How’s that old saying go? All’s well that ends well?
It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing early for Class C1 #1 Boone Central/Newman Grove Thursday night in Albion, but the Cardinals eventually reached safe port – and an undefeated regular season – with a 35-7 victory over Grand Island Central Catholic.
Coming off a rousing 48-21 win over #3 Lakeview the previous week, with Senior/Parent Night pre-game festivities, BC/NG did not seem to have its edge at the start of Thursday’s contest.
With a pair of turnovers, several penalties and a lack of offensive continuity, the Cardinals found themselves trailing 7-0 and 7-6 before surging to a 12-7 halftime lead with a strong finish to the second quarter.
Even though his squad was not its sharpest, Boone Central/Newman Grove Coach Arnie Johnson felt it was a good test against a solid opponent – a game that would benefit the Cardinals in the looming playoffs.
“This was a good game for us,” said Johnson. “We got a little unnerved and had to respond. It happens every year and we responded by getting our act together and getting the job done.
“Our offense had to deal with a little different look than what we expected from G.I.C.C. and had some communication problems. Our defense did a good job keeping us in the game until we got things figured out.
“The goal line stand was huge!”
That goal line stand came early in the fourth period with Boone Central/Newman Grove leading 22-7, but the contest against the quick, feisty Crusaders still in doubt.
G.I.C.C. had rebounded from BC/NG’s third touchdown to drive from its own 40-yard line to a third down at the Cardinal one. Crusader QB Alex Allen twice tried to punch the ball across the goal line, but was halted by a Cardinal wall of defenders first led by Zac Glidden and, ultimately, Matt Brugger on fourth down.
Those stops may have finally sapped G.I.C.C.’s energy and lit a spark under the Cardinals, who bolted 99 yards to essentially secure BC/NG’s eighth straight victory. For the second straight possession, the Cards used a long pass from Wyatt Mazour to Pierce Koch as the impetus of the drive, covering 56 yards from the BC/NG 12-yard line to the Crusader 32. Two plays later, Joe Brugger slashed and spun his way to a 23-yard touchdown.
On the Boone Central/Newman Grove drive preceding the goal line stand, Mazour hit Koch in stride with a beautiful 55-yard strike down the far sideline, then covered the final three yards to paydirt on the following play.
All that after a sluggish start on a chilly night.
Further details in Print & Online editions of Albion News