Dustin Chandler and Josh Bacon combined for 326 rushing yards and six touchdowns in Daniel Boone’s 42-6 romp over David Crockett in the 43rd annual Musket Bowl.
Chandler ended with 185 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while Bacon finished with 141 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Trailblazers over the Pioneers on Friday night at Nathan Hale Stadium. It was Boone’s 11th straight victory in the series.
“We just wanted to establish the run and make them stop us. And they couldn’t,” Chandler said. “We wanted to take over the game and that’s what we did.”
Bacon had touchdown runs of 19, seven and 20 yards for the Trailblazers.
“It starts up front with our line,” Bacon said. “We wouldn’t get any of our yards without the five big people up front.”
Boone finished the regular season 3-3 in the Big Seven Conference and 4-6 overall. Crockett fell to 2-4 in the league and 5-5 overall.
As the backs stated, the game was won in the trenches for Boone. Overall, they had 342 rushing yards on 50 carries to just 43 rushing yards for the Pioneers.
“We just challenged our kids to take over the line of scrimmage,” Boone head coach Jeremy Jenkins said. “Hats off to our defensive staff too. They did a good job on that side of the ball mixing up some coverages.”
The overall statistics weren’t as skewed as the final score.
Total offense favored Boone 367-305 and first downs were a 17-15 advantage as the Pioneers made some headway through the air. Crockett quarterback Ryan Burger hit 19 of 39 passes for 262 yards and receiver Eric Day made five catches for 95 yards.
Still, it was the inability of the defense to stop the Trailblazers’ running game which was the biggest difference.
“That’s been our Achilles heel all season,” Pioneers head coach Jeremy Bosken said. “That’s my fault for not adjusting sooner. The kids played their hearts out, but that’s just one of the weaknesses of the program right now.”
Boone scored first on Bacon’s 19-yard run right up the middle with 2:34 left in the first quarter.
Crockett responded through the air with Burger hitting DJ Britton on a 24-yard pass for the last play of the first quarter, which put the ball at the Boone 2-yard-line. Burger then had a pair of one-yard runs to score, but a missed extra-point left the Pioneers trailing 7-6.
However, they had no answer for Boone’s running game and it resulted in 35 unanswered points.
Chandler ran through the Crockett defense 15 yards on the next drive and with the extra-point, the ‘Blazers led 14-6.
After Crockett’s next drive stalled on the Boone-15, Bacon broke free on a 51-yard run. He finished the drive a minute later with a seven-yard touchdown for a 21-6 halftime lead.
The Trailblazers salted it away in the third quarter with touchdown runs of 20 yards by Bacon and 34 yards by Chandler.
Chandler added a five-yard TD run for the final score.
Both teams now await today’s TSSAA playoff announcements for their postseason fates.
After the game, Jenkins and his team weren’t worried as much as about the future as celebrating their continued dominance of the Washington County rivalry.
“Right now, we’re going to enjoy this,” Jenkins said. “Come tomorrow, we’ll know if we’re going to be playing next week. If not, we know we ended it like we wanted to end it.”
The Pioneers will also be listening for the news late this morning. They hope their work throughout the season is enough to secure a playoff bid.
“We’re crossing our fingers,” Bosken said. “We are thankful we’re still in the hunt. Earlier in the season, the kids took care of five opponents and got the wins like we were supposed to. Obviously, we wanted to send our seniors out on a better note here, but that’s on me. I have to put them in a better position to be successful.”