Anyone partial to offense was treated to a week zero explosion Thursday night at Metheny Field at Whitson-Morgan Stadium in Clarksville.
Booneville’s Randon Ray ran for 238 yards and four touchdowns and a 2-point conversion on just 13 carries in the Bearcats (0-1) 34-26 loss to the Panthers.
The Panthers countered with Bryce Buckner running 10 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns and Jacob Buckner adding 101 yards on four carries.
There were 659 yards of total offense with the Bearcats getting the better of the Panthers by a 341-318 count.
There were no punts as the Bearcats were 3-of-4 on fourth down and the Panthers were never in a fourth down situation.
The one fourth down the Bearcats failed to convert is arguably the only defensive play of the game that would matter as Ray was sacked for a 9-yard loss on fourth-and-goal from the 10 on the game’s opening drive.
Because Ray is also the Bearcat quarterback the 13 yards in losses on two sacks were to his detriment, meaning his 11 other carries actually accounted for 251 yards.
Clarksville, running its single wing offense, twice shifted inducing the Bearcats to jump offside to pick up their initial first down without running a play.
The Panthers scored two plays later as Bryce Buckner went 58 yards for the touchdown. A point after try by Jose Ramirez was short.
Mason Goers was victimized by a holding penalty that took away a first down — the Bearcats had 9 penalties for 70 yards — forcing the Bearcats into a third-and-5 and Ray, once flushed from the pocket turned the pressure into a 67-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 6-6 5:43 before halftime.
Jacob Buckner scored his first touchdown on the next possession, from the 17, and a 2-point conversion run by Bryce Buckner made it 14-6.
The Bearcats overcame another holding penalty, converted a fourth down, and reached the Panther 39 over the final 3:13 of the half but could not score.
Clarksville opened the second half with a quick two play drive with Tony Rojas scoring from the 21 and Rameriz adding the PAT for a 21-6 lead.
Ray went 61 yards the first play after the kickoff and it was 21-12 with still 6:39 of the eight minute third quarter left.
The Bearcats had Clarksville in a third-and-9 when Jacob Buckner went 46 yards for a touchdown that made it 28-12 with the Ramierz PAT.
That lasted eight plays before Ray went 9 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-18 with 37 seconds left in the third quarter.
After converting a third-and-11 the Panthers went on to score on a 1-yard Bryce Buckner run for a 34-18 lead. The PAT was wide, but only 5:14 remained.
The Bearcats responded with another scoring drive with Ray again squirting loose for the score from the 17. This time Ray added the first 2-point conversion of the season as well and it was a one possession game at 34-28 with 1:51 to play.
However, after a 5-yard tackle for a loss by Ray — he had a team high seven stops — the Bearcats would eventually jump offside two more times helping Clarksville move the sticks and run out the clock.
The Bearcats will open their 2018 home season Thursday when they host Ozark. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.