Sunday, bloody Sunday. Or in the case of Booneville-Paris it was often Friday bloody Friday now wasn't it. Especially as far back as 1972 where today's entry on our countdown of the best 50 games to have been played in Bearcat Stadium takes us.
For number 26 we have the rather thin 20-18 win over the Eagles that had plenty of fourth quarter drama.
Why was this game chosen? Because of how much the emotion of rivalries play into the outcome of a football game. The Bearcats were 3-6 and on the verge of losing this game before rallying to win on a two-point conversion in the final quarter.
What do I remember? Like the 1970 game a few days ago, this is just a touch before my time so I'll leave that to the experts.
What does Jody Bryant remember? All I remember is we won. I did make All District that year. Now in '71 while playing Paris as a DE, I missed a screen pass coverage and Benny Cooper had to chase down Dirk Hinson before he scored. And in '72 I think the Eagle in front of the school got the head broke off and painted purple.
I also spoke to Bryant when I wrote Purple & Old Gold — there's that book again — and he said, "Ozark and Paris were our your but if you didn't beat Paris it was a lousy year." Having lost to the other one this one was all the more important then.
What happened? Bruce Ray went for 110 yards on the night. His 2-yard run gave the Bearcats a 6-0 lead, but it didn't last too long because Carl Webb went 58 yard to tie it. The PAT was wide.
The Bearcats went back in front on the sixth Ricky Holcomb to Eddie Steele touchdown pass of the season. Holcomb threw a total of seven that year, but I digress.
After the intermission William Bench had 26- and 10-yard touchdown runs, the later in the final quarter. Bench ran for 175 and later, the Bearcats, backed up to their own 20-yard line, were on the verge of 3-7.
No they weren't. Offensively it was the same combination that had the Bearcats in a position to beat the Eagles. Ray converted a fourth-and-inches and the 2 and ran for the touchdown from the 1 to tie it. Holcomb hit Steele for the extra 2 and the lead, 20-18, with under two minutes to play.
Enter Bearcat Stadium mystique. Paris drove to the Bearcat 20 and Hixon tried a 37-yard field goal with 12 seconds to go to win it. Not tonight.
Tomorrow we’ll start the second half of our countdown with, I'm not telling you, it's a surprise. Heck, isn't that typical for a Monday.