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Trailblazers’ season ends with playoff

Daniel Boone High School’s football season came to an abrupt end Friday night under the lights of Nathan Hale Stadium in Gray with surprising 28-7 loss to Tennessee High in the opening round of the TSSAA playoffs.
After putting together a strong regular season where the Blazers finished 8-2, the first round exit came as a surprise to many, given the outcome of an earlier meeting between the two conference foes this season. Boone dominated Tennessee High in that game 37-7.
Revenge would be all the motivation the Vikings needed the second time around, taking advantage of nearly every Blazer miscue on the way to the win.
Tennessee High (7-4) received the game’s opening kick and wasted little time to put the Blazers on their heels. Using less than 4 minutes to score, the Vikings covered 74 yards on the drive, finding the end zone on an 8-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Peyton Henley to Adam Mitchell.
The contest would hold at 7-0 for the remainder of the first quarter, as the Blazers struggled to find an effective running game.
Boone wouldn’t remain quiet for long, however, tying the game early in the second quarter on a 3-yard Dustin Chandler touchdown run. The Blazers used 14 plays covering over 80 yards on the scoring drive.
Following a defensive stop, Boone’s running game emerged and the Blazers appeared poised to capture the lead, advancing deep into Viking territory.
But the Tennessee High defense pushed the Blazers back, ending the scoring threat with a long third down sack. What followed would prove the beginning of the end for Boone’s life expectancy in the postseason.
After the sack, a high snap flew over the head of Blazer punter Adam Edwards and the Vikings took over inside the Boone 30.
Tennessee High would not be turned away, eventually moving the ball to the Boone 1 yard line before capturing the lead with a short run. A Boone interception took the contest to the half with Tennessee High maintaining a one-touchdown advantage, 14-7.
In the third quarter, special teams once again provided a spark for the Vikings.
This time a Blazer punt was blocked and returned 20 yards for a Tennessee High touchdown, extending the Viking lead to 21-7.
In their last real hope for a comeback, Boone drove down to the Tennessee High 5, but a penalty and long sack ended the Blazer possession.
The Vikings took advantage with a 75-yard drive, capped off with the game’s second Henley to Mitchell touchdown connection.
Despite moving the ball into Viking territory twice more, the Blazers could never seal the deal with a touchdown.
Blazer senior quarterback Jake Littleton led the team in passing and rushing yards. He finished 21 of 37 for 153 yards through the air and added 77 yards on the ground.
The loss ended Boone’s season as well as the high school football careers of 18 Boone seniors, many of them starters or key contributors this season.