Purple Crush

Booneville and Clarksville stopped playing each other on a regular basis when the Panthers became, and stayed, a 5A school. Too bad, there were plenty of good games between them. For number 23 on our countdown of the best 50 games to have been played in Bearcat Stadium we go back visit the 1978 meeting between the two schools.

Why was this game chosen? Clarksville survived all night and had a chance to pull one out of the fire, potentially ruining what was to be, though obviously unknown at the time, a first title game appearance by Booneville. Including this game the Bearcats opened with three straight conference opponents that year and won them all.

What do I remember? I might have gotten a little tense a time or two, and it may not have been this game exactly, but it was this year the late Terry Hoggatt, then the Democrat editor, suggested I write a column called Parrish The Thought.

What does Bobby Cobb remember? Coach Bradley had nicknamed our defense the "Purple Crush Defense" and we had a great night against Clarksville.

John Adair intercepted a couple of key passes and ran one back for a touchdown but it was called back. I also remember they had a couple of linebackers that would light you up if they got a chance, Kelly Loop and Wesley Coffee.

What happened? A Ronnie Littleton touchdown run and Doug Simmons two point conversion gave the Bearcats an 8-0 lead early and, as Cobb said, the defense was impenetrable almost the entire night. Littleton ran for 112.

Adair had a 65-yard pick 6 shortened by the 6 due to one of 7 penalties on the night for the Bearcats and it stayed 8-0 through a half.

Jay Crowley, who threw for 84 yards, hit David Puckett for a touchdown with 9:30 to go for some breathing room at 14-0 with 9:30 to play. Puckett caught three passes on the night.

That would be a good thing because Don Eichenberger hit Danny Stilwell for 63 yards and a touchdown with 5:50 to go and the score was suddenly 14-8 after Steve Miller's Abracadabra two-point conversion (okay, I couldn't resist that one).

It was a fumble on the kickoff that threatened to make the Panthers improbable winners. However it was Adair's second interception, in the end zone with little time remaining, that saw to it that it didn't happen.

Tomorrow for number 22 we'll get back to some November football.