Booneville took its first lead of the 2019 season about midway through the opening quarter Friday night.
They never gave it back on the way to a 42-14 win at John Needham Stadium in Pottsville.
Traditionally, when winning the coin toss, Booneville (1-2) will defer its option until the second half. Friday, coaches wanted the football.
The Bearcats opened the game in a spread formation with Evan Schlinker hitting Cam Brasher for a 7-yard gain then went on to run off 6:14 of the first quarter clock with a 12-play drive, ultimately taking a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard run by Brasher and Gavin Kent’s point after kick.
Schlinker converted a fourth down by running for 14 yards on the way to the score.
Pottsville (0-2) started the game with a false start — the Apaches had nine penalties in the first half with seven being for movement, one being offside and another for a delay of game.
That made the first snap a sack by Anthony McKesson and Cort Mizell and the Apaches eventually punted.
Following the punt the Bearcats used the pass, albeit a short one behind the line of scrimmage, to go up 14-0 as Ray took the toss and darted his way 49 yards for his first touchdown of the night.
Schlinker would connect on four of six throws for 116 yards in the game.
Pottsville had three false start flags on its next possession and punted again.
Schlinker ran for a first down on a fourth down play and the Bearcats scored again on the ensuing possession, going 73 yards in 11 plays.
Andrew Robertson took his turn in the end zone with his first score of the year on a 17-yard run with 8:17 left in the first half and it was 21-0.
The Apaches showed signs of life on their next possession with a seven-play drive to a 2-yard Ben Jones touchdown and it was 21-7 with still 5:17 left in the half.
That lasted 12 seconds. After the kickoff was fair caught, Ray went 57 yards and it was 28-7.
Ray ran nine times for 114 yards — the sophomore has been the leading rusher in every game this season.
The Bearcats got the ball back and threatened to do more damage before the flags got them too, one for an ineligible receiver and an offside penalty that cost both yardage and time, which expired as Ty Goff was trying to get out of bounds after a reception.
Pottsville started the second half with the football but Drew Rust was trying to secure the ball after a handoff and had it knocked free by McKesson. Robertson collected it, broke a tackle and went 43 yards for a touchdown to make it 35-7.
One play after the kickoff Gabe Fennell intercepted Carpenter and the Bearcats were able to cross midfield but Schlinker didn’t get a snap and KJ Spencer pounced on it for Pottsville.
After surviving a second-and-20 and another fumble, the Apaches got a 33-yard touchdown pass from Carpenter to Jones on a third down and climbed within 35-14 with 5:21 to play in the third quarter.
The Bearcats got one first down after the kickoff and were facing a third-and-7 when Schlinker hit Brasher for what looked like a first down until Goff cleared a path and Brasher went on to a 52-yard score and a 42-14 lead.
Before the quarter ended McKesson sacked Carpenter again and caused his second fumble of the night with Landon Shackleford recovering.
Penalties short-circuited the next Bearcat possession but the defense forced the fourth of five Apache punts and the coaches took out their staring backs. The Bearcats still moved the ball to the Pottsville 26 — contributing to an offensive output of 429 yards on the night — before a turnover on downs.
Goff completed the game under center after another Pottsville punt.
The Bearcats are open this Friday, giving them two weeks to prepare for the 3A-1 opener against Paris (2-1) on Sept. 27, which is also the homecoming game.