In a game of big plays and momentum shifts, the Boone Central/Cardinals gained the final edge in a taut, exciting 2016 season opener at Pierce Friday.
Boone Central/Newman Grove junior quarterback Dylan Gentrup tumbled into the end zone with just over two minutes remaining and the Cardinal defense turned away a last-gasp Pierce effort to seal a 27-21 win in a battle of preseason Class C1 Top 10 squads.
The Cardinals had rallied back from a 21-14 halftime deficit to tie the score with a third-quarter touchdown, then set up the final heroics by recovering a Pierce fumble at the Bluejays’ 20 yard line.
It was an important victory for a young Boone Central/Newman Grove team that returned just six seniors and two starters from a 7-3 2015 outfit. Card Coach Mark Hudson was impressed with the early effort, while noting his team still has plenty of work to do in 2016.
“Good start to the season! We went in with question marks at nearly every position,” Hudson commented. Besides a couple big pass plays, we had some expected struggles early on both sides of the ball. But we did enough to get to halftime and made the necessary adjustments. The kids were very coachable.
“Once we got a little momentum, the kids did a nice job outworking them (Pierce) – they were tired and cramping up, and we weren’t. That was a big difference in the fourth quarter.
“We did just enough to win, and a win is a win!”
Complete details in Print & Online editions of Albion News