Booneville made a statement the first time they had the football Friday night with a 91-yard drive in only four plays.
They repeated themselves with multiple big plays in the first half on the way to a 28-0 lead that turned into a 35-7 win at John Needham Stadium in Pottsville Friday night.
Booneville defensive coordinator Ricky May was looking for a couple of early stops against four-year starting quarterback Michael Perry and Pottsville.
He got them, again, repeatedly, and Booneville (9-0, 6-0) made it two straight against Pottsville (7-2, 5-2) with a mercy rule win.
The Apaches started the game with a time out, then a false start before Perry hit Josh Duggar for a couple yards that became 17 because of a late hit out of bounds.
May then watched his defense surrender a 33-yard Perry to Taylor Waddell pass to the Bearcat 15-yard line.
After James Ray dropped Waddle, the Bearcats chased Perry into an incomplete pass on first down and, after two rushes got six yards, another on fourth down.
Perry threw for 191 yards on the night but the quarterback, who, as a sophomore ran for 303 yards in Booneville, was held to minus 8 yards on 14 carries.
From there Bryson May rumbled for 37, Josh Smith got 8, Matt Berry 1 and Cody Harrel took it 45 yards for a touchdown. Smith’s point after made it 7-0 with 8:10 to play in the first quarter.
Harrel was on his way to a 14 carry, 179-yard night. Smith would add 81 on seven carries and May 75 on 13.
Pottsville again used Perry’s arm to cross midfield but a third down sack by Michael Springs – he had two and the team had six of Perry – forced the Apaches into a fourth-and-10 at the Bearcat 34 on the next possession. Damon May knocked down a Perry pass attempt.
The possession included a holding penalty against the Apaches and another for an ineligible man downfield that wiped out a touchdown. It also included a personal foul on an incompletion that made it third-and-manageable before the Springs sack.
Five plays later Bryson May threw a vicious block to spring Josh Smith on a 47-yard touchdown run and it was 14-0 at the 1:43 mark of the opening quarter.
The Bearcats did not take advantage of an opportunity to do further damage despite starting with the ball at the Apache 29 after a sack, fumble caused, and fumble recovery by Justin Shackleford. That was because they would fumble the ball back, with Josh Duggar recovering for Pottsville.
Waddell ran for two to end the quarter and Bryson May and Dalton Gray teamed up on a sack Pottsville got a big pass play from Perry to Blayze Schrepfer, but Bryson May forced a fumble and Booneville took over at Apache 44.
Harrel converted a fourth-and-2 to move the ball to the Pottsville 27 and Smith got 18 to the 2 on another fourth down to set up Bryson May’s 2-yard to make it 21-0 with 6:50 to go in the first half.
Sacks by Shackleford and Gray induced an Apache punt and it took the Bearcats just two plays to score again. Berry got the first 2, Harrel the remaining 70 and it was 28-0.
The Apaches mounted a scoring threat on the ensuing possession by driving to the Bearcat 19 but Ray intercepted Perry at the Bearcat 4 with 7 seconds left in the half.
Booneville started the second half by keeping the football for over seven minutes, but they came away empty.
Coach May’s defense got the offense the ball back on a fourth down stop at the Apache 42 and after a pair of short yardage first down pickups by May the teams changed ends.
Bryson May went 4 yards for his second touchdown with 11:41 to go and the mercy rule was invoked at 35-0.
Pottsville got on the board at the 7:03 mark of the final quarter on a 21-yard run by Josh Duggar that made it 35-7.
The Bearcats punted for the only time of the night on the ensuing possession, but the defense got the ball back again on a fumble recovery by Grant Wiggins in the final minute to end it.
Friday’s game at Pottsville was, back in the summer, expected to be the conference title game. Instead, that will occur this Friday when the Bearcats travel to Maumelle.
The Hornets are 8-1 on the season after a 20-15 win in Dardanelle Friday. Maumelle’s only loss of the season was in week 3 to Class 6A Jacksonville.