In a game Cardinal Coach Arnie Johnson termed “weird”, Boone Central dashed to an early lead Friday at Central City, then turned to its defense to secure a 12-0 victory over the Bison, capping a 5-3 regular season.
Boone Central’s win earned it the Cardinals the 11th seed in the west bracket of the Nebraska Class C1 state playoff field. BC will travel to Broken Bow for a Qualifying Round contest Thursday (6 p.m.).
The Cardinals looked as if they might run roughshod over winless Central City at the outset Friday, scoring two touchdowns in just seven plays during the first 6:18. From there, however, it was an offensive drought for the visitors.
“It was nice to get an early lead. I would have to say, after the first quarter, it became a weird game,” Johnson commented. “We were hurt by penalties and our offense took a break for the rest of the game.
“Our defense did a good job holding them scoreless, considering Central City had the ball for most of the game.”
Central City controlled the clock, especially in the third period, with 200 yards rushing and 13 first downs. The Bison completed just 6-of-14 passes for 37 yards, however.
Boone Central rushed for 107 yards and added 134 through the air for 241 total, but was penalized nine times for 75 yards and turned the ball over twice on interceptions.
It didn’t look like the Cardinals would have any offensive woes early.
BC received the opening kickoff and on the second play from scrimmage, sophomore Blake Slizoski broke through the right side of the line, sprinted outside and raced down the sideline for a 64-yard touchdown. A bad center snap caused the PAT attempt to fail.
The Cardinal defense forced a three-and-out series by Central City and, following a Bison punt, Boone Central wasted little time adding to its point total.
Beginning at the BC 45-yard line, Lane Anderson began a quick five-play drive with a 22-yard burst and Tanner Mazour got the capper lofting a 37-yard TD pass to Keenan Howell with 5:42 remaining in the opening period. Mazour was stopped short on the PAT attempt.
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