Today we crack the top 10 with a game that is still fresh in a lot of memories since it happened in week 9 of 2015 and came at the expense of a two-time defending state champion.
The Booneville 39, Charleston 32 in the Halloween day editions of the papers shocked most of the state.
Why was this game chosen? Okay the game didn't have anything to do with the playoffs. The Bearcats would have made it with a win the following week in Lavaca, which they got. But, going into this one they were 0-4 at home that year. There had never been a winless season in Bearcat Stadium, and thanks to this game, there still hasn't been.
What do I remember? I got a little excited, after all beating that county ranks high on my excitement level. It's not much of a confession since there is irrefutable video evidence. Also, after the game, there was a bear hug between two coaches who wore the black and gold. I think they were the most excited people in the stadium. We'll hear from one of them in a minute.
This story is second-hand but I believe it. I was told that night that a certain former CHS coach and father of a certain former Charleston quarterback made a remark before the game that Charleston had never lost a game to a team that was 2-6. If that were true, it's not now.
What does Doc Crowley remember? What I remember from that game is that is was pretty much an old school Booneville Bearcat butt kicking. We ran about four different plays all night and they had no answer for it. Our defense made some huge plays and had a score. Our kids had heir backs against the wall to try and get into the playoffs, and they came out and played like Bearcats and just physically beat them.
I may have graduated from there (Charleston), but I started school here and both my parents graduated here, I'm a Bearcat and always will be, and it was sweet, especially after going down twice in '14. And it was a great feeling to get a big win when we needed it. Nights like those are what make this a special place, our kids were not as athletic, but they played harder and were more physical all night long, and that's Bearcat football.
What happened? Charleston led 25-20 and had driven from their own 11-yard line to the Bearcat 33 and was facing a fourth down. They got a blitz. Quarterback Jackson Rowland tried to pass the ball anyway and Jeff Dobbs picked it off and ran it back 60 yards to make it 26-20. A two point conversion attempt failed.
Charleston's next drive ended with a Brady Brasher interception. Just as important the Tigers used two of their time outs during the possession.
From there the Bearcats pulled further ahead with a 74-yard drive that included a 45-yard Grant Rodatz touchdown and it was 32-25 with 7:16 to play. Rodatz ran for 157 yards on 16 carries — like Doc said, it was typical Bearcat football as the Bearcats didn't throw a single pass.
The Bearcats then pulled off an onside kick with Rodatz recovering at Charleston's 42. Caleb Draper (30-109) converted a fourth down and Fennell a third down on the way to Draper's third touchdown and it was 39-25 with 2:23 to go.
A second onside attempt didn't work and Charleston was able to get a 28-yard Jackson to Mason Wisdom touchdown pass to cut it to 39-32 with 49 seconds left.
The Tigers' onside kick came near Dobbs, and he covered it to end any chances the Tigers had.
Even before the wild final quarter there had been four lead changes. Charleston scored first on a pass to Sean Michael Flanagin and after Draper's first touchdown cut it to 7-6, the Tigers made it 13-6 on a Chase Binz run.
Fennell went 57 for a touchdown and with a two point run by Draper it was 14-13 Bearcats with 5:01 left in the first half.
Charleston went back in front, 19-14, on another Flanagan touchdown reception with 2:51 left in the half and, in the only scoring of the third quarter the Bearcats retook the lead at 20-19 on Draper's second touchdown run.
Flanagan's third touchdown reception, this one from Mason Wisdom, had made it 25-20.
Flanagan and Wisdom both caught seven passes but the Bearcat defense, led by 12 tackles from Brian Smith, never quit.
Tomorrow we'll have a live Thriller.