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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Big Plays Help Booneville Defeat Charleston 21-7


The rain had held off until the fourth quarter, and so had the Booneville offense. The Tigers had played the Bearcats even all night with the exception of one Booneville score on its opening possession. Charleston had just entered the fourth quarter down one score, very much in the game and with a chance to pull off the upset. Then, on the first play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter, backed up against its own goal line, Booneville’s Cam Brasher took the hand off at his three yard line and broke through the line of scrimmage and raced 97 yards for a touchdown. And then came the rain.

Two big plays, one in the first quarter, a 39 yard quarterback scramble for a touchdown on third and long by quarterback Evan Schlinker, and Cam Brasher’s 97 yard touchdown run to put the game out of reach on the first Booneville possession of the fourth quarter, helped Booneville overcome a Charleston upset bid Friday night at Alumni Field in Charleston. After a 7-7 halftime tie, the Booneville defense took control of the game and gave its offense time to get on track in the second half.

Booneville improved its record to 6-2 overall and 5-0 in conference play. Charleston (3-5, 3-2) suffered its second conference loss of the season.

After the game, Charleston head coach Ricky May said it succinctly, “They (Tigers) played their butts off. Just gave up too many big plays.” A couple of big plays were the difference in the game. The Charleston defense has been prone to giving up the big play all year, and on Friday night, it had cost the Tigers a chance to pull the upset and move into a tie for first place in the conference. The Tigers played Booneville tough on both sides of the ball all night, but the big plays given up were the difference in the game.

Two other important conference games were taking place Friday night. Mansfield, with two conference losses, was playing at Lamar. Greenland, with three conference losses, played at Cedarville. Lamar took sole possession of second place with the Charleston loss and a victory over Mansfield. Mansfield fell for its third conference loss. Greenland, who has played the most difficult part of its conference schedule, defeated Cedarville, moving Greenland back into the playoff picture and dropping Cedarville into fourth place behind Charleston.

The results of games played around the conference on Friday were:

Booneville 21, Charleston 7

Lamar 48, Mansfield 26

Greenland 41, Cedarville 6

Paris 45, West Fork 6

The standings after week five of the conference season are:

Booneville 5-0

Lamar 4-1

Charleston 3-2

Cedarville 3-2

Greenland 2-3

Mansfield 2-3

Paris 1-4

West Fork 0-5

If the season were to end today, Booneville would be a number one seed in the state playoffs. Lamar would be a two seed, and Charleston would be the three seed, owning the tie breaker over Cedarville who would be the four seed. Greenland is back in the playoff picture as a five seed, owning the tie breaker over Mansfield. Greenland has the most favorable remaining schedule with games against Paris and West Fork. Mansfield is now on the bubble and in danger of not making the playoffs. The Red Tigers have remaining games against Cedarville and Paris.

After just its third home game of the season, Charleston will go on the road again next Friday as the Tigers play at West Fork. The game will be very important to Charleston as it fights to make the playoffs. The Tigers will return home in two weeks for its final home game of the regular season and a very important game with Lamar that will have significant playoff implications.

Check back with Resident Press on Sunday afternoon for a preview of the Tigers upcoming game at West Fork.

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Jim Best
Jim Best
Jim Best is a man of many talents. His storied career in Arkansas education led him to a new passion, and hidden gifts in sports journalism.
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