Shamrocks Blank Boone Central Gridders

Having gained a probable berth in the qualifying round of the 2008 state football playoffs with a win over David City October 17, Boone Central hoped to close its regular campaign and gain momentum for the post-season with a victory at Columbus Scotus Thursday.
The Cardinals could never get untracked offensively against the athletic Shamrocks, however, and dropped to 3-5 with a 17-0 loss at Pawnee Park’s Memorial Field.
Scotus scored its only touchdowns on a cold, wet night in the opening quarter, then relied on its swarming defense to improve to 6-2.
“I thought our defense and special teams did a pretty good job,” commented Boone Central Coach Arnie Johnson. “Our offense simply struggled all night.”
The statistics bear that out. The Cardinals finished with just 90 yards total offense – rushing for just 51 yards in 30 attempts. Boone Central gained only seven first downs and was 3-of-12 on third-downs.
The BC defense was also stingy overall, limiting Scotus to 3-of-12 in third-down efficiency and 13 first downs. Several big plays helped the Shamrocks rack up 237 rushing yards, however, and one of those big plays gave the hosts the early lead and momentum.
That early strike was a 60-yard touchdown dash by Bill Kurtenbach on the third play of the contest. Scotus added a 14-yard TD pass from Lucas Backman to Shawn Schumacher late in the first period, while recovering Boone Central’s only fumble and forcing two Cardinal punts in the opening 12 minutes.
“We wanted to get off to a good start and maybe get Scotus thinking a little bit,” said Johnson. “Obviously, that didn’t happen.
“Physically, Scotus played as well as any team we’ve faced this year. We were completely stymied on offense, but that shouldn’t be the case. We should have been able to get something going.”
After the first-quarter scores, the game became a back-and-forth defensive tussle until the Shamrocks put together a time-consuming 17-play drive in the third quarter that ended in Chase Beierman’s 23-yard field goal.
Dusty Dozler led the Cardinal offense with 46 rushing yards on eight carries. Ryan Shotkoski completed 6-of-12 passes for 39 yards, three to Cody Baker (23 yards).
Leading a game defensive effort were Dustin Christo (12 tackles, 6 assists), Bryce Morgan (11, 7), Keir Dane Harner (9, 4), Nathan Olson (9, 7), Kalvin Zoucha (5, 2), Jordan Hupp (4, 4) and Dozler (4, 4). Morgan had three tackles-for-loss, Harner 2.5 and Christo two.
Boone Central will face Hastings St. Cecelia in the qualifying round of the 2008 state playoffs Thursday at 6 p.m. in Hastings.