Taking down a beast from the east
If you wanted to compile a list of the x-number of the greatest beatdowns by Booneville of all time, the 1999 Warren game would probably be top two or three, but since our countdown is the top 50 games of all time at Bearcat Stadium it will have to settle for position 43 on what a committee thinks are the 50 greatest games — so far — to have been played in Bearcat Stadium, which, on Sept. 1, will open its gates for its 50th season. Still, it was epic, 59-6.
Why was this game chosen? Stop me if you've heard this, Booneville can't contain that kind of speed (yawn) and though the Lumberjacks were 6-5 and Booneville 11-0 the pundits figured the end of the road had arrived for Booneville.
What do I remember? Good grief, where to start. I'm not sure how but my cell phone went off and I actually heard it over what is still one of the loudest crowds I recall here. It was Stanley Bryant calling from work. He wanted to know the score, of course. I said 21-0. He asked, 'whose favor.' Ours, I said. You'd better not be, um, kidding me, he said. I wasn't, Brad West had just returned an interception for a touchdown and Warren was taking a beating.
There was also the story of a conversation between coach Kevin Tipton and head coach Ken Rippy when Tipton wanted to substitute players. It was 59-6 early in the final quarter then. Rippy was concerned because of how quickly Warren could score so Tipton asked him how many times 7 went into 59. Rippy said he didn't know, or something to that effect, and Tipton said, that's my point, it's a bunch.
What does Brad West remember? The main things I remember from that week were how this game with Warren was going to be the measure of how teams in the western part of the state matched up with the thought to be superior east. I believe every team from Warren's conference won their first round games including a 4-seed knocking off a 1.
I had never been part of a game where so many things went right so fast and just continued to snowball against a very talented Warren team. We got the ball first and scored then kicked off and they mishandled the ensuing kickoff and we drive and quickly score again. Also had a defensive TD all in the first quarter, 28-0. We continued to pour it on before half where we led 45-0.
I have relatives from Star City and they said you could hear a pin drop in their stadium as our halftime score was announced. There was total disbelief that a team could dominate one of their teams in that fashion. This game sent a message to the rest of the state that we were for real and was a perfect example of what Rippy would say before every game. "If things go well out there, don't slow or rattle, pour on more steam.
What happened? A 65-yard run by quarterback Brandon Rowland started it. After a short kick recovery by John Chase and a Zach Adair run of 29 yards it was 14-0. The defensive score West mentioned was his pick-6, on which I don't think I've ever seen as much blocking. There was still 8:52 left in the first quarter.
Rowland went 60 more — a 15 carry, 238-yard night for the little bowlegged quarterback — made it 28-0. After a pair of Allen Ray touchdowns and a field goal by the same it was 45-0. West mentioned the pin drop in Star City. I'm pretty sure there was another one in McGehee who, if I remember correctly, was throttling Clarksville.
A tunnel screen got Warren on the board, but a 5:54 drive — Warren got only 38 snaps, two of which were runs, and only one of them was designed — and Rowland touchdown countered and Ray scored for the third time on the first play of the final quarter. West also said he thinks Coach David Beckham wanted to go for two to make it 60, but Rippy opted for the PAT and a 59-6 lead.
Late in the game, Ray was not so secretly hoping West, at quarterback by then, and the offense would score again so he could kick PAT number nine. Of course that would have made for a 66-6 score that. West took a knee at the Warren 11-yard line to end it.
There were four interceptions by the way, two by West and one each for Andy Taylor and Chase.
Tomorrow it’s another playoff game at number 42.