By Brandon Speck
BALDWYN – Baldwyn finally killed the skunk, maybe literally. For sure, the Bearcats slung the monkey off their seniors’ backs.
Baldwyn beat Booneville 41-12 in Thursday’s Skunk Bowl, a win over its rival for the first time since 2008.
Junior quarterback Duke Upshaw totaled 457 yards and four touchdowns, including a 98-yard kick return to open the game.
His night came after a pregame speech that any coach in America will be hard-pressed to top.
It may not be the one that ran across Latimer Park’s field in 2012, right before a Booneville comeback and a renamed rivalry, but Baldwyn’ Michael Gray pulled a frozen skunk from the freezer.
“I just told them the coaches took care of the skunk, that wasn’t going to be an issue tonight,” said Gray.
Assistant Dru Allen found this skunk dead a couple of months ago.
Baldwyn (2-0) held Booneville (1-1) to four Austin Holloway field goals. After both second-half kicks, Duke Upshaw scored.
He finished with TD runs of 40, 12 and 63 yards.
Laquintez Upshaw added runs of 3 and 63 yards in the fourth quarter.
Turning Point: Booneville trailed 21-9 when it reached the Baldwyn 1-yard line with more than 8 minutes to play. After a fumble the Devils recovered, Baldwyn linebacker Ozzie Price tackled James Christian for a loss of four. Holloway would kick his fourth field goal that kept Baldwyn ahead two scores.
Point Man: Holloway, a senior transfer from Clinton made four field goals, from 42, 26, 36 and 26 yards.
Talking Point: “That’s the best Baldwyn club I’ve seen since the (2008) state championship team. Hats off to them. They whipped our tail. No other way to say it.” – Booneville coach Mike Mattox
• With Booneville threatening in the second quarter, Baldwyn linebacker Armontie Price had back-to-back sacks that took Booneville from the 8 to the 25 yard line before Holloway’s second FG.
• Duke Upshaw’s 154 yards and two TDs in the second half all went left.