Cardinals ride Mazour to title, send Coach Johnson out in style

 
Cameron Mellor (@CamMellor)
March 3, 2015

 

 

While the position of dual-threat quarterback has seemingly become a household term nowadays, a true dual-threat quarterback is still one of more exciting spectacles to watch on all levels of football. Especially however, in high school football, and especially when your dual-threat quarterback leads you to a championship.

 

For the Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals, that’s exactly what happened.

 

Dual-threat quarterback Wyatt Mazour led the Cardinals to the Nebraska C1 State Championship in 2014, defeating Ashland-Greenwood, 54-14 to capture the title.

 

While Mazour might look and seem more like a running back, the senior could certainly sling the ball through the air when necessary. He totaled over 200 total yards of offense in nine of 13 games last season and accumulated over 300 yards of offense in five of those games.

 

He finished his senior season with 1,626 yards on the ground and 1,869 yards through the air. He ran for 25 touchdowns and threw for another 26. He also returned kicks and punts for an additional 623 yards and another two scores.

 

Mazour wasn’t finished with just offense and special teams, he also played cornerback on a defense that held opponents under 14 points per game. He recorded three pass break ups, recovered a fumble and intercepted two passes, one in which he returned for a touchdown against Wayne.

 

All in all, Mazour finished the season with 2,307 all-purpose yards, an average of 177.5 yards per game. He was credited with 28 solo touchdowns while he was accountable for 54 scores overall on the season.

 

The Cardinals jumped out of the gates hot in 2014. After allowing their week one opponent, Scotus Central Catholic, to tie the game at 14 points apiece, Boone Central scored 17 unanswered points to win 31-14.

 

Boone Central would lead the way for the next seven games. In fact, the closest any opponent came to leading over the Cardinals in those seven games would be the 0-0 start of the game. Boone Central scored first in each game, winning their first eight games by a combined margin of 352-111.

 

In their regular season finale against Norfolk Catholic, the Cardinals took a 12-3 lead before allowing a quick touchdown run by the Knights that cut the lead to 12-9 at halftime.

 

Norfolk Catholic became the first team to lead the Cardinals in 2014 as they scored on the opening drive of the third quarter to take a 16-12 lead.

 

However, those would be the last points the Knights scored, as they surrendered 20 unanswered to Boone Central, falling to the Cardinals, 32-16.

 

That game ended Boone Central’s regular season at a perfect 9-0 as they entered the playoffs with a first round matchup against Milford. After being granted the No. 2 seed and dispatching Milford, 48-7 to open the postseason, a familiar foe would be presented to the Cardinals.

 

That familiar foe would be the only opponent they trailed in the regular season, Norfolk Catholic.

 

Much like their first meeting, the game remained close throughout as the Cardinals led 14-6 at halftime. After two quick scores form each brought the game within one possession at 17-14, Mazour marched his team down the field in just five plays before pushing Boone Central’s advantage to 23-14.

 

Mazour’s five-yard touchdown rush was enough to hold up in the end as the Cardinals hung on for the 23-17 victory over the Knights to advance.

 

For just the second time during the entire season, the Cardinals found themselves trailing, in their next outing. Against Kearney Catholic in the state semifinals, the Stars scored first, late in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead. Similar to the only other time the Cardinals trailed though, those points would be the last ones Kearney Catholic could muster.

 

Boone Central advanced to the state championship after scoring 34 consecutive points to win, 34-7 over the Stars.

 

The state championship game pitted Nebraska Class C1’s top two teams in the No. 2 seed Cardinals taking on No. 1 seed Ashland-Greenwood.

 

Boone Central looked more like the top seed however, jumping out to a 21-7 first quarter lead before ultimately handing the Bluejays their lone defeat of the season, 54-14. The 40-point loss was the Bluejays largest margin of defeat in over two years.

 

The game was a fitting end to a season and a fitting end to head coach Arnold Johnson’s career at Boone Central, as his last game at the helm of the Cardinals sent him out as a State Champion.

 

Mazour finished the state championship game, throwing for 129 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for a season-high 248 yards.

 

With the departures of Coach Johnson as well as Mazour and several other seniors, the Cardinals will have an uphill road if they were to repeat as State Champions.

 

Nevertheless, Mazour and Coach Johnson exit Boone Central as Champions. A fitting exit for a legendary coach and truly one of the more exciting dual-threat quarterbacks in recent memory.

 

Offensive stat leaders

Rushing: Wyatt Mazour (1626 yards)

Passing: Wyatt Mazour (1869 yards)

Receiving: Travis Kennedy (515 yards)

All-Purpose: Wyatt Mazour (2307 yards)

Touchdowns: Wyatt Mazour (28)

Rush attempts: Wyatt Mazour (185 carries)

Receptions: Zac Glidden (27 catches)

 

Defensive stat leaders

Total tackles: Colton Pelster (75)

Tackles for loss: Michael Lipker (12.5)

Sacks: Michael Lipker (2.5)

Interceptions: Kyle Kramer (5)

Fumbles forced: Zac Glidden (3)

Fumbles recovered: Zac Glidden (4)

 

Team statistics

Total scoring: 543 points

Opponent scoring: 172

Total offense: 5095 yards

Total rushing yards: 2895 yards

Total passing yards: 2200 yards

Opponent offense: 3325 yards

Opponent rushing yards: 2362 yards

Opponent passing yards: 963 yards

Third down conversions: 50/120 (41.7 %)

Opponent third down conversions: 56/188 (29.8 %)

Turnover differential: +10 (23 interceptions, 10 fumbles)