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Late pick dooms Wolves

By Staff, 12/1/18 8:50 PM

BOONEVILLE – It was an ignominious way to end the season.

Prescott was driving for the go-ahead touchdown on the Booneville five with 14 seconds left in the game, when Ryan Johnson’s pass was picked off, ending the Wolves’ hopes for a shot at the AAA state title.

The Wolves had a rough time all night, not only playing the Bearcats, but having to deal with questionable calls, or, more to the point, no calls, as the zebras missed several holding calls against the ‘Cats, and apparently didn’t see Booneville runners step out of bounds on a couple of occasions in the game.

It was a quick game, as there was little passing, partly due to windy conditions, but mainly because Booneville is primarily a running team as is Prescott. The major difference in the two squads is the Wolves could literally score from any point on the field. The game was back and forth all night as the lead changed hands seven times.

The game began with the ‘Cats winning the toss and deferring to the second half. Prescott fielded a pooch kick at the Wolf 47 to get things started.

The Wolves wasted no time in covering the 53 yards, scoring in four plays. The touchdown came on a 43-yard pass from Johnson to Derriun Thompson with 10:45 left in the first. The extra point put the Wolves up 7-0.

A pooch kick by Prescott was returned to midfield, where the ‘Cats set up shop and showed they, too, could move the ball downfield quickly. Booneville covered the distance in five plays, scoring on a 10-yard run with 8:58 to go. The PAT knotted the score at 7-7.

Prescott called for a fair catch on the pooch kick at the Wolves’ 46. Alex George carried twice to the Booneville 41 before Johnson made it to the 309 to keep the drive alive. The Wolves drove to the ‘Cat 12 where a holding call stalled the drive. Luis Rabadan came in and booted a 32-yard field goal to put Prescott up 10-7 with 3:18 showing.

The ‘Cats started at the Booneville 47 and made it to the Prescott 12 as the first quarter came to an end. Period two began with the ‘Cats getting hit with a motion penalty, one of the few calls against the home team during the game. In the end, Booneville turned the ball over on downs at the Prescott 12.

Unfortunately, the Wolves were unable to move the ball and punted to the Prescott 46, where Booneville set up shop.

The ‘Cats pounded the ball downfield, chewing time off the clock and scoring on a one-yard run, capping a 12-play drive that saw the hosts overcome two fourth down situations. The PAT made it 14-10 with 2:52 left in the half.

Prescott started at its 38. George gained two on first down before Johnson connected with Cameron Cox to the ‘Cat 41. Johnson hooked up with Keonte Franklin next at the Booneville eight and two plays later George went in from the two. The PAT was good giving Prescott the lead again at 17-14 with 44 seconds.

The ‘Cats got the second half underway by returning the kick to the 30 and driving downfield in 13 plays, aided by a phantom facemask call. The point after was no good, but the ‘Cats were now up 20-17.

Starting at its 33, the Wolves returned the favor and drove 67 years in four plays, with George again scoring from two-yards out. The PAT made it 24-20.

For the rest of the game it was a heavyweight slugfest as neither team could stop the other from scoring. The only difference was how fast each team scored. Booneville tended to take longer and run the clock with a punishing ground game.

The ‘Cats started at their 38, ran the ball seven times and retook the lead on a 21-yard scamper with 41 seconds left in the third. The PAT made it 27-24.

Prescott started at its 33 and made it to the ‘Cat 46 as the third came to an end. The final 12 minutes saw the Wolves drive the rest of the way, with George going in from a yard out to make it 31-27 Prescott after the PAT split the uprights. The drive took 12 plays.

Booneville began its final scoring drive of the night at its 39. Twelve plays later, the ‘Cats scored from the three, and got help from a fumble Prescott recovered, only to have the official furthest away say the runner was down. The PAT made it 34-31 with 2:03 left in the game.

This was plenty of time for the Wolves as Prescott had all three time outs left. The kick was returned to the 30.

Johnson gained 18 to the 48 on first down. Thompson added eight on the next play before Johnson broke loose to the 25. Booneville called a time out with 1:19 showing. Three plays later, the Wolves were at the Bearcat eight and knocking on the door. There was less than a minute remaining as Thompson gained three yards on two carries. The Wolves called their last time out with 14 ticks left – time for two plays.

Johnson dropped back and fired to the end zone only to have the ball picked off, ending Prescott’s season. With eight seconds left, Booneville took a knee to run out the clock.

Prescott ends the 2018 grid campaign with a respectable 12-2 record. Booneville advances to the title game next Saturday and will play Osceola for all the marbles.