After a tough, back and forth between the rivals, Boone was able to ultimately prevail 28-21 on Friday night.
Nathan Hale Stadium at Boone was packed to the brim and the fans were treated quite a spectacle in the yearly tussle. With the win, Boone clinches the first conference title in school history.
“I don’t have any words to explain it,” said David Crockett interim head coach Nick Lingerfelt. “There wasn’t a loser tonight. Those kids gave it everything they had. Our kids taught me something this week.”
The Pioneers had the ball with just over 4:30 left in the game and were driving down the field, but four straight incompletions inside the Boone 25-yard line sealed the Pioneers fate.
The Pioneers struck first with a gutsy call on fourth down with a strike to the back of the end zone from quarterback Cade Larkins to Donta Hackler from 26 yards away.
Crockett grabbed the early lead, but the Blazers answered right back with a huge 59-yard rush from Charlie Cole right up the gut on his first carry of the evening to knot the game at seven.
The Blazers had another long rush late in first quarter, this time from quarterback Noah Shelton as he took it 74 yard to the house right up the gut of the Crockett defense. It was looking like if the Boone line got a block to the second level, the Crockett secondary could not catch the ball carrier for Boone. The ’Blazers led at the end of the first quarter, 14-7.
Boone had another rushing touchdown early in the second quarter as CJ Carter ran it in from 17 yards away to give the Blazers a comfortable 21-7 lead as the teams approached halftime.
The Pioneers had a great drive going near the end of the half, chewing up time and converting third down after third down and even another fourth down, but Larkins was picked off for the second time by Carter. Carter also had an interception on the first drive for David Crockett.
Daniel Boone led at the half, 21-7.
There was an interesting development at half as Prince and John Kollie walked into the stadium fully dressed out and ready to play for the Pioneers, but did not get into the game until later in the third quarter.
The Pioneers came out in the second-half firing, with a quick strike from Larkins to Zeb Holland, who was wide open in the back of the end zone, from 27 yards away. The Pioneers drew within a score at 21-14. However, Boone answered quickly with a nine yard rush from Cole that ran the lead back up to 28-14.
The game was back and forth as Crockett scored on a five-yard rush by Devante Boozer that drew the Pioneers within seven at 28-21. As the third quarter drew to a close, the Pioneers looked to have seized the momentum in the Musket Bowl.
A stingy defense helped Boone down the stretch as it was able to stop the air raid of the Pioneers twice with its back against the wall to preserve the win.
“Skill-wise, this was the best team we’ve played besides Science Hill,” said Boone head coach Jeremy Jenkins. “This time of the year, you have to find ways to win games like this. We struggled in some areas, but we made just enough plays to win. … I’m really proud of these seniors from being 1-9 two years ago to winning the conference this year.”
Larkins led the way for the Pioneers in a losing effort as he was 28-49 with 344 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Hackler had 11 receptions for 109 yards and one touchdown. Micah Robinson had seven catches for 120 yards.
The Trailblazers’ rushing offense was rolling as Shelton had 14 carries for 166 yards and a rushing touchdown, but was only one for seven on passes for 16 yards. Cole had 14 carries as well for 141 yards and two rushing touchdowns. In total, Boone’s rushing game had 42 rushes for 356 yards.
Carter seemed to be doing it all as he had four carries for 15 yards and one touchdown, but he also had the two interceptions on the night.