Boyd held off a determined Callisburg squad at home Friday night to win 41-27 on the strength of a 237-yard rushing night by senior Fino Cardona.
The Yellowjackets (2-5, 2-1) had a commanding 34-13 lead after three quarters, but two Callisburg touchdowns to start the fourth quarter made it a one-touchdown game with plenty of time still left to play.
That’s when Cardona plowed into the middle of the line and kept plowing. With the Wildcats focused on trying to rip the ball away, they forgot to tackle him – and Cardona churned through the pack until he broke free for a 57-yard run that clinched the game.
“I told Fino beforehand, ‘You do not fumble – keep those hands in and drive.'” Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins said after the game. “He just kept going.”
Cardona’s 25 carries included a couple of two-yard losses and a couple more no-gains. But the opportunistic runner also broke off six double-digit gains and scored three touchdowns.
Sophomore Quaylynn Wells got the ball just seven times, but had runs of 13, 15 and 14 yards.
And sophomore quarterback Clay Barnett continued to grow into his role, hitting eight of 14 passes for 97 yards and three touchdowns.
Dalton Stidham was his favorite target, catching four for 58 yards and a touchdown, but Barnett used five receivers. Joseph Tate and Austin Cozby also made touchdown grabs in the balanced Boyd attack, and Nathan Thomas converted on five of six extra-point kicks.
“Our offense… last week we didn’t block very well,” Hopkins said. “This week, we blocked pretty well.”
But the coach gave much of the credit for the win to a defense that hit hard, got three takeaways and stopped Callisburg (4-2, 0-2) when they had to.
“Our defense played well,” he said. “We gave up 27, but we played a lot more physical than we’ve been playing. The defense stepped it up tonight, for dang sure.”
The Wildcats ate up more than six-and-a-half minutes on their opening drive. With the aid of a pass interference call on a fourth-and-12 play, they drew first blood as quarterback Rheyce Childress directed a multi-back wishbone attack.
But once they got the ball, Boyd’s first three plays went for first downs, and it took them less than two minutes to take the lead on an 8-yard pass from Barnett to Stidham.
Callisburg’s next three drives ended on two fumbles and an interception, and by the time they scored again the ‘Jackets had put two more touchdowns on the board. They capped the first half with a 7-yard strike from Barnett to Cozby.
Boyd led 34-13 in the third quarter after Barnett hit Stidham for 34 yards on a third-and-19 at the Wildcat 37. A five-yard penalty only served to make Cardona’s next carry an 8-yard touchdown instead of a 3-yarder.
Callisburg came back, however, led by Childress, to score twice in three minutes in the fourth period and make a 34-27 game before Cardona’s big run iced it.
“That was a good win for us,” Hopkins said.
The ‘Jackets get next weekend off before heading to Ponder.
BOYD 41, CALLISBURG 27
Callisburg … 6 … 7 … 0 … … 14 … – … 27
Boyd … 7 … 21 … 6 … … 7 … – … 41
Callisburg (5:10) – Eli Hollandsworth 4 run, PAT kick no good.
Boyd (3:12) – Dalton Stidham 8 pass from Clay Barnett, Nathan Thomas kick.
Boyd (8:00) – Cardona 1 run, Thomas kick.
Boyd (7:01) – Joseph Tate 12 pass from Barnett, Thomas kick.
Callisburg (2:07) – Jacob King 16 pass from Rheyce Childress, Gage Oppel kick.
Boyd (0:09) – Austin Cozby 7 pass from Barnett, Thomas kick
Boyd (0:59) – Cardona 8 run, kick no good.
Callisburg (9:07) – Mason Langthorn 1 run, Oppel kick.
Callisburg (6:48) – Langthorn 22 pass from Childress, Oppel kick.
Boyd (6:30) – Cardona 57 run, Thomas kick.
CALLISBURG … BOYD
First Downs … 16 … 25
Rushes-Yards … 50-224 … 40-268
Passing Yards … 51 … 97
Total Yards … 285 … 365
Comp-Att-Int … 4-8-1 … 8-14-1
Punts-Avg. … 1-15 … 1-6
Fumbles-lost … 2-2 … 1-0
Penalties … 5-30 … 6-55
Rushing – Callisburg, Childress, 19-129. Boyd, Cardona, 25-237.
Receiving – Callisburg, King 4-51. Boyd, Stidham, 4-58.
Passing – Callisburg, Childress, 4-8-1, 51. Boyd, Barnett 8-14-1, 97.