In a season-opening showdown at Albion Friday night, Class C1 preseason #1 Boone Central/Newman Grove defeated #8 Columbus Scotus 31-14 in a contest filled with miscues and big plays.
Both teams had some first-game jitters and bobbles, combining for seven turnovers and 11 penalties.
But, in a game that featured few sustained drives and was dictated by big plays, Boone Central/Newman Grove made the biggest and the most.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have senior All-Stater Wyatt Mazour at the helm. Despite committing three uncharacteristic turnovers, Mazour provided much more gain than loss for the Cardinals. The lightning-quick QB rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 244 yards and two more scores.
Throw in 110 yards on kick returns and that’s 525 total – just another day at the office for a player who amassed 2,865 yards from scrimmage as a junior (3,443 total when figuring in punt and kick return yardage).
“Mazour is a phenomenal player,” Scotus Head Coach Tyler Linder commented after the game. “He’s as elusive a back as I’ve ever seen. Keeping him under wraps is a game plan in itself.
“He broke a couple of big ones and put us in conflict.”
Boone Central/Newman Grove needed those heroics after Scotus linebacker Marcus Dodson picked up a Mazour fumble on the first play of the second half and raced 57 yards for a touchdown that knotted the score 14-14.
A quick, stubborn Scotus team was believing in the possibility of an upset at that point.
After the teams traded punts, Mazour quickly returned the momentum to the Cardinals, however. On first down from the Scotus 44 yard line, the Cardinal senior dropped to pass, saw a crack of daylight and set sail, racing through and by a number of Shamrock defenders on a 56-yard touchdown jaunt that put BC/NG back on top for good.
“The pocket collapsed on him and he was able to squeeze through what looked like all 11 of our defenders,” Linder rued. “It was a nightmare right then. He exploited us for all we were worth.”
The Cardinals wrapped up the decision in the fourth quarter as Mazour passed 35 yards to Zac Glidden for a touchdown and Matt Brugger tacked on a 29-yard field goal.
Meanwhile, the BC/NG defense was pitching a shutout in the second half to top a performance that left both coaches impressed.
“I think Boone’s defense is top-notch,” Linder praised. “Our offense has a lot of firepower, but they were able to neutralize it. They had a great night on defense.”
Veteran Cardinal Coach Arnie Johnson echoed those comments and was satisfied, overall, with an opening win over a tough foe.
“We were pleased with our defense. Our miscues can be corrected, but we were strong up the middle and we usually were able to get at least a couple of players to the ball,” Johnson said. “Our kicking game looks like it will be a strength for us this year. Our offense had some problems with Scotus’s defense, but at the same time, took advantage of their blitzing by connecting on some big scoring plays.”
Complete details in Print & Online editions of Albion News