For the second day in a row we’re in late October for a thriller. This one in 2008 actually fell on Halloween night as the Bearcats snatched one away from Dardanelle.
The 17-14 win over the Sand Lizards is also the third entry of the countdown from the 2008 season.
Why was this game chosen? The Bearcats were seemingly in control at the half. The had kept the ball for 17-plus minutes and had a 14-0 lead. Either Dardanelle awakened in the second half or the Bearcats went to sleep. The game had a playoff bearing with the winner in good shape for the 3 seed.
What do I remember? Like I said this game was on Halloween. Both bands had Michael Jackson’s Thriller in their repertoire — given the season had a Halloween game, I figure there were plenty others. At halftime the two bands played the tune as one and it was one of the best halftimes I have ever seen.
The game? Juan Rios had ice water in his veins.
What does Juan Rios remember? I remember it was a close game. We were not playing our best, but in the fourth quarter we wanted it more than them.
With two minutes or so left in the game we punted to them and they started gaining yards, but luckily I intercepted one of their passes with 1:30 left. We ran a few plays to get in position for a kick. Then we kicked a 36-yard field goal to give us the lead 17-14.
It was a great team effort to snatch the win. As for the kick, I only remember telling Jordan Reid to get the ball on the tee and I’ll take care of the rest. It was great.
What happened? It was 14-0 at the half and Dardanelle might as well have announced on the PA system they were trying an onside kick. It didn’t work, but the Bearcats didn’t do what was expected and put the game away either.
No, in the second half it was Dardanelle dominating the time of possession. A 14-play 80-yard drive to a Kendall Pinkney to Alston Brown touchdown pass made it a one score game, 14-7. The drive took 5:35.
Dardanelle figured they had plenty of time now and kicked off then eventually forced a Bearcat punt that Michael Samuhasilp downed at the Sand Lizard 5-yard line. The third quarter was then gone, or all but 17 seconds of it was.
The Sand Lizards then marched 95 yards and tied the game with 5:25 to go — a 5:52 drive — on a 2-yard Mark Haney run. Haney ran for 106 yards but it took him 27 carries to get it. He had 190 in 2007.
Another Bearcat punt gave Dardanelle the ball back for just their third possession of the half with 2:36 left.
Dardanelle converted a third-and-14 with a Pickney to Haney pass but they went to the well one time too often and Rios made them pay with an pick and return to the Sand Lizard 37.
Quarterback Brock May moved the chains on a third-and-1 and Dwight Ashley got the ball to the 21 before Scott Hyatt took a time out to set up the field goal. Josh Price then took his last time out for Dardanelle so the Bearcats instead ran a play with Ashley getting another yard. The best thing was it chewed up some more time because the yard really would not really matter.
After the last Bearcat time out, with :06 left, Rios drilled the 36-yard try.
A couple of laterals on the kickoff left a nervous moment or two, before a runner was forced out of bounds.
The first half touchdowns for the Bearcats came from May on a 1-yard run and from Ashley on another run of the same length. The second score was set up by a 64-yard May to Jayson McKnight completion to the 13.
Tomorrow we’ll have a block party.