Cyclones try to build on success

By Allen LaMountain

   For the Daniel Boone Trailblazers, taking a 14-7 lead in their game against Johnson County last week was just the beginning of their troubles.
   After taking the lead, the Blazers suffered a total team breakdown, surrendering 28 unanswered points, fumbling four times and losing possession on three of those as the Longhorns steamrolled to victory.
   For 'Betsy, things couldn't be better after a 64-21 thrashing of Sullivan East -- who may not have fully challenged the Cyclones talent wise -- in a contest that saw EHS rack up big play after big play.
   "We will take Daniel Boone very seriously," said EHS head coach Tommy Jenkins. "This is a conference game and homecoming for them, so I expect them to come out with intensity. Boone is a much better team than 1-5, but I think we're better than our record."
   Boone is going through some growing pains under first-year head coach David Richards, who took over the program from long time coach Ken Greene.
   Boone used to be defined by a tough inside running game, but now the forward pass has been introduced to the Gray school, with mixed results.
   Quarterback David Diehl has struggled with some of his throws and has not looked good throwing on the run, with roll-outs and sprint out passes. Diehl completed just 5-of-16 passes against the Longhorns for 78 yards, with an interception.
   "Their quarterback throws it fairly well, commented Jenkins. "He hasn't connected on the long ones, but he can hurt you on the short passes. I hope we can force a couple of mistakes out of him."
   The Boone ground game, although slowed by Johnson County, can still be a potent weapon as fullback Brian Barron is tough in short yardage situations, and tailback Chris Clear is shifty and elusive.
   The Cyclones will hope to take advantage of their better team speed to make plays against a rugged Boone defense, with Neal Wandell being played at tailback and flanker to try and get some mismatches on the Blazers.
   "Boone will flat out knock your head off on defense," said Jenkins. "They use a lot of stunts up front to confuse your blockers and when they get a chance to hit you they will. We want to try to do the things we are capable of and give ourselves the opportunity to get a win."
   Defensively the Cyclones stepped up last week with linebacker Vince Redd playing like a man possessed, intercepting a pass and taking it the distance along with making a handful of tackles in the half that he played.
   Also improving on the defensive side of the ball for Betsy were ends Matt Myers and Daniel Merryman, along with solid play contributed by Jason Grace and Weston Peters.
   The win against East was much-needed, but not really much of a test for the Cyclones. Tonight's contest will provide a better clue as to where the Cyclones stand in the ultra-competitive Big Eight conference.