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Blair, Boone thump Halls to earn region's only 5A win

Pat Kenney, Sports correspondent • Nov 9, 2019 at 2:12 AM

GRAY — Brennan Blair rushed for 150 yards, scored three touchdowns and returned an interception 49 yards to lead Daniel Boone to a convincing 32-3 victory over visiting Halls on Friday night in the opening round of the TSSAA Class 5A playoffs at Nathan Hale Stadium.

The Trailblazers (7-4) — who won their sixth game in a row — will travel to South-Doyle for the second round. The Cherokees (8-3) downed Cherokee 41-3 in their opener.

“We’re not flashy, don’t have a lot of superstars but we’re playing really good football right now,” said Boone coach Jeremy Jenkins.

The Red Devils (7-4) grabbed the early lead on a 32-yard field goal by Jake Marcantel and were driving for another score late in the first quarter when the Trailblazers held on fourth down at their own 4-yard line.

“I thought our line play tonight on both sides of the ball set the tone,” Jenkins noted. “Holding them to a field goal and then stopping that drive really turned it around for us.”

Blair snatched an errant pass from Halls quarterback Ty Humphrey and returned it 49 yards to the Red Devils’ 23. Three plays later, he raced around left end and went 17 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. A Jacob Jenkins PAT gave Boone a 7-3 lead and the ’Blazers never looked back.

On Boone’s next possession, Blair dashed 71 yards for a score and, suddenly, the Trailblazers led 14-3.

Blair added a 1-yard TD plunge midway through the third quarter and when Charlie Cole, who had missed nine weeks with an arm injury, returned a blocked punt 35 yards for a touchdown, the Red Devils were hopelessly behind 26-3.

Boone’s Phillip Page hauled in a 57-yard touchdown pass from Jackson Jenkins in the fourth quarter for the final margin of victory.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my offensive line,” Blair said. “They opened up those holes and I was able to bust it up the field.”

One of those linemen returned the praise for his running back.

“Our goal is to be the most physical team on the field,” said junior Matthew Masters. “We know that Brennan just needs an opening and he’ll be gone. He’s the most elusive back I’ve ever played with.”

Jackson Jenkins completed 4 of 8 passes for 108 yards and a TD.

Preston Miller had two interceptions for a Boone defense that finished with three interceptions and a fumble recovery to completely stymie Halls.

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