Daniel Boone intercepted five Tennessee High passes in the first half, including three picks by Michael Osterman, to turn an expected Big Eight Conference showdown into a 37-7 romp over the Vikings.
Not only did the Trailblazer defense have Vikings quarterback Peyton Henley’s number, they even picked off Johnny Deel’s passing attempt on a gadget play.
The Trailblazers improved to 2-1 in the league and 5-1 overall, while Tennessee High fell to 2-1 and 4-2.
According to Daniel Boone head coach Jeremy Jenkins, the turnovers were a combination of getting pressure up front and great reaction by his secondary.
“We did a good job of staying in our run lanes and pressuring the quarterback without blitzing,” Trailblazers head coach Jeremy Jenkins said. “Brandon Pate, Trevor Duncan and Hunter Skalecki dominated up front and was in the backfield all night.
“That allowed us to play a lot of coverage. Our kids were able to keep 24 (Adam Mitchell) in front of us and bait them into some things they’re not used to doing.”
In particular, it was a banner night for Osterman.
Besides his efforts as a defensive back, the 6-foot, 170-pound senior caught three passes for 42 yards at wide receiver. His numbers included the final touchdown of the first half, a seven-yard reception from Jake Littleton for a 30-0 Boone lead.
“We knew they were a passing team and we had to lock down their receivers,” Osterman said. “We had them scouted before the game and had them zoned out. We mainly focused on Mitchell and (Logan) Downs and were able to shut those guys down. We knew this was a big game, probably our best game of the year.”
Adam Edwards and Cliff Sanders also got interceptions as Jenkins had nothing, but praise for the work of his defensive backs.
“We have (Ryan) Gaitor, Jake, Osterman, Edwards and (Hunter) Ward, and those guys do a good job of going after it in practice and getting better every day,” Jenkins said. “Coach (Rob) Hoover does a good job of getting them ready. We challenged them to play hard, physical and relentless and they did all three.”
Littleton, also the team’s senior quarterback, led the offense. He rushed for 98 yards and two touchdowns on just five carries, and passed for 72 yards and two more touchdowns.
After Boone forced two Tennessee High turnovers in the first quarter, Littleton made the Vikings pay with a 50-yard quarterback keeper.
“They were a team which just rushed, rushed, rushed, so all I had to do was read the linemen and pull out and it was pretty much going downhill,” he said.
He added to the lead on the next Trailblazer possession. He hit Ryan Gaitor in the right corner of the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown pass, and then added a two-point conversion pass to Jordan Stout for a 14-0 advantage.
He and the ‘Blazers were only getting warmed up.
Zack McCracken hit a 38-yard field goal to put Boone up by three scores before another turnover, led to a 16-yard touchdown run for Littleton and a 24-0 lead.
An interception by Sanders set up the final touchdown of the half.
Boone then dominated the line of scrimmage in the second half, playing scoreless through the third quarter. The continuous clock ran after Grant Seeger scored on a five-yard touchdown run with 8:59 left.
With Boone’s starters on the sidelines, Tennessee High ended the shutout with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Henley to Adam Mitchell with 3:05 left.
Sanders piled up 86 rushing yards on 15 attempts as the ‘Blazers as a whole had 234 yards on 40 carries.
Daniel Boone plays at Science Hill next Friday. Tennessee High will try to take out its frustrations on Sullivan Central.