Proof that sometimes games do, indeed, live up to the hype
In fact, Friday’s battle of Class C1 unbeaten titans may well have exceeded it.
On a night Boone Central High School, and the communities of Albion and Petersburg, celebrated the 20 Year Anniversary of Boone Central’s 2001 C1 state championship – a 9-7 win over Pierce in Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium, the first playoff state title in program history – the current Cardinals knocked off defending state champion and #1 ranked Pierce in a 35-33 donnybrook, halting the Bluejays’ 16-game winning streak.
The abundance of storylines in this game could make a Hollywood script writer blush.
Boone Central could not stop – and could barely contain – Pierce standout Ben Brahmer, who snared 10 passes for a whopping 245 yards and two touchdowns. The talented 6-foot-5 junior, who has already accepted a scholarship offer to the University of Nebraska, also made five solo tackles from his linebacker position, and handled the punting and kickoff duties for the Bluejays.
On the Boone side, junior quarterback Alex Christo made his first career varsity start in place of injured senior Braden Benes.
Unfazed, Christo merely rushed for a game-high 124 yards, along with passing for 175. He threw for two touchdowns and rushed for the game-clincher.
This was a key C1-5 District opener for both teams, the winner getting a leg up in a district that boasts four teams – Pierce, Boone Central, Wayne and Battle Creek – in the C1 Top 10.
And, of course, there was the drama of the respected rivals, undefeated, clashing on a night one school celebrated a championship victory over the other, with many 2001 coaches, players, and their families, in attendance.
While the point totals of those contests were certainly different, the winning margin of two points was identical. You can be the judge whether or not there was magic in the air at the Boone Central athletic field.
Although Cardinal Coach Mark Hudson did not arrive at Boone Central until 2015, he realized this one meant a little extra in Cardinal country.
“It’s special. There’s a lot of pride in these communities. There’s a lot of pride in this program,” Hudson told media members. “It just culminates a whole lot of hard work by these kids, and keeping things going.”
Fans in attendance would certainly not argue, and were treated to one of the best high school football games you could ever see.
Complete game details in Print & Online editions of Albion News/Boone County Tribune