An inexperienced Boone Central football team, returning just four starters from 2007, knew going in it had a tough task facing Class C1 pre-season #3 Norfolk Catholic on the Knights’ home field in Friday’s season-opener.
The Cardinals probably never imagined their own punting woes and the strong leg of Norfolk Catholic’s Tyler Daake would keep play predominately in BC’s half of the field, however, contributing greatly to the Knights’ 38-9 victory.
Boone Central had three of its first five punts partially blocked and, following each of Norfolk Catholic’s five first-half scores, Daake pinned the Cards deep in their own territory – an obstacle Boone Central could not overcome.
The Knights also blocked a punt to end BC’s initial possession of the second half, took over at the Card three-yard line and scored to take a 38-0 lead three minutes after intermission.
From there, Catholic Coach Jeff Beller substituted liberally and Boone Central, continuing to play hard, found some success on both sides of the ball through the final one-and-a-half quarters.
“We were put in a tough situation, playing a much more experienced Norfolk Catholic team,” Cardinal Coach Arnie Johnson commented. “I liked the way we kept fighting back, however.
“We as coaches – and, hopefully, our fans – were able to see our players give good effort throughout the game. That attitude and effort will pay dividends in our ability to get better as the season progresses.”
Norfolk Catholic did not really dominate the statistics, except for field position. The Knights totaled 284 yards (183 rushing), while Boone Central gained 223 (118 on the ground). The Knights had one more first down than the Cardinals, 12-11, and each team had one turnover.
Shotkoski finished 9-of-18 passing for 105 yards and an interception. Zoucha was the leading Boone Central receiver with five catches for 66 yards. Jerad McLean gained 29 yards on six carries, followed closely by Harner (28), Dozler (26) and Martin (26).
Defensively, Nathan Olson and Zoucha led the way with seven total tackles each. Dozler was in on six stops, McLean and Dustin Christo five apiece. Kevin Krohn recovered the Norfolk Catholic fumble.
Boone Central will play another non-district game Friday, hosting Grand Island Central Catholic for a 7 p.m. kickoff at the BC Athletic Field. The Crusaders defeated Superior 30-14 in their opening game.
Complete Details in Print Edition of Albion News.