Daniel Boone wears down Muhlenberg for 1st Berks I win

MUHLENBERG — It’s hard to predict how any team will react coming off a high-scoring loss like the one the Daniel Boone football team endured a week ago against Conrad Weiser.

But the Blazers looked as energized as ever Friday night as they bounced back and defeated Muhlenberg 21-7 at Muhlenberg Stadium.

According to Daniel Boone head coach Bill Parks, the Blazers (1-1, 2-3) overwhelmed the Muhls (1-1, 1-4) on both sides of the football due to their conditioning and hard work in practice throughout the week. It’s what he calls “mental toughness,’ and it’s a mentality he and his players take pride in.

“It’s something I’ve been telling the guys since the beginning of the season,’ said Parks. “We’ve put these guys through a lot of work this season. If we play physical and step up to adversity, a lot of teams will find their players running out of gas before the end.’

It was exactly what Muhlenberg head coach Rich Kolka explained happened to his players by the second half.

“In the first quarter when our personnel was fresh, we played really well,’ said Kolka. “We ran the ball well and threw it with success, but as the game went on, a lot of our guys were exhausted. And it showed out there.’

The Muhls struck first, as Cody Fidler found his 6-foot-2 tight end, Brock Stoudt, who burned a linebacker and gave Muhlenberg an early 7-0 lead.

“They took advantage of the biggest mistake we made tonight,’ said Parks. “They knew we were running man-to-man and he got matched up on a linebacker. After that, we made the necessary adjustments and played better from there on out.’

Following a Muhl fumble, recovered by A.J. Spagnoletti, Daniel Boone took over at Muhlenberg’s 33-yard line.

Three plays after a 15-yard unnecessary roughness called on Muhlenberg, Cinque Ramsey ran it for three of his 105 yards for a touchdown to tie it 7-7.

On the ensuing Muhlenberg drive, Fidler fumbled the ball which was recovered by Jonathan Passifione.

Led-off by a 28-yard run from Brandon Clarke, quarterback Nick Hughes eventually ran it in giving the Blazers a 2-yard touchdown and a 14-7 lead with 4:29 left in the half.

“Lots of credit goes to our line up front,’ said Hughes, who finished with 31 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. “Our run game has been working for us so far but there are some adjustments we need to make if we want to keep it up.’

On their ensuing drive, the Blazers forced Muhlenberg to go three-and-out and punt it away.

But the Muhls kept pressing.

On the first play of the drive, Hughes threw an interception to Stoudt at the 35-yard line, giving the Muhls great field position with just over a minute left.

Fidler rushed for a 23-yard gain, shortly followed by another seven yards from Dylan Moyer. Just a few plays later, it was fourth-and-four with just over a minute left in the half. Fidler threw a pass to Chad Carter on a quick-slant but it was batted down by Chris Ford-Green to prevent the score.

“That was huge going into the half,’ said Parks. “Chris made one heck of a play and timed his jump perfect. It’s always way better to go into the half with a lead. He was the reason we were able to do that tonight.’

“I played the guy’s hips, stuck my hand in and knocked the ball out,’ said Ford-Green. “We had so much fire in us at half time. It really amped up our hype for the rest of the game.’

Neither team looked too amped in the third quarter as the game became a defensive struggle and the teams combined for five punts and a Daniel Boone turnover on downs.

“Ideally, we wanted to come out in the third quarter and get right back in the game,’ said Kolka. “Our defense played well and made stops when we needed to, but we just couldn’t move the ball. Again, our guys just spent too much time with their hands on their knees.’

With just over seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, on third-and-inches from Muhlenberg’s 3-yard line, Hughes ran the ball again for the touchdown to give the Blazers the final margin.

“I’m real proud of the way these guys showed up after last week,’ said Parks. “I think we’re getting better and better every week. So from here on out, we’re just going to continue throwing our best at everyone we face.’

The Blazers will need to bring their best as they host Reading (2-2, 0-1) next Friday while Muhlenberg will travel to Fleetwood to face the Tigers (4-1, 2-0) next Saturday.


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