(Photos courtesy Laura Beahm, Hastings Tribune)
You could say the Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals swiped a victory at Hastings Friday night.
Sparked by three interceptions, including a key pair that bracketed halftime, Boone Central/Newman Grove (4-3) notched a 30-6 victory over host Adams Central (3-4).
The win kept the Cardinals in the thick of a battle for the Class C1 District 6 championship and set up a pivotal contest with C1-6 co-leader Columbus Scotus Friday in Albion.
BC/NG Coach Mark Hudson was excited by the effort of his team.
“Two in a row, and another solid effort,” Hudson commented. “We are handling adversity better. I think we saw that when they drove inside our five and we stood in there and battled play after play until we got a key pick that really turned the momentum.
“Two or three weeks ago, they probably would have scored there. So, that’s a testament to the kids’ growth. They made some big plays on third downs, offensively and defensively, and that was the difference in the ballgame.”
Making Big Plays
Two of those key plays were provided by the Card secondary.
With Boone Central/Newman Grove leading and seven minutes remaining in the first half, Adams Central faced a fourth-and-goal at the BC/NG one-yard line. The Patriots, who had trouble running against Boone Central/Newman Grove’s physical defense all night, elected to pass and Cardinal junior Zachery Nissen intercepted at the goal line.
BC/NG followed the defensive stand with a 75-yard, 14-play scoring drive that took over six minutes off the clock. Dylan Gentrup’s six-yard touchdown run gave the Cardinals a 20-0 advantage at intermission.
The BC/NG defense went right back to work to begin the second half. On the first play from scrimmage, Cody Nelson picked off another Adams Central aerial to give the Cardinals possession at the Patriot nine.
Although the Card offense couldn’t punch in a touchdown, Will Frey’s 32-yard field goal extended BC/NG’s lead to 23-0 and kept momentum squarely on the side of the Cardinals.
The sequence was a continuing story of the game – Boone Central/Newman Grove building advantages, then turning away each threat the Patriots could muster.
BC/NG opened the contest with Gentrup’s 31-yard kick return and an impressive 61-yard scoring drive. Gentrup dashed 13 yards for the score on the 11th play of the drive.
The teams traded punts until Gentrup hooked up with Frey for a 67-yard touchdown pass with 11:40 remaining in the second period. Having failed on its first PAT attempt, BC/NG went for the two-point conversion, taking a 14-0 lead when Gentrup connected with Derek Stuhr.
Boone Central/Newman Grove will host Scotus (4-3) Friday in another key C1-6 contest, as Ord’s 20-14 victory over the Shamrocks last week further scrambled the district race.
Four teams – BC/NG, Scotus, Ord and Lakeview – all have 2-1 district marks with two weeks remaining in the regular season.
Further details in Print & Online editions of Albion News