Boone Central/Newman Grove bounced back from an agonizing loss to Wayne one week ago to steamroll the defending Class C1 state champion O’Neill Eagles 42-0 Friday night at O’Neill.
The Cardinals totally controlled play with their offensive and defensive lines, setting the tone of the game with a bruising rush attack that racked up 314 yards.
The performance left Cardinal Coach Mark Hudson pleased with his team’s resliency.
“Night and day … that was the difference in our execution from week two to week three,” Hudson said. “The kids did a great job of raising their intensity and staying ‘laser focused’ in order to eliminate mistakes and finish drives.
“The offensive and defensive lines were key and performed well.”
Friday night’s performance began with Garrett Cornwell intercepting an O’Neill pass, although Boone Central/Newman Grove fumbled the ball back to the Eagles four plays later. The Cardinal defense forced the game’s initial punt and BC/NG wasted no time asserting itself on it’s second possession. Senior QB Dylan Gentrup connected with senior split end Cody Nelson for a 48-yard touchdown that finished a four-play drive and Will Frey booted the PAT for a 7-0 lead.
O’Neill was forced to punt again and BC/NG followed with a 61-yard, 12-play scoring march, keyed by runs of eight, 13 and 10 yards by Levi Krueger. Krueger got the TD from four yards out on the first play of the second quarter.
A roughing-the-kicker penalty on BC/NG extended O’Neill’s next drive, but the Cards forced a fourth-down pass incompletion and boosted their lead to 21-0 on Krueger’s one-yard touchdown run. The play finished a 68-yard drive that included a 20-yard romp by Gentrup.
Cody Nelson intercepted an Alex Thramer pass on the ensuing series, but Boone Central/Newman Grove was unable to add further points prior to intermission.
They would add to their total following the break, however.
Krueger ripped off runs of 30 and 17 yards after BC/NG took the second half kickoff and concluded a nine-play drive with his third touchdown, a four-yard run.
Dylan Korth recovered an Eagle fumble on the kickoff and BC/NG struck again, this time with Gentrup dashing the final five yards on a 20-yard, six-play drive.
The score would remain 35-0 until the Cardinals put a final exclamation point on the victory with Ty Nissen’s 51-yard touchdown bolt with 2:32 to play. Frey finished scoring with his sixth PAT.
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