Bearcats build big lead to defeat Trojans
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Cody Harrel threw for two touchdowns and ran for another while accounting for 205 yards of offense while the Booneville Bearcats were building a 41-0 halftime lead at Subiaco’s Rebsaman Field Friday night.
Booneville (5-0, 2-0 Conference 4A-4), which got a 97-yard kickoff return by Matt Berry to open the game, went on to coast to a 48-20 win over the Trojans (2-3, 0-2).
For Berry it was a kickoff return for a touchdown in the second straight week. For Harrel it was a career high night throwing the football, and he did so while completing a pass to himself, albeit for a 9-yard loss as he would hit on 7-of-11 for 132 yards.
After Berry’s touchdown gave the Bearcats a 7-0 lead, the Beracat defense forced a three-and-out.
With their first possession the Bearcat got two carries from Josh Smith, a first down 12-run by Harrel and a pair of carries by Bryson May, with the second featuring May carrying Trojans into the end zone for a 14-0 lead with 8:33 left in the first quarter.
Though May would run for another touchdown, Harrel would actually lead the Bearcats with 73 yards on eight carries.
A Joseph Saldana interception – the senior made a nifty grab and got a foot down on the visitor’s sideline – gave the Bearcats a short field and after Harrel ran for 9 yards to get the ball to the 31 he dropped back and hit a wide open Cody Simpson for a touchdown to make it 20-0.
Subiaco crossed midfield on the ensuing possession but a holding penalty wiped out a play and a Justin Shackleford sack and fumble forced gave the Bearcats the ball back as Dalton Gray recovered the loose ball.
Carries of 12 and 15 by Harrel put six on the board and May ran for an extra two to make it 28-0 47 seconds before the first quarter ended.
Booneville actually had its first third down on its next possession but Harrel hit Michael Springs for 17 yards and a first down. Harrel then connected with May on a screen pass that went for 66 yards and a touchdown.
There was a flag on the play for an ineligible man down field but it was waved off because the completion was behind the line of scrimmage and it was 34-0.
Fumbling twice and losing the later, the Bearcat offense actually failed to score on its next possession.
After forcing Subiaco to punt, Booneville actually faced a fourth down for the first time on their next possession – partially induced by a batted pass Harrel caught himself for a 9-yard loss – but Harrel hit James Ray for 18 yards to the Subiaco 16.
May would score from the 5 with 1:09 left in the half and it was 41-0.
Shackleford recovered a fumbled snap before the intermission but the Bearcats were content with the lead at that point and Ray took a knee to end the half.
Subiaco would score 13 points in a 3:28 early in the final quarter but they first drove inside Bearcat territory only to have Jimmy Scott force a fumble that Shannon VanNortrick recovered.
The Trojan’s first points came on a 23-yard run by Kelly Hollis but Taylor Epperson blocked the point after to keep it 41-6.
A fumble gave the Trojans the ball back and although the Bearcats had the Trojans in a fourth-and-11 Hollis hit Chirs Post for 21 yards and a touchdown to make it 41-13 with 8:24 to go.
Scott returned the ensuing kickoff 27 yards to the Bearcat 35 then ran for 39 yards on a drive that ended with Scott running 4 yards for a touchdown to make it 48-13.
Hollis ran for 69 yards and a touchdown one play after the kickoff to make it 48-20 with 1:05 to play. The long run gave the Trojan quarterback 143 yards on 13 carries.
The Trojans travel to Waldron Friday. Kick off is at 7 p.m.