8 lead with 3:59 left in the first half.
Dardanelle then overcame a holding call with a 14-yard run from Branson and Aiden Grayham, going 71 yards to make it 16-14 with 2:33 left in the half. Kaleb Wells recovered a fumble on the two point try.
There was plenty of time for the Bearcats to score again because Ross went 70 on the next play and added his third two point conversion for a 10 point lead, 24-14 with 2:00 left in the half.
The Bearcats (7-0-1 when logging the Alma encounter into the win column) actually got the ball again before the half ended thanks in part to a 3-yard tackle for loss by Brandon Parrish that helped force a punt.
Ross got 30 yards on the final play of the half but he was 28 yards short of the end zone. He had 199 yards at that point.
Out of the intermission it took four plays for the Bearcats to score, with Ross getting his third touchdown on a 39-yard run, and his fourth two pont conversion to make it 32-14 with 3:59 left in the third quarter.
Dardanelle drove to the Bearcat 10 on their next possession but Ray had a tackle for a 5-yard loss and Rice had one for another loss before a turnover on downs at the 17 with 5:54 to play.
The Bearcats kept the ball until a punt with 1:36 to play.
A stop at the Bearcat 27, by Ross, who also had five solo and four assisted tackles closed out the game.
The Bearcats will wrap up their home schedule tomorrow when they host West Fork. Game time is 5:30.