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Boone wins second annual alumni football game

Former Pioneer and Trailblazer football players separated by decades took to the field on Saturday evening at Nathan Hale Stadium in Gray for the second annual Legends of the Musket Bowl alumni football game.
While the Blazers retained the musket for a second consecutive year winning the contest 21-6, the game wasn’t about winning or losing. Instead, it was just about playing the game.
“I wouldn’t miss this for the world. I put off surgery last week to be here today,” said Joe Williams, a 1979 graduate of David Crockett High School. “I got to play with my son. I was able to walk out on the field as a team captain. It was just an awesome experience.”
Williams sentiments were shared by pretty much every player in the June 1 game, which served as an opportunity to transcend time and return to a special place in their past.
Boone opened the contest with a 65-yard scoring drive, using just five minutes of the clock, which was capped off by quarterback Austin Reppart on a 1-yard touchdown keeper.
The Blazers controlled the Pioneer offense for much of the first half, but a snap that sailed over the head of the Boone punter deep in their own territory gave Crockett the ball at the Boone 11.
The Pioneers took advantage on a touchdown run at just under the six-minute mark in the second quarter. A missed extra point would allow Boone to remain on top 7-6.
Boone had one last chance before halftime to get a score, but Crockett’s Steve Hartley picked off a Reppart pass in the endzone to kill the scoring threat.
While Crockett’s offense continued to sputter in the second half, the Blazers couldn’t take advantage. The third ended with the contest still deadlocked at 7-6.
Boone found pay dirt just a minute into the fourth on a short touchdown run. The Blazers added another score a few minutes later on a 91-yard Reppart touchdown pass down the sidelines.
The Pioneers could never muster up enough offense to threaten the Blazer lead.
Todd Belcher, a Boone alumni was ecstatic about the win for his team. But win or lose, he relished just having the opportunity to play again.
Belcher arrived to the area only a few days before from Afghanistan. He made the long trip just to play in the game.
“Tonight was a godsend,” Belcher said. “Coming from Afghanistian and getting to play with these guys was truly a great break for me.”
Belcher, a former Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, who now works for IBM as part of the drone program, was returning to Afghanistan in the days following the game.
“Just seeing all my friends, seeing people I haven’t seen in 30 years and coming back here, man this place is home. It has just been a great experience.”