Boone Central’s long, grueling path through the 2021 football season finally caught up to the Cardinals Friday night in Albion.
Playing a Top 10 opponent for the fifth straight week, and sixth time overall in eight games, C1 #3 Boone dropped a hard-fought 21-12 decision to #5 Scotus. In a “battle of unbeatens” that lived up to its billing, there were ups and downs, and shifting tides, aplenty. In the end, however, the Shamrocks never blinked, seemed to rarely make mistakes and pulled off the biggest plays of the contest.
The final nail in the coffin was a fourth-quarter drive to make any coach smile. Clinging to a 14-12 advantage following a Boone Central touchdown pass late in the third period, Scotus mounted a 20-play, 10 minute scoring march covering 65 yards.
With the PAT, the Shamrocks took a nine-point lead with 3:58 to play, then intercepted a Boone pass to seal the win.
“Disappointing result, but lots to build on as we head into the playoffs,” said Cardinal Coach Mark Hudson. “Scotus executed very well and played ball control.
“It wasn’t our best defensive night, as we couldn’t get the stops or tackles-for-loss that we’ve become accustomed to. They seemed to always get that extra push, and had some wrinkles we hadn’t seen. They converted their fourth downs, 5-for-5, and we missed two key fourth downs in the first half.
“They call it a game of inches for a reason.
“In looking at the schedule and how well they executed vs. us – we may have been a little worn down and banged up from our four-game stretch, and their schedule was the opposite, they were healthy and had probably worked on us for more than just a week. That’s the luck of the draw.”
Boone Central will wrap up its regular season Thursday at O’Neill. While the Eagles sport just a 1-7 record, Hudson says his team needs to be focused and dialed in.
“O’Neill has some good athletes and has also played a tough schedule,” he noted. “This will be an important game for us to rebound and fix our mistakes before we head into the playoffs.”
Complete article with stats in Print & Online editions of Albion News/Boone County Tribune