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Boone wins Musket Bowl

The 44th clash between David Crockett (5-5, 2-4) and Daniel Boone (4-6, 3-3) in the annual Musket Bowl will not soon be forgotten.
While the postgame scuffle will undoubtedly be what is most remembered from this installment of the Musket Bowl, what preceded those events (and undoubtedly influenced them) was one of the best contests between the two rivals over the past decade.
The hosting Pioneers entered the Oct. 30 game having lost 11 straight Musket Bowl contests to the Trailblazers but appeared poised to end Boone’s streak.
In what would be the final game of the season for Daniel Boone and what was expected to be a final tune up for David Crockett before the opening-round playoff contest, the two battled in a back-and-forth affair that saw the Blazers come from behind in the fourth quarter to shock the Pioneers and their home crowd 23-16 and extend the Boone win streak to 12 games.
From a statistical standpoint, the Pioneers dominated the contest from its onset. Crockett nearly doubled the Blazers in total yardage finishing with 299 yards of offense compared to just 167 for Boone.
Missed opportunities and a Blazer defensive unit that refused to break would ultimately be the difference.
Crockett would get on the board first in the opening quarter on their first offensive possession of the game when Flavio Sanguinetti’s 34-yard field goal sailed through the uprights capping off a nine-play, 75-yard drive.
It would stand as the only points of the first quarter as the offenses sputtered for the majority of the opening 12 minutes.
But late in the first quarter the Blazers would get their offense going. Beginning their drive at their own 40, thet would use more than six minutes of the clock to move inside the Pioneer 20 before quarterback Gabe Sanders would find Parker Breuel on a 19-yard touchdown pass.
Taylor Robinson’s extra point gave the Blazers a 7-3 advantage.
The score held throughout the quarter and the Washington County rivals went to the half with Boone holding to the lead.
The third quarter would offer more of the same with defense controlling the pace of the contest.
Following a Boone punt midway through the quarter, the Pioneer offense went to work, eventually moving inside the Boone 10-yard line.
But the Blazer defense rose up again shutting the Crockett offense down on their first three plays.
Crockett elected to roll the dice on fourth and goal from the 10 and Pioneer quarterback Ryan Burger answered finding Eric Day on a pass in the end zone for the touchdown. Sanguinetti’s kick pushed the Pioneer lead to 10-7.
Burger completed 7 of 16 passes in the game for 131 yards with a touchdown and an interception. His favorite target would be Day who hauled in four passes for 103 yards.
The Pioneer offense was just as effective on the ground with T.K. Hill leading the way with 96 yards on 20 carries.
On Boone’s ensuing possession, the Blazers would start an 11-play, 65-yard drive that extended from the third quarter into the fourth.
Colby Ragsdale capped off the drive by plunging into the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown 30 seconds into the final quarter and Robinson’s kick pushed the Blazer advantage to 14-10.
Boone combined as a team for 120 yards rushing on 36 carries.
After the kickoff, the Pioneer offense took the field at the 36 yard line trailing by four.
The Pioneers quickly moved down the field and into Boone territory with the biggest play of the drive on a 51-yard pass and catch from Burger to Day.
James Midkiff punched in for the score from 8 yards out to put the Pioneers back in front. A missed extra point kept the score at 16-14.
Then would come the play of the game. Stephen Carr fielded the ensuing kickoff at the 12 yard line and returned it 88 yards for a touchdown, quieting the crowd and pushing the Blazers in front for good.
With almost nine minutes still on the clock following Carr’s kick return, the Pioneers would have several opportunities to take the lead back, but Boone’s defense answered every challenge Crockett threw at them.
The Pioneers first possession following the Boone score ended with fumble. They would get the ball back but the ensuing possession ended with a turnover on downs.
Boone finally shut the door for good with less than 30 seconds remaining in the contest when a host of Blazers sacked Burger in the end zone for a safety to seal the contest with a final score of 23-16.
The weight of the contest spilled over in the final seconds as several Pioneers were visibly emotional, others appeared in disbelief or dejected by the outcome.
For Boone, with the playoffs all but out of the question, the Musket Bowl would be the last time many of them would ever button their chinstrap again. That sentiment was echoed as elation filled the Blazer sidelines, as together they would go out as winners, champions of Washington County after their 12th straight victory over Crockett.
Such contrasting emotions clashed as the two teams met in the postgame. Words were exchanged and chaos ensued as a scuffle between a few players amplified drawing others into the confrontation.
Coaches, school officials, and police officers were able to gain control and quickly separate the young competitors to opposite sides of the field.
But the unexpected turn cast a shadow over the game taking the emphasis away from the play on the field and focusing it on the postgame antics.
Video from the scene made its way to the TSSAA and less than 24 hours after the incident the governing body for Tennessee high school athletics handed down a quick and severe punishment barring Crockett and Boone from the postseason for three years along with multiple fines totaling $4,750 for each school.
The punishment essentially ends the 2014 season for the two rivals.