If the countdown is under 30 that means we're less than a month from Booneville Bearcat football. Today it's 29 days away now so we're at game 29 on the countdown of what a committee thinks are the best 50 games to have been played at Bearcat Stadium since, on Sept. 2, the stadium will open its gates for its 50th season.
Why was this game chosen? You've got to remember it was the game after the first undefeated season in 30 years and the pressure was intense, but the Bearcats responded to make it 11-0 and add more pressure for the next week.
Prior to this game the two undefeated teams in school history had no playoffs so this was uncharted territory for the program.
What do I remember? I kind of gave that away with the previous paragraph but I do remember one of my best friends got into the end zone in the playoffs.
What does the roster remember? Good question. Everyone we talked to has spotty memories from the game. For instance Stanley Bryant offered that the offense struggled. Of course Prairie Grove gets some credit for that I guess, as does the aforementioned three decades old pressure cooker.
What happened? Like Bryant said, it was not a display of dominance on offense, but it had more than one interesting moment. Picture a second-and-53. Impossible conversion? Nope. Troy Smith went 36 and 24 yards on successive snaps and all of a sudden it's first down. Unfortunately the Bearcats did not score on that possession.
Alan King had a 46-yard run during the first scoring drive of the game. He hit Danny Kimes with a 22-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead. According to my book — yes, that's two days in a row I've mentioned Purple & Old Gold — Kimes convinced King to throw the ball to him although the play was designed for David Fritsche. Kimes caught the ball in double coverage while Fritsche was, you guessed it, wide open.
The Bearcats started the second half at their own 13-yard line. Twelve plays and 5:13 later it was 14-0 after Billy Warren scored from the 4.
Comfortable? Maybe but the Bearcats still couldn't put the Tigers away. A 76-yard Andy Napier run might have done so but it was negated by a penalty and it would stay a two score game.
Prairie Grove made it interesting with a 2-yard Charles Hand touchdown run to make it 14-7 but Tony McClorey recovered an onside kick to end the drama.
Tomorrow we move on up, beating a coach's alma mater.