Conditions were sloppy when Boone hosted Dallas Center-Grimes last Friday.
The result, however, was satisfying.
“I think it was just effort and we stayed dedicated to what we do,” Toreadors quarterback Tyler Casotti said after a 19-10 victory. “We have a lot of players we have to put into different positions, who we can count on.”
Casotti, one of several Boone players slowed by injuries, was the most dependable, passing for 113 yards and running twice for touchdowns.
It was a pivotal performance as the Toureadors improved to 4-3 on the season.
“The energy he brings when he’s on the field, the kids rally around it,” coach Thomas McGuire said of Casotti. “They know he’s the leader. They know he’s the guy with the ball.
“It just makes everyone around him better.”
Quali Sporaa is emerging as one of Boone’s most versatile contributors.
The speedy junior caught three passes for 39 yards, returned a punt 57 yards and made a leaping interception late in the fourth quarter.
“I thought Quali did a phenomenal job tonight of picking up some slack,” McGuire said. “He’s just a solid player wherever we put him.”
Everyone was a little out of sorts when kickoff was moved up to 5:30 because of rain.
“We got to truly play a football game, which was nice,” McGuire said. “I think that was a good move.”
The Toreadors tried to seize control after Casotti darted 8 yards for a second-quarter touchdown that put them up 7-0.
A 32-yard pass from Casotti to Sporaa extended the drive. So did an improvisational pitch to Norbert Riyazimana, as Casotti was about to be sacked.
“I rolled out to the right,” Casotti recalled. “(Riyazimana) said he was yelling at me, but I was bent all weird and I just saw him there.
“I got it through a little hole and he ran well.”
Dallas Center-Grimes evened the score by halftime and a field goal gave the Mustangs a 10-7 lead with 8:44 remaining in the third quarter.
“Our guys have been in close games all year,” McGuire said. “We’ve battled all year. We’ve come back all year.
“And they just know how to play when the pressure is on.”
A soggy playing field contributed to a series of glitches and turnovers.
“It started off alright,” Casotti said. “It wasn’t really wet. The cold wasn’t too bad, either.
“Once it started to get misty, the ball got a little bit wet, but I think we handled it pretty well.”
Gage Morain reached the end zone on a 5-yard run, giving Boone a 13-10 advantage with 6:15 left in the third quarter.
Dallas Center-Grimes missed a potential tying field goal early in the fourth period. Casotti clinched the win by bolting to the left for a 1-yard touchdown.
“It was definitely a relief, especially on fourth down,” Casotti said. “Our line got a decent push and it worked out.”
Dallas Center-Grimes tried to answer, but Sporaa’s pick ended the threat.
“It makes us feel great,” Sporaa said. “We love it. The reason we love it is we can play offense and score more points.”
Boone can secure a winning season and stay in the hunt for a postseason berth with another success this Friday at Perry.
“We’ve just got to keep doing our job and do what we can with this playoff structure,” McGuire said. “We’ve got to win two more games and hope we get a little help.”