MANSFIELD -- Booneville took back the momentum with a key third-quarter drive right after halftime and didn't look back Friday at Tiger Stadium.
The Bearcats needed just five plays after the break to score. That helped Booneville start to pull away in a 48-27 victory over Mansfield in a Class 3A-1 Conference game.
"That was a huge drive for us," Booneville coach Scott Hyatt said. "We told them at halftime we needed to come right back out and establish our offense and get a score then hold them on defense. We did just that."
Booneville's Cam Brasher capped the key drive with a 38-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 35-20 early in the third quarter.
The score answered a last-second, first-half touchdown from Mansfield that made it just a 28-20 Booneville halftime lead.
The Tigers started the final drive before the half with 17 seconds left at their own 42. Ethan Stovall found Tyler Holmes for a 25-yard touchdown pass to take momentum into the locker room.
After Booneville (5-2, 4-0) scored on its first drive of the third quarter, it got some help from its defense as well. The Bearcats pushed their edge out to 42-20 with a 29-yard fumble return for a touchdown from Anthony McKesson.
Mansfield (5-2, 2-2) was able to cut Booneville's lead to 42-27 early in the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run from Stovall. Booneville answered with a 30-yard touchdown from Andrew Robertson to help put the game away with just four minutes left.
Booneville had a balanced offense. Robertson finished with 157 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns. Brasher had 127 yards on 18 carries with three touchdowns. Randon Ray added 12 carries for 98 yards with a score.
"We are very balanced this year," Hyatt said. "We have a fullback that has played well. Our other two halfbacks are jitterbugs. We have guys that we can rotate in as well. The yards are always pretty even among the guys."
Mansfield was led by Stovall and receivers Layton Howard and Holmes. Stovall completed 15 of 26 passes for 213 yards with two touchdowns. Howard caught seven passes for 104 yards, while Holmes added six catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Howard also had a 78-yard kickoff return for a score in the first half.
"Mansfield has a lot of weapons," Hyatt said. "We came out and played pretty well on offense. We had some breakdowns on defense and special teams. But I'm proud of the effort from everybody. We just have some things to clean up."
It was a low-scoring first quarter, as Booneville held just a 7-0 lead heading into the second quarter. Ray scored on a 52-yard touchdown to give the Bearcats the early lead.
"They made some big plays in the second quarter," Hyatt said. "It was a crazy quarter. The momentum was swinging back and forth. I always tell my kids to not get too high or too low. We stayed steady."
Mansfield was able to get back in the game in the second quarter by scoring twice in the last 56 seconds of the half. Stovall found Holmes for a 35-yard score, then the duo connected again as the half ended for another 25-yard touchdown pass.
The first touchdown in the scoring burst was set up by the Tigers' defense. Bri Sanderson recovered a fumble, and Mansfield needed just one play after that to score.
Booneville 48, Mansfield 27
Boone 7 21 14 6 — 48
Mans 0 20 0 7 — 27
Boone — Ray 52 run (Kent kick), :25
Boone — Brasher 20 run (Kent kick), 6:06
Mans — Howard 78 kickoff return (kick failed), 5:52
Boone — Brasher 2 run (Kent kick), 2:49
Mans — Holmes 35 pass from Stovall (Griffin kick), :56
Boone — Robertson 18 run (Kent kick), :18
Mans — Holmes 25 pass from Stovall (Griffin kick) :00
Boone — Brasher 38 run (Kent kick), 10:14
Boone — McKesson 29 yard fumble return (Kent kick), 5:55
Mansfield — Stovall 1 run (Griffin kick), 10:03
Boone — Robertson 30 run (kick failed), 4:13
• Booneville is now 13-0 against Mansfield since 1990.
• Stovall has completed 99 of 140 passes for 1,479 yards with 17 touchdowns so far this season.
• Booneville attempted just three passes.
• Mansfield next week heads on the road to Lamar, while Booneville travels to Charleston.
Sports on 10/19/2019
Print Headline: Second-half surge helps Booneville pull away from Mansfield