Warren next for Booneville
By Sam Pierce
OF THE COMMERCIAL STAFF
Dollarway’s 4A title hopes came to a screeching halt Friday night as Booneville dominated the Cardinals on both sides of the ball in a 43-14 romp at Golden Stadium on the campus of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
“They executed their game plan,” head coach Cortez Lee said. “They are very physical in the interior.
“Early on if we had made a play here or there, it might have gone more back and forth. But it was a great job by Booneville.
“I thought they did a great job.”
The Bearcats (14-0) wasted little time getting on the board as they scored on their first possession. They capped a 9-play drive with an 11-yard touchdown run by Josh Smith. It gave Booneville a 7-0 lead over Dollarway with 7:51 left in the first quarter.
“Man, they keep impressing me this week,” Booneville head coach Scott Hyatt said. “They play hard. Each week we go into this, everybody doubts us.
“They play with a chip on their shoulder and when you play with a chip on your shoulder, you play hard.”
Booneville scored two more times in the first half and had a 20-0 lead at halftime before Dollarway finally got on the board in the third quarter.
On its opening possession of the third quarter, Dollarway scored on a 36-yard run by Darius Robinson and it cut Booneville’s lead to 20-8 after the 2-point conversion was converted.
“It should have been a game where we match them and they match us,” Lee said. “But they executed and did a great job.”
Booneville took a 14-0 lead with 11:50 left in the first half when senior quarterback Cody Harrel scored on a 12-yard touchdown down the left sideline.
“We knew we couldn’t throw on them because their D-backs were so good,” Hyatt said. “We figured it was going to be a physical, line up and run at each other ball game and it was.”
On the following kickoff, Dollarway fumbled the ball and Booneville was able to recover. Fortunately, the Cardinals were able to make the necessary stops and get the ball back.
After driving down to the Booneville 26-yard line, Dollarway quarterback Josh Liddell fumbled the snap and the Bearcats recovered.
“We were kind of giving them the ball in situations where we hadn’t done that the whole year,” Lee said. “When you give a good team that runs the ball and executes well opportunity after opportunity, they are going to take advantage of it.”
Following the turnover, Booneville was able to capitalize on an 11-yard keeper by Harrel and the Bearcats took a 20-0 lead with 2:44 left in the first half.
“I thought for the most part, we played a pretty solid ball game right across the board,” Hyatt said.
After Dollarway scored to trim the lead to 12 points, Kabion Ento recovered a Booneville fumble to give the Cardinals a chance at a one-score game.
Dollarway, though, would turn the ball over on downs on its ensuing next possession.
“These guys are a great group of young men,” Lee said. “They play hard together and they love each other.
“And that’s the thing I’m going to take away from this season.”
Booneville scored again on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Harrel to Matthew Berry. It gave the Bearcats a 28-8 lead with 1:56 left to play in the third.
Harrel scored again on a 34-yard run with 8:46 left in the game to give Booneville a 36-8 lead.
“I didn’t think we could score that much,” Hyatt said. “I didn’t think the score would be that lopsided.
“It just happened we got some breaks early and second half we got some breaks and we capitalized on them.”
Dollarway scored its final points of the game on a 1-yard touchdown run by Liddell. It made the score 36-14 with 4:29 left in the fourth quarter.
Booneville will face Warren next Friday at 7 p.m. for the 4A state championship at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.