Boone Central/Newman Grove had an outstanding defense during its 11-2 2012 football season.
Saturday, the rest of the state saw two reasons why, as former Cardinals Tanner Mazour and Beau Bremer helped the North defense control play and key a 9-3 victory in the 55th annual Shrine Bowl all-star football game at the University of Nebraska-Kearney’s Foster Field.
On a blustery day with winds of 30-40 mph, offense and scoring was at a premium. The North used a 21-yard touchdown pass from Millard North’s Isaac Aakre to Nate Rogers of South Sioux City with 10:40 remaining to break a 3-3 tie. It was the only pass attempt of the game by Aakre, an option specialist in high school, and helped Rogers atone for two earlier dropped passes that might have gone for scores.
The North rushed for 210 yards and totaled 308, but had drives stopped by a pair of fumbles and 10 penalties.
The North defense made nine points stand up, however, dominating play. Bremer was a starter on the defensive line and Mazour at safety for a unit that allowed just 114 total yards.
The North also intercepted three South passes. None of those picks were bigger than Mazour’s late in the third period that led to the winning touchdown drive by the North. A late interception by Riley Shoemaker of G.I. Central Catholic secured the North victory.
Iowa football recruit Nathan Bazata of Howells-Dodge led a dominant North defensive front and was named the game’s defensive MVP. Colin Mertlik of Blair was the leading tackler with eight. Tyler Kavan of Wahoo was offensive MVP, rushing for 102 yards in 14 carries.
The South head coach was Adams Central’s Bill Carlin, a graduate of Spalding Academy. Carlin’s Patriot squad lost to Boone Central/Newman Grove in the 2012 Class C-1 state playoff semi-final game.
Saturday, a pair of Cardinals again had the upper hand.