Sports

Story published: 11-05-2013 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Boone captures Musket Bowl over Pioneers

Boone’s Dustin Chandler wards off Crockett’s Jake Wells while heading down the field. For more photos, visit the Photo Gallery at www.heraldandtribune.com.

By Christopher Shields

Before a capacity crowd at Nathan Hale Stadium in Gray, the high school football season reached its pinnacle on Nov. 1 in Washington County as the Trailblazers of Daniel Boone High School defeated the Pioneers of David Crockett High School 42-6 in the 43rd meeting between the schools.

While each Musket Bowl carries with it a certain significance, this season’s meeting rendered a major change in circumstances.

For the first time in a long time, the Pioneers entered the game with a better record than Boone, a stronger playoff resume and a level of excitement surrounding its football program that has been absent in recent years.

Despite the change in circumstances, the results remained the same.

After 48 minutes, the musket once again resided with the Blazers for the 11th consecutive year.

“It’s a tough loss,” Crockett Head Coach Jeremy Bosken said. “Our seniors really wanted this one, wanted to bring the musket home to Crockett.”

Entering the contest with the faintest playoff hopes alive, Boone (4-6, 3-3) assumed a familiar identity throughout the game — a rushing attack that the Pioneers could never solve.

“It’s a good win and we are going to enjoy it tonight,” Boone Head Coach Jeremy Jenkins said. “Tomorrow we will find out where we will be next week. If this was it, we finished like we wanted to.”

The Blazers gashed the Crockett defense, piling up 342 yards on the ground and most importantly counteracting the up-tempo Pioneer offense.

The Blazer ground attack was so effective, Boone only attempted four passes throughout the entire contest.

After a mostly scoreless first quarter, the Blazers eventually put the first points of the game on the board with just over two and a half minutes left in the opening quarter as Josh Bacon broke away from the Pioneer defense for a 19-yard touchdown run.

The Pioneers responded on their next possession, moving the ball inside the Boone five when the first quarter came to a close.

The Pioneers finished the drive in the opening minutes of the second when quarterback Ryan Burger plunged into the end zone from a yard out.

A missed extra point kept the Blazers in front 7-6. The Crockett score was their last as the Blazers quickly assumed control of the contest.

Boone added two more scores before the half, the first on a 15-yard touchdown run by Dustin Chandler, followed by Bacon’s second touchdown of the game on a seven-yard scoring run.

The Blazers led 21-6 at halftime.

The second half offered more of the same from the Boone offense as they continued to churn out yards on the ground against an overmatched Crockett front.

Bacon tallied his third touchdown of the game for Boone’s first score of the second half on a 20-yard run.

Chandler added another third quarter touchdown, this time on a 34-yard carry, punching the ball into the end zone again in the fourth quarter from five yards out to match Bacon for his third touchdown of the game.

While the Pioneer offense was able to move the ball against the Blazers, the Boone defense refused to break, keeping Crockett off the scoreboard for the entire second half.

The Blazers totaled 367 yards of offense to Crockett’s 305 total yards. Boone’s 342 rushing yards was manufactured on 50 carries.

Bacon and Chandler amassed almost all of Boone’s rushing yards, combining for 326 yards.

Chandler finished with 185 yards and three touchdowns, and Bacon added 141 to go along with three scores as well.

Playing from behind for most of the contest, the majority of Crockett’s offense came through the air. Burger finished 19-of-39 for 262 yards passing.

While the loss dropped the Pioneers to 5-5 on the season, there was a silver lining.

When the TSSAA made the playoff selections on Nov. 2, Crockett was among the teams named to play.

Boone did not make the cut, ending the Trailblazers season on the Musket Bowl win.

“What these kids have accomplished in just eight months is amazing,” Bosken said. “We finished with the second most wins in school history and made the playoffs for just the second time in 42 years.

“Our seniors have laid a solid foundation for our younger kids to take pride in and build on.”

The Pioneers, who drew a seven seed in the playoffs, will have to travel to Knoxville for the opening round of the postseason to take on one of the strongest teams in the bracket, two-seed Knoxville West.

“West is one of the best teams in the state regardless of classification,” Bosken said.

“They are 9-1 with their only loss to Maryville. Our young men understand the task at hand and are focusing on playing together better, not just playing against them.”

The contest is set to kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8.