Wells Drug February

TIMEOUT with Joe Flanagan

Cards show “the right stuff”

Pfft. Thud. BOOM!
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! BOOM!!!

After falling flat at the start Friday night, the Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals virtually exploded with 42 unanswered points and a 42-20 victory over Mark Brahmer’s young Pierce Bluejays in the 2017 high school football opener for both teams.
It was an impressive display – a display that showed this Cardinal team has a lot of “the right stuff.”
Boone Central/Newman Grove looked a bit discombobulated during Friday’s first eight minutes or so. But once they swept aside some cobwebs and opening night nerves, the Cards showed a lethal combination of power, speed and experience.
There may have been a good reason for the sluggish start. Hoping to avoid wear and tear, and possibly help prevent a reoccurance of 2016’s injury problems, Cardinal Coach Mark Hudson had limited full-bore contact during the preseason.
“We didn’t get off to a crisp start,” Hudson noted after the game. “We haven’t had a lot of ‘live action’ in practice and it took us a while to adjust to game speed and the physicality.”
Adjust they did.

Power. By the end of the contest, Pierce defenders had to be weary of trying to tackle BC/NG’s bruising backfield duo of Levi Krueger and Trey Schafer. Hitting the pair above the knees proved futile – and probably a bit painful.
Speed. Senior QB Dylan Gentrup left Bluejays grasping for air on more than one occasion with his version of “now you see me, now you don’t.” A bit reminiscent of four years of Mssrs. Mazour and Mazour – Tanner and Wyatt – during recent Cardinal glory years. Oh, and Krueger can zip too, as he proved on a 56-yard touchdown dash late in the third quarter.
More power. Through the years, it’s been proven – football, to a large extent, is won and lost in the trenches. Boone Central/Newman Grove, after that slow start, showed it has some roadgraders up front, wearing down the Bluejays as the game progressed. One play I especially recall is senior Caden Ranslem bursting past an initial Pierce block attempt, standing up a second Bluejay lineman, then having the awareness to see the ball and bearhug the ball carrier at the line of scrimmage. Those kinds of plays win games.
Experience. Boone Central/Newman Grove is blessed with a nucleus of seasoned seniors in 2017, which was certainly noticeable to Pierce Coach Mark Brahmer.

“We’ve got a decent football team,” Brahmer commented to reporters Friday night. “I’m just playing with a lot of 15 and 16-year olds. We’ve got eight or nine sophomores who are contributing significantly … and they’ve got a good football team – 13 or 14 men who are 17 or 18 years of age.”
Brahmer was in no way slighting BC/NG or it’s success. Experience and maturity are important, and the Cardinals will benefit in 2017.
Power. Speed. Experience. A great combination. A lot of “the right stuff.”
But, of course, Friday was just one game, one step. The journey continues this week at Wayne, where BC/NG will face a Blue Devil squad that knocked off preseason #8 Scotus 43-33 on opening night. The Cards will step on the bus the following week for another long trip to O’Neill, the defending Class C1 state champion. Followed by a date in Albion with longtime Mid-State rival Norfolk Catholic, currently rated #2 in C1.
That will test your mettle.
It reminds me of the old Smith Barney commercial, “They earn it.”

Yep. The Cards will have to earn it – each and every week. Having “the right stuff” gives them a fighting chance.

Winter Weather Advisory

7:25 AM CST on February 16, 2019
6:00 AM CST on February 17, 2019
14° F