Hicks breaks rushing record.
Don’t look now but we’re already 10 percent through our countdown. This is entry five of the 50-day countdown of recapping 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.
Today we’re up to number 46, a 43-19 win over Charleston to open the 1997 season. This was also the last regulation game against Charleston until 2013. Lavaca was assigned to the Booneville conference and Charleston made an opening week change and has yet to play Booneville in nonconference play since.
Why was this game chosen? The season opener of 1997 saw Davin Hicks break the school record with 268 rushing yards in a single game. He eclipsed the 248 yards Wayne Wells gained against Ozark in September of 1959, which was the same number Ronnie Littleton torched Pulaski Oak Grove for in 1978.
What do I remember? Actually I remember more about the anger of the Times Record’s statistic run the next Wednesday. While Hicks went off, Allen Ray also went for 150+ which were easily, according to Saturday’s wrap-ups, the top two performances in the league. But by Wednesday another player from the conference had 180. I was chapped.
What does Jordan Pirraglia remember? I remember this being a track meet and we really just had two plays we ran be cause they couldn't stop it: handback right was Hicks and he would literally score every time. Me and Josh Boersma were worn out after the game because we pulled on that play every time.
What happened? Hicks carried the ball just 17 times, but that tends to be all one needs when there are 87- and 72-yard carries. The 87-yard effort came in a 7-7 game as Hicks had 168 yards in the first half — before 100 more in the second half.
It was just 21-13 — Matt Shott had a 56-yard TD run in the 576 yard rushing attack that night — when Hicks got free for 72 to make it 28-13.
Charleston got within 28-19 but "Gator" Ray and Brandon Rowland touchdowns made it a lopsided final. Ray had a pair of touchdowns and kicked five consecutive extra points in his first game in a Bearcat uniform.
Pirraglia is right about the track meet. There were 976 yards in the game. Kid named Heath Klek had 128 rushing for Charleston and Brooks Simpkins threw for 120.
Tomorrow it’s another record night at 45.