Daniel Boone blanks Octorara, 28-0

UNION >> It’s becoming a two-edged sword.
The Daniel Boone football team’s desire to shut down opponents is starting to snowball downhill. One week after blanking Cocalico 7-0 in its season and home-field opener, Boone repeated the feat Friday against Octorara … to the tune of a 28-0 shutout at Boone’s Brazinsky Field.
The push to remain unscored-on was very much in the collective minds of the Blazers. Now that they’ve succeeded in doing so for the first eight quarters of the season, the pressure of maintaining that status quo has gotten that much stronger.
“That’s our goal every week,” said Nick Hughes, Boone’s senior quarterback/safety. “Coming off the win against Cocalico, that’s what we want to keep doing.”
Boone (2-0) had an unquestioned upper hand on Octorara (0-2) through the first half, and well into the third quarter. Its guests never made it out of their half of the field in their first five possessions, and only three yards in their opening set of the second half. A team that engaged in a 46-41 shootout with Fleetwood in its first outing was held to a combined 178 yards total offense and penetrated the red zone just once in 11 touches.
The Blazers, in the meantime, scored on their first two possessions of the game, and their last of the first half. Their vaunted defense also got into the scoring act, Hughes returning an interception 47 yards to the Octorara end zone with little more than three minutes remaining in the third.
“We want to keep everything in front of us,” Boone head coach Bill Parks said. “If we can make them keep driving, that (interception) is what happens.”
Hughes’ pick-six was the highlight of the Blazers’ defense against an Octorara passing game that saw three quarterbacks – Trent Pawling and Jamison Schempp carrying much of the play-calling load – complete only 10 of 22 passes.
“The interception definitely picked up our morale,” Hughes said. “I could picture it in my mind. I was going full speed, not letting up at all.”
Cinque Ramsey had a sack of Pawling to go along with numerous other tackles. Among the various starters and subs who saw action on the defensive side, Boone players like Jesse Enck, Jared Gaspari and Chris Nitka got their names called in shutting down Octorara.
“We take a lot of pride in putting up a shutout,” Parks said.
On the offensive side, Hughes and Ramsey were key to the Blazers building an initial 14-0 lead in the game’s first 9-1/2 minutes.
Ramsey, who had a team-best 54 yards on 12 carries – all in the first half – scored on a four-yard sprint around his left end at the 7:40 mark before Hughes (6-for-8, 104 yards) hooked up with Ryan Okuniewski on a 13-yard TD toss about five minutes later.
Ramsey then staked Boone to a 21-0 lead on a off-tackle run covering 10 yards at the 1:43 mark of the second quarter. That ended up being the offense’s point production for the game, Hughes’ interception the scoring capper.
“I don’t think we were leaving up on purpose,” Hughes said. “We try each possession to score.”
“We’ve got to get better offensively,” Parks added. “Crisper stuff is what we have to do.”
Boone’s bid to keep its shutout quarters streak alive heads into its Berks Conference slate starting next week. The Blazers will host Twin Valley, then visit Conrad Weiser before returning home against Muhlenberg to start out October.

NOTES >> Hughes completed his first six throws of the game, the passes covering 104 yards. Jake Kuhn was on the receiving end of three of the passes, gaining 70 yards in the process. … Drew Kresge continued his strong kicking for the Blazers. In addition to his three conversion boots, Kresge saw four of five kickoffs go into the end zone, leaving Octorara to start those possessions on its 20. … The Braves’ best shot at scoring came with 5:22 left in the game, Pawling connecting with Brandon Garver in the corner of the end zone on a toss from the Boone 16. But Garver was ruled out of bounds, which resulted in the Blazers taking the ball over on downs.

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