To prove I listened to folks when putting this list together, rather than take total ownership of the countdown, today's entry was originally number 1 on the list. Instead, it settled in at number 3.
For this one you have to go back to 1978, week 10, for an overtime 22-14 win against Paris that saw more than its share of tense moments in the final quarter.
Why was this game chosen? Back in those days Paris was public enemy number 1 and, to be truthful, that was because historically Paris had the edge in the series. The pendulum swung in the 1980s when Booneville won every game, but I digress.
The Booneville-Paris game was pretty much always the final game of the season back in those days. Also, back in those days there were no guarantees for making the playoffs as there were three wild cards for each side of the state and 10 total champions, so the conference runner-up and loser of this tilt was playing basketball in week 11. Without this win there is no first title game appearance.
What do I remember? It was the worst pass interference penalty call in the history of pass interference calls. For you Arkansas fans, think SMU.
I remember being an overjoyed freshman when the game ended on an interception. Speaking of which, I was told by Jim West several years ago that the interception Ronnie Littleton had to wrap up the game came on the wrong side of the field. West said Littleton was asked after the game if he realized he had lined up on the wrong side. He did. How did he know the ball was coming that way? Because he just knew. Good enough for me.
What does Bobby Cobb remember?
Ronnie Littleton and I went to Paris and bought a Paris Express paper and got a little bit mad. Coach Clay from Paris said that they could run the ball on us. We took it personal! At the half Paris had -7 yards rushing and ended up with 27 yards rushing the entire night.
Ronnie Littleton ran the ball three time to score in OT then ran for the two point conversion, then intercepted a pass from Artie Cooper to end the game. It took a while for Coach Bradley to communicate for Ronnie to get down after the interception.
I also broke a couple of bones in my hand early in the game and Keith Bolyard also blocked a big point after in that game that would have gave Paris the win with no overtime.
What happened? Cobb hit all the highlights, but we'll fill in some gaps. The first score of the night came on a drive that took almost 10 minutes and 16 plays to cover 80 yards. It was fullback Roy Stiles who scored but, and this is hard to type, Littleton was actually stopped on a two point conversion try with less than a minute left in the opening quarter.
Paris was never a threat in the second quarter but the Bearcats could not build on the lead either.
Starting from their own 24-yard line after a clip brought back a Roy Jack Tomlin second half opening kickoff return across midfield, the Bearcats kept the ball for 14 plays and Littleton scored from the 4. Jay Crowley threw to Mike Johnson for the extra two and a 14-0 lead.
Paris needed just over a minute to respond with Cooper hitting Randy Bagwell for the touchdown then running for the two to make it 14-8 with 1:14 left in the third quarter.
A fumbled punt gave Paris a chance to win the game. A pass interference penalty on Bolyard that was bologna gave Paris a first down at the 10. Cooper scored on third down from the 1 to tie it with 2:24 to play.
Bolyard then blocked the PAT to keep it tied.
In overtime the Bearcats went first and Littleton got the call on three straight downs and scored. He also ran for the two as Cobb said and it was 22-14.
With their turn Paris started with a pitch that got nothing. Like Cobb said 27 rushing yards, all night. On second down Cooper completed a pass to Littleton, but Littleton was wearing purple.
Final numbers had Stiles at 24 carries for 83 yards and Littleton with 26 for 128, but again, holding Paris to 27 total yards is the really big little number.
Tomorrow we’ll go to OT again.