That was the collective sound from Boone Central faithful as the clock finally clicked to 00:00 Friday night and the Cardinals were able to celebrate a 21-19 “nail biter” victory over host Battle Creek.
Boone Central led for the majority of the contest, but could never put the Braves completely away in a tense season-opener. A series of second-half turnovers with the Cardinals clinging to their slim two-point lead kept fans on the edges of their seats until a final interception sealed the win.
In the end, it was a combination of big plays by the Card offense – touchdown strikes of 70, 55 and 27 yards – and some late heroics by the Boone Central defense that left Coach Arnie Johnson pleased with the result, but knowing his team still has work to do.
“It was nice to see we have some big-play potential,” Johnson commented. “The kids played hard throughout the game and were rewarded in the end.
“Now, as a team, we can get to work on the parts of our game that need improvement.”
Boone Central finished with 326 total yards, 194 rushing. The Cards held Battle Creek to just 194 yards, 116 on the ground. Boone Central finished with 12 first downs and four turnovers while the Braves gained 13 first downs and turned the ball over three times.
Blake Slizoski led BC with 74 yards on six carries and Tanner Mazour gained 63 in 14 attempts. Mazour completed 9-of-17 passes for 132 yards, Hunter Henry catching four aerials for 81 yards. Colton Mazour led the Card defense with 13 tackles and 10 assists. Alex Johnson had 10 tackles and eight assists and Sean Soll made eight tackles with 1.5 sacks.
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