Friday’s high school football game at Wayne posed a big challenge for the Boone Central Cardinals.
Big, as in a big, physical Class C1 Top 10 Blue Devils squad that relied on a punishing ground game.
The quick, feisty Cardinals had plenty of offensive success in the contest, but could not put the brakes on a Wayne steamroller that amassed 360 rushing yards in a 38-27 victory at Wayne State College.
The teams were stark contrasts in style. Running behind the likes of 320-pound Mike Leatherdale, Wayne’s bruising duo of Reid Korth (190 lbs) and Victor Kniesche (195 lbs) finished with 161 and 151 yards, respectively. Boone Central countered with big plays and quick strikes, as quarterback Braden Benes passed for 135 yards and rushed for 86.
In the end, the irresistible force had the upper hand.
“Wayne is a very big team and plays a very physical style of football you just can’t duplicate in practice. We have three or four kids in our ‘825 club’ – a three-lift total – and Wayne would easily have twice that many,” Cardinal Coach Mark Hudson acknowledged. “I was pretty pleased overall with the improvement from the offense. The kids made good strides from the previous week.
“Once again we were just one, two, three plays away. We played well enough to win – we just have to get stronger. The kids are improving and playing hard. Just gotta catch a break or two and put it all together one night.”
Wayne finished with a 414-244 advantage in total yards and doubled first downs (30-15) on Boone Central. Benes completed 11-of-22 passes (135 yards) and rushed for 86 yards (14 att.). Bird had four receptions for 63 yards in the contest.
Tackle leaders for Boone Central included Schafer (3 solo, 11 assists), Bird (3, 9), Seth Wright (1, 11), Cody Maricle (2, 6), Jackson Roberts (1, 6), Bryce Kennedy (1, 6) and Nissen (2, 3). Schafer recorded two tackles-for-loss.
Boone Central travels to Columbus to face Scotus (3-4) Friday (7 p.m.) at Pawnee Park. The Shamrocks have defeated North Bend Central and Schuyler consecutively following a 1-4 start.
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