It was quite fitting that Boone Central/Newman Grove concluded the football season against one of the top teams in Class C1. After all, the Cardinals faced a veritable “murderer’s row” schedule in 2018.
With the Cardinals’ 49-7 loss to undefeated host Pierce (C1 #2 in Omaha World-Herald) Friday night, Boone Central/Newman Grove finished a slate that included unbeaten #1 Aurora (9-0), the #2 Bluejays (9-0), #4 Ord (8-1) and #5 Lakeview (6-3), along with playoff qualifier West Point-Beemer (7-2).
Boone Central/Newman Grove certainly had its share of highlights during a 4-5 campaign, but a team lacking depth, and banged up by injuries, had trouble matching deep, talented squads such as Aurora and Pierce.
The Cardinal defense yielded yards and points grudgingly at Pierce; but yield it eventually did to a relentless Bluejay rushing attack that scored on 7-of-8 possessions in the contest. The Boone Central/Newman Grove offense could not gain traction until late, with four punts – plus sacks allowed on two fourth downs – prior to finally tallying fourth quarter points. The Cardinals finished with just 153 total yards in the contest, while Pierce amassed 496 – 408 on the ground.
“Pierce was another very good football team,” acknowledged BCNG Coach Mark Hudson. “We moved the ball at times, but they did a nice job of making us one-dimensional, and that always makes it easier for a defense.
“We made them work for their yards most of the night, even though the final stats might not indicate that. We were two or three missed tackles from it being a much tighter game at halftime; but that’s what good teams do, and their three backs are very good and break tackles better than most.”
Pierce totaled 496 yards, with 408 rushing and 88 through the air. BCNG gained 170 yards passing, but finished with -17 rushing. The Bluejays had a 25-9 advantage in first downs, controlling the clock throughout the contest.
Henry completed 15-of-20 passes for 170 yards – eight going to Frey for 124 yards. Defensively, tackle leaders for BCNG included Weston Choat (7 solo, 7 assists), Ethan Dozler (5, 7), Frey (4, 6), Chase Thieman (2, 4), Jon Merten (3, 1) and Kramer (3, 0).
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