Look out C1, there’s a new sherriff in town.
The Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals, fresh off a 48-7 pasting of previous Class C1 #2 Pierce, rolled into Norfolk Friday for a #1 vs. #2 showdown with three-time defending champion Norfolk Catholic on the Knights’ own turf and toted home a thrilling, hard-fought 28-22 victory and 3-0 record in 2013.
The victory propelled the Cardinals to the #1 C1 state ranking (Omaha World-Herald) going into a well-deserved bye week.
Card Coach Arnie Johnson summed up Friday’s experience quite well – “What an exciting game on a near perfect night for football!”
Recipe for Success
For the second week in a row, Boone Central/Newman Grove junior QB Wyatt Mazour was a whirling dervish of a highlight film, rushing for 185 yards and two touchdowns, returning three kickoffs for 118 yards, and adding 97 more on 6-of-17 passing.
Mazour received ample support, as Matt and Joe Brugger combined for another 121 yards on the ground. In all, BC/NG pummeled Catholic with 309 rushing yards behind a physical, mobile offensive line.
The Cardinal defense did its part, as well, limiting Catholic to fewer total yards than BC/NG’s rushing total and creating three turnovers.
But while the Cardinals often flashed dominance in the contest, they also had to show their mettle, holding off Catholic’s late challenge and securing the win with clutch performances in the final five minutes.
“Our offensive line took over the game in the second half, making it hard for Norfolk Catholic,” Johnson commented. “We were very pleased with the way we reacted after they scored to tie. We showed we had the confidence needed to get the win.”
After the host Knights knotted the score on Zach Pospisil’s six-yard TD pass to halfback Jackson Love and a two-point conversion toss to tight end Beau Schommer, Mazour struck back with the biggest play in a game full of big plays.
With BC/NG facing 2nd-and-7 at its own 20-yard line, the Card QB saw a hole in the left side of the Catholic defense, weaved through several defenders and took flight, fighting off several tackle attempts in the final 15 yards of a 79-yard jaunt that carried the the NC one. Mazour plunged into the end zone on the ensuing play to give Boone Central/Newman Grove the 28-22 lead with 4:22 to play.
The Cardinals nailed down the victory by stopping Catholic on two possessions in the final minutes, Zac Glidden finally sealing things with an interception near midfield with 21 seconds remaining.