By Blake Long
Special to the Journal
BOONEVILLE – Mike Mattox claims to be no Jim Drewry, but his Booneville Blue Devils put on a performance that would make the legendary coach smile.
On a night when Booneville honored its former head man and NFHS Hall of Famer, the Blue Devils eased their way to a 44-20 victory over Mooreville at Tiger Stadium Friday night.
“It was a big night for him, and I was so proud we were able to do that for him,” said Mattox, Booneville’s current head coach who served as an assistant for 17 years under Drewry.
“Of course, I’m not a Coach Drewry. I do the best I can and learned a lot from him.”
These Blue Devils apparently took a thing or two from Drewry’s former squads, which won three state championships. Booneville (6-2, 2-1 Division 1-3A) scored 23 straight points over a span of 11 minutes in the opening half to break the contest open.
Zeus Rogers showed his agility with three touchdown runs before halftime. He went untouched on a 60-yard sprint to put the Blue Devils up 21-6 as the first quarter horn sounded.
He added a 33-yard scoring scamper less than three minutes into the second. The junior finished with 200 total yards on 17 carries.
Mooreville’s Chris Rucker made the play of the game, however. On a bad snap over quarterback John Thomas Peugh’s head, Rucker recovered the ball five yards across the goal line, broke two tackles and raced down the Trooper (3-5, 1-2) sideline for a score.
Officially the play counted as an 87-yard touchdown, and Rucker finished with 118 yards on the evening.
“I was just shocked and didn’t know what to do,” he said. “(Peugh) told me to get out of the end zone so that’s what I did, and I got a touchdown out of it.”
Jack Simpson had two scores, one of 38 yards in the air to Ben McCutchen, and tallied 199 all-purpose yards for the Blue Devils.
Peugh was 12 of 24 for 194 yards with a fourth-quarter TD pass to Rucker.