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Booneville rolls over Hackett

by Harold McIlvain | November 21, 2020 at 6:00 a.m.

BOONEVILLE -- Booneville coach Doc Crowley wanted to see his team come out and play lights out from the start Friday night at Bearcat Stadium. Mission accomplished from the Bearcats.

Booneville jumped out to an early lead and didn't look back in a 41-12 victory against Hackett in a Class 3A state playoff game.

The Bearcats needed just 12 offensive plays to take a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and rolled after that, picking up the program's 70th playoff win.

"We haven't been starting very good," Crowley said. "We challenged the kids before the game to come out with a better mentality. It showed. They played hard. Offensively, we are starting to figure some things out. This was a good win for us."

Booneville was led by junior quarterback Randon Ray. He finished with 142 yards rushing and three touchdowns on just 13 carries.

"He is a special kid," Crowley said. "I'm glad he is on our team. You put the ball in his hands and gets after it. The defense knows who is going to carry the ball most of the time. Most of his yards are after contact. Sometimes we don't block it the best, but he makes things happen anyways."

The Bearcats got plenty of production on the ground elsewhere. Senior running back Ethan Wooldridge finished with seven carries for 57 yards and two touchdowns. Colten Ritchie also had 76 rushing yards on five carries.

Hackett wide receiver Fischer Shipman guided the offense. He finished with 14 catches for 173 yards and a score. Peyton Hester also caught six passes for 66 yards and a score.

Cole Ketchum played most of the second half and finished 6-of-8 passing for 115 yards and two scores. Ethan Slavens started the game and finished with 127 passing yards on 17-of-34 attempts.

Booneville (9-2) was able to take a 28-0 lead heading into the break with a strong performance on the ground early and often against Hackett (5-5).

The Bearcats took over the opening drive of the game at the opponent's 44 and needed just three plays to score. Ray rushed for a 28-yard touchdown. Gavin Kent added the extra point for a 7-0 lead. The point-after attempt set the school record for most in a career.

Booneville needed just five plays to take a 14-0 edge later in the first quarter. Wooldridge capped the drive with a 20-yard touchdown.

The Bearcats again only needed a few plays to add to their advantage. Booneville required four plays with Wooldridge scoring on a 1-yard touchdown with four minutes, 28 seconds left in the first quarter. That gave them a 21-0 lead.

Booneville made it a 28-0 lead in the second quarter with a 29-yard touchdown from Ray with about seven minutes left in the second quarter.

The Booneville defense was stout in the first half. The unit ended the first half with a goal-line stand with Hackett turning the ball over on downs on a fourth-and-goal at the Booneville 1.

The Bearcats forced two punts and had three stops on downs also in the first half. The Hackett offense was able to get inside the Booneville 30, inside the 50 and all the way to the Booneville 1 but were turned away each time.

"I'm so proud of our defense," Crowley said. "They did a good job. They got inside close. They flexed their muscles and got a stop. It was big for us because we knew they'd get the ball coming out at halftime. I was proud of them."

Hackett took the opening drive of the second half but again turned it over on downs in its own territory. It didn't take long for Booneville to take advantage.

Ray scored on the next play on a 28-yard rush to make it 34-0 after a missed kick. That helped put the game well out of reach.


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