While there is another game that comes to mind from November of 2004, you have to have this one first. For number 24 on our countdown of the best 50 games to have been played in Bearcat Stadium we go back to the second round game against Ashdown.
Why was this game chosen? It's yet another in a long line of those that little school in Logan County and the winner of the 4AAA cannot contend with the runner-up from the 7AAA whose only loss was to its league champion, Nashville. Yawn.
What do I remember? Okay it's easier to say yawn now than then. There never was a moment when you felt totally comfortable against the Panthers. Ashdown was better than anyone else in this league for sure, but Derek Davis and company were still better than them.
What does Derek Davis remember? Going into the Ashdown game, we knew they had a good defense and of course, Coach Rip was laying it on thick in typical Rippy Style.
I can easily say the greatest enjoyment I ever got out of scoring a touchdown was in this game. I remember they took the opening kickoff and drove it right down our throat. Tobler Turner gave us life again by returning the kickoff for like 70 yards and got ran out at the 5. Three downs later and it was fourth and goal from the 4 and they were reeling on defense. We had tried Daniel, myself and Curtis (Christian) all unsuccessfully. We went for it on fourth and we were running the veer. The read came down so I pulled it and immediately saw the linebacker coming over the top. He had me dead to rights, but the rule at Booneville is you have to make one guy miss and well the line took care of the rest.
This game was full of fourth downs and smash mouth football. If I ever wondered what it would be like to face a Bearcat defense, Ashdown came as close as you could. I'm really surprised either team scored at all. Did I mention Tobler never gets caught?
What happened? Both teams had double digit wins coming into the night. There were just three such games in the state that night. Like Davis said, Ashdown made the opening drive look kind of easy with Courtney Jackson scoring from the 5. Also like Davis said Turner was run down just inside the 5 on the ensuing kickoff and setting up the series he mentioned (you really don't need me for this) with his touchdown to tie it.
The Bearcats would go on to make it 21 unanswered points.
Davis is probably too modest to say this one but he put a move on Chris Threadgill and went 40 yards on a third-and-6 to give the Bearcat a 14-7 lead with still 3:23 left in the opening quarter.
Davis, there's that name again, picked off a Tario Dansby pass to set up his 28-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Springer that made it 21-7.
Ashdown battled back with a 12 yard drive with Dansby's 7-yard score with 2:33 left in the half getting the Panthers within one score.
The Bearcats punted to start the second half but its defense would allow only 66 yards the entire second half, and made a fourth down stop at the 44-yard line on their side of midfield. A fumble by Daniel Shaw kept it a one score game late in the third quarter before the Bearcats had the ball at their 38 to start the final quarter.
After Turner got 13 yards, Shaw redeemed himself with 47 and 2 yard carries, the later being the touchdown to make it 28-14.
Before the final horn, Andrew Springer had a key sack of Dansby and Davis batted away two passes on Ashdown's final possession.
Shaw finished with 115 yards and Davis added another 122 in the win, to go with the interception, 11 tackles and pass breakups.
Tomorrow at 23 we'll dodge a bullet from another Panther.