Cam Brasher will reap the rewards of a single play in a high school football game for as long as he lives in Booneville.
In a community where football is the heartbeat, Brasher forever etched his name when he stepped in front of a Prescott receiver for a game-clinching interception Saturday with under 20 seconds left in the Class 3A state semifinal game.
AT A GLANCE
NOTABLE Late interception in semifinal win sealed 34-31 win against Prescott and sent the Bearcats to the 3A state title game. It was his second interception of the season. … Has recorded 71 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss. … A two-year starter at inside linebacker.
Brasher's goal-line interception sealed Booneville's 34-31 victory over Prescott, earning the No. 1 Bearcats a berth in the 3A state championship at noon Saturday against Osceola in Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium. Booneville (14-0) is seeking its first state championship since 2013.
"The community here, the support is just unbelievable," Brasher said. "Our tradition, it's just amazing to grow up here."
And now Brasher is a huge part of that tradition, as one of what Bearcats Coach Scott Hyatt calls "our Smurfbackers."
"Him and [Carson] Ray, they are our Smurfs back there, but I think Cam is actually a little taller than Carson," Hyatt joked.
Listed generously in the program at 5-8, Brasher stood much taller Saturday night when he intercepted what likely would have been a game-winning touchdown pass off Prescott's Ryan Johnson with 14 seconds left. Even if Brasher had only batted the pass down, the Curley Wolves likely would have attempted a game-tying field goal to force overtime.
"We knew they were going to throw one in the end zone and try and take a shot," Hyatt said. "They did not have any timeouts left, so we felt like they would try for the touchdown on third down, then if they didn't get it, kick the field goal."
Prior to the play, Prescott had called its final timeout. On the Booneville sideline, the coaches tried to cover every scenario for the final play, Brasher said.
"The coaches kept us calm, or they tried to," Brasher said. "I mean really, it was pretty intense."
Brasher said he saw the receiver sliding across the line and saw that the quarterback's eyes were locked on the receiver.
"I was behind him a little, and I saw the quarterback rear back to throw," he said. "I just knew that I could get it, and I was able to cut in front of the receiver."
Brasher pulled the pass in at the goal line and had to decide quickly whether to fall down or try to run it out. He made it out to the 4 before he was caught from behind.
The Bearcats were able to run the clock out and punch their ticket to Little Rock.
Brasher said the only other time he can recall making a game-saving interception was back in the third grade in peewee football against Charleston.
Hyatt said the play Saturday night will go down as one of the biggest in the history of the program.
That Booneville is in the championship game is remarkable considering it lost its starting quarterback just a few snaps into the first game of the season. Brandon Ulmer went down with a knee injury and has missed the entire season.
The Bearcats rallied when they learned Ulmer was lost for the season, Brasher said.
"It says a lot about our team and that we have each other's back no matter what," Brasher said. "We've proven that we can overcome the obstacles we are faced with. When Brandon went down, we all got together and decided everyone was going to have to do their part and more, and we've done that."
Booneville’s Cam Brasher (top) made an interception to seal the Bearcats’ playoff victory over Prescott. Brasher and the Bearcats will face Osceola in the 3A state championship on Saturday.
Sports on 12/06/2018
Print Headline: Brasher grabs spot in Booneville lore