DOVER – The Western Boone football coaching staff have always stressed that if their players leave it all out on the field, they would be able to live with the results.
So while the scoreboard showed Class 3A No. 5 Danville had topped Western Boone 28-14 on Friday night, head coach Justin Pelley was proud of the way his Stars played and knew that it was just a couple of plays that proved to be the difference.
“We played our hearts out,” Pelley said. “We made some big plays too, but we are just young and not there yet. We made a lot of mistakes tonight. You can’t throw four interceptions and expect to beat a team like Danville. When you lose the turnover battle 4-0, you are going to get beat.”
Big plays were the name of the game on Friday night.
On the second play from scrimmage, Western Boone threw an interception that led to a Danville touchdown three plays later.
Western Boone came right back with a nine-play drive covering 67 yards, and tied the game at 7 on an 11-yard pass from Elliott Young to Connor Garrity.
The Stars then had chances to take control of the game, but couldn’t capitalize.
After forcing a Danville punt, the Stars drove down to the Danville 19, but after two negative running plays and an incomplete pass, faced fourth-and-16 from the 25 and threw an interception in the end zone.
The Stars forced a three-and-out on defense, and again drove down into Warrior territory, getting to the 16, but missed a 38-yard field goal.
There were plenty of momentum swings from there.
Danville took over after the missed field goal, and got a big 46 yard run from Matthew McGovern on the first play of the drive. Four plays later, Kale Payne connected with Luke Wooten on a 5-yard touchdown pass to give the Warriors a 14-7 halftime lead.
Danville looked like they were going to make it a two-score game on the opening possession of the third quarter, driving down to the WeBo 1-yard line.
But the Stars’ defense stuffed Payne on fourth-and-goal, giving the Stars the ball back.
Western Boone was moving the ball down the field, and faced a first-and-5 from the Danville 19 late in the third quarter, when Danville made the play of the game when Jake Comer jumped a wide receiver screen and ran it back 80 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-7.
“We got down in the red zone four times and only scored twice,” Pelley said. “That’s not enough against a good team. There were 1000 things that could have gone right, but did not for us tonight.”
The Stars didn’t hang their heads, using a 12-play drive to cover 86 yards to score on a 1-yard run by Robby Taylor with 10:03 to go.
But the Warriors iced the game away with a 16-play drive, covering 86 yards and taking nearly eight minutes off the clock before scoring on a 7-yard run by Ethan Dutra.
Young finished 12 of 22 for 170 yards and a touchdown, but had four interceptions. Garrity had seven catches for 114 yards and a score.
Taylor had 68 yards on 17 carries.
Western Boone travels to Lebanon next week.
Pelley said the Stars can build off Friday’s performance heading into the end of the year.
“Danville is a heck team and our guys rose to the occasion,” Pelley said. “We had chances to win that football game. We are young, we are learning and getting better every week. I am proud of them, and we got better tonight playing Danville, even in a loss. I would rather play them 10 times and go 5-5, then not be challenged and go 5-0.”
Courtesy of Will Willems of the Lebanon Reporter