Big picture: Buoyed by an impressive run game, Times No. 4 Boone Grove went up 28-6 in the first half and survived a valiant second-half comeback effort by No. 10 Hanover Central to earn a 41-26 win. Boone Grove improved to 4-1 on Friday night at the Wildcats Den and spoiled Hanover’s homecoming.
Turning point: Following a punt by Hanover Central, Boone Grove extended its lead from 28-26 to 34-26 when Brae’ton Vann scored an 8-yard touchdown with 6:07 to go in the game. The Wolves also recovered an onside kick right after that drive and eventually scored an insurance touchdown, a 16-yarder by Vann.
Boone Grove player of the game: Vann — Workhorse is an understatement for the junior tailback. With 38 total carries in the previous four games, Vann toted the ball 32 times for 227 yards and three touchdowns Friday night. “I thought I’d piece them up like everyone else, but I had to put in some work,” Vann said.
Hanover Central player of the game: Senior wide receiver Brandon Demoff — The top target in a fast-paced aerial attack had nine catches for 158 yards, two touchdowns and a two-point conversion. He scored on touchdown hauls of 29 and 12 yards in the third quarter as the Wildcats rallied from a 28-6 deficit.
Quote: “The third quarter was really bad for us,” Boone Grove coach Dan Kukulski said after the Wildcats cut the lead to 28-26 on the first play of the fourth quarter. “They’re high school kids and occasionally they’re going to get out of whack. We brought them back, and everything worked out in the end.”
Beyond the box score: Boone Grove leads the all-time series 4-1 now. The Wolves began playing varsity games full-time in 2011, and a 35-7 loss in 2016 is the lone blemish on Boone’s ledger against the Wildcats.
Up next week: Boone Grove (4-1, 2-1 Greater South Shore Conference) at Griffith, 7 p.m. Friday; Hanover Central (3-2, 2-1 Greater South Shore Conference) at Whiting (5-0, 3-0 Greater South Shore Conference), 7 p.m. Friday.