Ben Shrewsberry

Mr. Football semifinalist Ben Shrewsbury and the Daniel Boone Trailblazers football team keep on keeping on.

Shrewsbury made a play- off-record 54-yard field goal and Boone improved to 11-0 on the season with a 37-15 win against Halls on Friday night at Nathan Hale Stadium.

Shrewsbury, who’s being recruited by the likes of East Tennessee State, VMI and Liberty, also had a punt downed inside the 1-yard line by Rylan Trout. It set up a safety.

“I’ve said it all year – Shrewsbury’s our best weapon,” Boone coach Jeremy Jenkins said. “Looking at the field goal on video, I think for sure it would have been good from 60 yards. But that (54) was a playoff record.”

Aiden Riner returned from injury and rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown. Brogan Jones returned from a hip pointer and also rushed for a TD.

“It was good to get Brogan back,” Jenkins said, “and after being out two games, I thought Aiden looked a step quicker and he did some really good things. He had a quiet 114 yards. I didn’t know he even had that until I read it the next day. Anytime we get him going, that’s a big plus for us.”

Along with the safety, Boone’s defense got a 45- yard interception return for a score from Mikey Ramirez and a 30-yard pick-six from Tyler Alfred. Shrewsbury also had a 39-yard field goal and averaged 43.2 yards on five punts.

“Defense and special teams have kind of carried us all year,” Jenkins said. “At one time, we had scored in every game defensively – maybe except for Hampton (regular-season finale) ... and Crockett.”

Boone was still without linebacker Hagen Edwards, who severely sprained an ankle in the first quarter of the regular-season finale against Hampton. He’s questionable for this week’s second round home game against Knox Central.

“Tyler Alfred and Sam Witherspoon played well,” Jenkins said. “Sam filled in for Hagen and did a really good job at inside linebacker and doing what we asked coming and hitting those linemen when they pull around there. Kaiden Murphy probably had one of his better games for us at outside line- backer. He did a really good job making some plays in the back end and doing a good job getting to the football.

“So, we had a lot of different kids to really step up. With us playing such a light box, our defensive line really controlled the game. It’s one of the better games Luke’s – everybody talks about Luke Scott – but that’s really one of the better games he’s had. He really controlled that side of the line of scrimmage.”

The line of scrimmage could be chaos against the Bobcats, who’ve made a habit of ending Boone’s seasons in recent years.

“They’ve been kind of our nemesis here in the in the playoffs,” Jenkins said. “They beat us in ‘16 at home when we won it, and they were the four seed. They came up here and in beat us is 14 to nothing, and then they ended up getting beat in the semifinals that year. And then believe in ‘18, we went down there and scored the first drive against them and got off to a good start and then kicked it off to ‘em and they ran it back and went on to win the state championship.”

An early-season injury at quarterback has altered the Central’s scheme.

“So, they’ve kind of moved to more of a Wildcat approach,” Jenkins said. “But they will throw the ball deep when they have to. They run a ton of unbalanced formations, motions and shifts.

“I think being at home is a big advantage for us. But we were pretty evenly matched with them, I think. I hope our front can hold up against all that mess and we just do a good job of executing. It’s kind of feast or famine when they come at you blitzing.”


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