Number 13 on our countdown of the 50 greatest games in the history of Bearcat Stadium, which on Sept. 1 will open its gates for its 50th season really, really hurts the folks in Clarksville.
The Panthers had a documented difficult time getting over the first meeting with the Bearcats in 1985 so the second one, in the opening round of the playoffs, had to really hurt. Clarksville went 9-0 against the rest of their opponents that season but 0-2 against Booneville.
Why was this game chosen? Okay, after the first game the Bearcats won, 28-0, Clarksville Head Coach Don Bryd accused Booneville Head Coach Doug Scheel of "running it up," because the Bearcats scored with 6:14 to play and again with 2:44 left after Clarksville turned the ball over on downs on their end of the field.
Back then Clarksville was a member of the east side of the conference and the Bearcats the West so both teams won their conference. Between them there were 19 wins.
What do I remember? I might have been under the influence. I turned 21 that summer and there are some fuzzy spots, but I was there when a touchdown pass that could have led to a win or a tie was simply dropped.
What does Andy Napier remember? I remember me scoring the first play in overtime. I remember our team trying to keep them from scoring, and their receiver dropping a pass in the end zone. To this day I still bring this game up to remind our Bearcats when you play someone twice, you better be prepared, because it's hard to beat someone twice, especially in playoffs.
What happened? The opening possession was typical Booneville football as the Bearcats drained clock and drove to the Clarksville 3-yard line. But on third down there was an exchange issue between Robbie Jones and Robert Fuller and once Daniel Fetters picked up the fumble he was gone, 95 yards, and it was 7-0 Clarksville with 6:10 left in the opening quarter.
Clarksville stopped the Bearcats the rest of the first half but couldn't do much with the Bearcat defense either. Tim Lasiter had 25 tackles in this one — 17 of them solo. One of the best defensive performances, ever, at least in a high pressure situation.
After trailing for the first time all year, the Bearcats would tie the game the first time they had the ball in the second half. It was a 56-yard drive after a Panther punt and it was Jones who scored from the 1. Jones also kicked the PAT to make it 7-7 with 6:26 left in the third quarter.
Although there were more than 18 game minutes left, that would be it.
The Bearcats got the ball first in the overtime and needed only one play, a 10-yard Andy Napier run and with Jones' PAT it was 14-7.
Clarksville tried the ground. No luck. On fourth down quarterback Brian Ross threw a touchdown pass. Or at least he did all he could to throw one but it was dropped by a wide open receiver and the Bearcats went on to the second round and Clarksville went on to basketball.
Tomorrow for number 12 we’ll see what happens when the halftime speech is one to remember.