Sophomore leads goal line stop on final play.

Seven weeks from today is the kick off of the 2017 Bearcat football season. Yesterday we started a 50 day countdown to that date by recapping the first of what a committee felt are the best 50 games — so far — to have been played in Bearcat Stadium, which, on Sept. 1, will open its gates for its 50th season.

For the second entry on the countdown we go back to Nov. 9, 2007 for a one score game.

Why was this game chosen? Scott Hyatt’s playoff resume could not have gotten off to a more stressful beginning as it took a goal line stand on the final play of the game to preserve the 7-0 lead.

What do I remember? For some reason I thought for a long time that this was the last game by Robbie Rogers, then a sophomore before his untimely death. It wasn't. The accident that claimed his life was before his senior season. Nonetheless, I credited Rogers with leading the tackle on the final play of the night. It was quarterback Elias Hill who was stopped short of setting up a potential tie or winning two-point conversion.

What does Michael Emery remember? I remember that the game plan changed as it usually does playing in the playoffs, you know playing guys with speed and big meaty lineman. We had to make adjustments on defense so we didn’t get beat on the outside edges with speed so we spread the D-line out a little. On offense we were going to power up one side and try to hit them with the sweeps and crossbucks while waiting to throw a surprise halfback pass. Towards the in end of the first quarter we were driving really well. I got a fullback sweep to right got about 15 yards then I had my knee taken out. I got pulled out in the second quarter.

If I remember the score at half was 0-0 and coach Hyatt was furious. I remember he said, “Every body run from the side line all the way to inside the field house” I think he forgot that my knee was shot because he said, “Emery hurry up.” Nothing was really said everyone knew what needed to be said. The second half was a dog fight to see who was going to score first.

What happened? Rogers really had a huge night when he came on in place of Emery at linebacker. He had five tackles and a fumble recovery at the Trojan 25-yard line led to a 26-yard Kelly Carolan to Wes Swint touchdown pass with 2:11 left in the third quarter. Josh Garcia added the point after to make it 7-0.

The speed Emery talked about was really present on defense, as Colton Waters was held to 40 yards. Of course Marianna-Lee sold out to stop the run and Carolan, through completing only 5-of-16, threw for 131 yards. That’s more than the Trojans gained all night — 117. Carolan was picked off three times in the game but also had a big 49-yard throw to Matt Wilson.

After Wilson was thrown for an 8-yard loss on a fourth down, Marianna got the ball at their 47 with under a minute to go and out of time outs. A Hill to Gregory Hinkle pass got 34 yards and when Hill hit DeAngelo Arnett for 17 more the ball was at the 2. After a procedure penalty pushed them back it was time to cue Rogers and the defense and the clock ran out before the bodies were unpiled just short of paydirt.

Tomorrow it’s a big beginning for number 48.