What do you think of 50-31? We continue today with what a committee thinks are the 50 greatest games — so far — to have been played in Bearcat Stadium, because on Sept. 1, the stadium will open its gates for its 50th season.
For number 30 we have a narrow win over Charleston in the first game of the 1970s.
Why was this game chosen? According to my book Purple & Old Gold — shameless plug, yes; trying to sell more, no, I don't have any — Charleston was the Arkansas Gazette's number 1 team in Class A. So much for that.
What do I remember? I would love to wax on about my memory of this one but I was 6 and a few years away from my indoctrination into football here.
What does Conway Massey remember? What a game! Charleston was very talented in 1970 with the likes of running back John Ferguson. But, the Bearcats were deep and talented on both sides of the ball and Coach Bradley had prepared us well. A great start to a great year.
What happened? Bradley didn't think too much of his squad after the game but a win is a win and Charleston had a lot to do with the offensive inconsistency.
There were six punts in a scoreless first quarter and four more in the second before the Bearcats finally put together a drive that included a Gary Thomas to Massey pass and was capped by Massey going 10 for the touchdown. Massey, who holds the school record for 2-point conversions, added one here for an 8-0 lead.
The kickoff included the aforementioned Ferguson lateraling to Ricard Wingfield who went for a touchdown to make it 8-6.
The Bearcats got to the 10 before the half, but couldn't punch one in due to penalties and disrupted plays.
An 80-yard Ferguson run gave Charleston a 12-7 lead in the second half and it stayed thay way because of an interception by Johnny Davis on the two try.
The Bearcats answered immediately behind Ray Asbury and Massey with Asbury getting the touchdown from the 8 to make it 14-12.
Jimmy Reese picked off a pass on the next series to wrape it up for the Bearcats.
Massey had 134 yards on the ground and 26 receiving on the night. Rick Ray had 56 rushing and both were on their way to 1,000-yard seasons, the first duo to do so. Thomas was 4-of-7 for 37 yards. Charleston's Truman Long was 7-of-15 for the same 37 yards.
Because there were so many punts the game story notes Sam Wagoner averaged 39.2 on his punts. Bill Cobb and Charlie Rogers were cited for defensive play.
Tomorrow we have another playoff nail-biter at #29.