By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
A special visitor made an appearance at the rivalry game – a skunk. See video from DJ’s Brandon Speck below on DJournal website version only.
BALDWYN – Thursday night may have given the Baldwyn-Booneville rivalry its greatest game.
Booneville completed a rally at Latimer Park with a late pick-6 in a 28-27 victory. Baldwyn led 27-7 at the half.
“I’m kind of speechless,” Booneville coach Mike Mattox said. “We preach to our kids all the time, ‘You never give up.’ We just kept plugging. Finally we had something good happen.”
It was the fourth straight in the series for the Blue Devils.
Booneville (2-0) owned the second half, scoring on its opening drive, again late in the quarter and junior Andrew Lambert completed it with an 84-yard interception return. Andrew Smith capped it with the game-winning point after.
A streaking skunk cleared the Baldwyn sideline just before Lambert’s pick.
Before Lambert’s interception, Booneville (2-0) was driving for the lead. Baldwyn sophomore Laquintez Upshaw intercepted Jack Simpson and went 86 yards to the Booneville 8.
Layne Michael ran down the speedy Upshaw and his defense held the Bearcats to minus-3 yards and and Zachary Winstead missed a 28-yard kick.
“We didn’t bring what it took to win in the first half and they just dominated us,” Booneville senior left tackle Ross Smith said. “We did something special in the second half.”
Baldwyn (1-1) got it back on a fumble but Lambert got it back and made it count.
Booneville opened the second half with a 7-yard touchdown run from Zeus Rogers.
On its next drive drive, Simpson threw a third-and-9 pass to a leaping Lambert in double coverage. Simpson ran it in from the 5 on the next play. A two-point pass from A.J. Grizzard to Jordan Miller cut Baldwyn’s lead to 27-21 with 2:21 to plain the third.
Baldwyn scored first on a 29-yard pass from Corbin Scott to Will Moore. Booneville answered on a 32-yard run from Rogers.
Baldwyn pushed its lead with a 52-yard touchdown run from freshman Duke Upshaw, a 9-yard pass to Devonta Gates and a 43-yard Upshaw run.
Upshaw, who had 137 yards on seven carries, left the game late with a knee that needed to be iced down.
“We dominated the entire first half and we tried to tell them they were going to give us one more punch,” Baldwyn coach Michael Gray said.