Ozark entered Friday’s season opener against Booneville having beaten the Bearcats three straight times. The Hillbillies had never beaten Booneville four times in a row.
They still haven’t.
Booneville pounded the Hillbillies in mercy-rule fashion 49-14 to not only end the three game losing streak to their rival, but it was also the first win for Booneville seniors over Ozark since they were seventh graders.
It was senior quarterback Cody Harrel’s 8-yard run on the final play of the second quarter that gave the Bearcats a 28-14 lead.
Justin Shackleford’s two 3-yard touchdown runs in the third quarter made it 42-14 and, after a Jimmy Scott interception return to the Hillbilly 5-yard line, sophomore Sam Cooney ran for another score from the 2 to make it 49-14 with 7:35 to play.
Booneville’s first points came on an 82-yard punt return by Josh Smith and, after Jacob Simpson tied the game on a 46-yard run, 5- and 4-yard Bryson May touchdown runs pushed it to 21-7. May finished with 163 yards on 21 carries.
Gage Battles cut into the lead to 21-14 with a 5-yard run late in the second quarter.
Not late enough because after Joseph Saldana’s 27-yard kickoff return the Bearcats got off eight plays in 1:22 with Harrel scoring on the final play of the half.
Harrel had kicked the first ponit after but Landon Vance added the extra point after Harrel’s touchdown, and kicked six straight the rest of the night.