By Will Willems
There comes a key sequence of plays in every rivalry game that ultimately decides the outcome.
Such a sequence happened midway through the fourth quarter Friday night in the Stars’ 32-21 win against Lebanon.
The Tigers trailed by just five at 26-21 and Zac Bradley had just intercepted Western Boone quarterback C.J. McMann at the Lebanon 12.
Lebanon got a first down and called a reverse for Caleb Brannon, who made one of the more athletic plays you will ever see in high school football and hurdled Gage Veach. Unfortunately, leaping over a defender is not allowed in high school football and he was called for a 15-yard penalty and the Tigers were forced to punt.
A short punt gave the Stars the ball on the Tigers’ 39, but it appeared like the Tigers’ were going to force a stop when they had Western Boone at third and 11.
But McMann found L.V. Bowden for a 40-yard touchdown on a wheel route and the Tigers’ never threatened the lead again. Bowden had only eight receptions for 78 yards on the season, but had 3 for 58 and two scores Friday.
“We had practiced the play a lot so I knew it was coming,” Bowden said. “I dropped one on the same play last week so I wanted to make up for it.”
Western Boone head coach Jed Richman said he was excited for Bowden to contribute in the receiving game.
“That is just a competitor out there,” Richman said. “It is exciting to see kids making plays. I don’t know if we have ever beaten Lebanon three times in a row, and if we have, it hasn’t been since the late 1980s.”
Lebanon never threatened the lead after that.
There were plenty of other big plays Friday night.
The Stars had three sacks in the first half, all by Conrad Mitchell.
Western Boone also forced four turnovers on the night to overcome a couple of big Lebanon plays (a 49-yard pass from Isaac Harker to Jake Marshall and a 53-yard run by Collin Campbell) that led to scores.
Garrett Alexander picked off Isaac Harker’s first pass of the game and returned it to the Tigers’ five yard line, from where C.J. McMann scored from five yards out.
After the Tigers cut the lead to 12-7 and forced a Stars’ punt, Lebanon drove down to the Western Boone 44, but a fumble gave the ball back to Western Boone and the Stars went on a 10-play drive to go up 20-7.
For more story, read Saturday's Lebanon Reporter.