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169 Points Was Enough This Time

<p><strong>Playoff force</strong>. Shown on a 28-yard run against Warren above, Josh Smith (32) scored the first touchdown of the night for the Bearcats in each of the first four playoff games. Smith also kicked 19 extra points in the post season.</p>

Playoff force. Shown on a 28-yard run against Warren above, Josh Smith (32) scored the first touchdown of the night for the Bearcats in each of the first four playoff games. Smith also kicked 19 extra points in the post season.

This time 169 points was enough.

In 2001 the Booneville Bearcats scored 169 points in five playoff games, but it wasn’t enough as the final 39 came in a six point loss to Warren in the state championship game.

Fast forward 12 years and 169 points was just enough because the final 14 was two more than Warren scored in the state championship game.

In 2001 the Bearcats had two back top the 500-yard mark in the playoffs. This year’s Bearcats did as well.

A dozen years ago it was fullback Bryan Taylor with 634 yards and halfback Ronny Becker with 512. This time around it was quarterback Cody Harrel with 639 yards and fullback Bryson May with 517.

Becker scored nine touchdowns during the 2001 playoffs; Bryson May scored nine touchdowns in the playoffs this season.

Other notable numbers from the just completed playoff run include Berry having three interceptions during the postseason to go along with 311 rushing yards.

Josh Smith also ran for 260 yards which can be kind of misleading because Smith got the Bearcats off to quick start by scoring the first touchdown of the game against Clinton, Hamburg, Lincoln and Pine Bluff Dollarway. All told, Smith scored five times and kicked 19 of 21 point after tries.

Of course that means one must mention an offensive line of Dalton Gray, Michael Drawbaugh, Wade Weaver, R.J. Haynes and Tanner Elliott that led the way to 1,928 yards on the ground — 385.6 per game against the best competition the state had to offer.

Another whose contributions were sometimes overshadowed but should be highlighted is that of Joseph Saldana. The defensive end had a team best 36 tackles in the postseason and, after recording 2.5 sacks prior to the playoffs, had four over the next five games to go along with 8.5 tackles for loss.

Damon May and Justin Shackleford also had 5.5 tackles for a loss in the playoffs and Dalton Gray and Michael Springs added 4.5 apiece as well for a Bearcat defense that allowed only 53 points over the five games, which, by the way, is less than the 76 the 2001 team allowed.

At 10.6 per game, the average is also less than the 12.4 points per game average surrendered to 10 regular season opponents.

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