The Warriors wrapped up the regular season with a 28-0 MVAL Antietam victory over Smithsburg to secure the top seed in the upcoming Maryland Class 1A West playoffs.
Boonsboro (8-2, 4-2 Antietam) will host No. 4-seed Brunswick, a 19-8 victor over Catoctin, next weekend.
“Our defense was stellar tonight,” Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders said. “Our offense wasn’t where it should be, but Smithsburg deserves some credit for that.
“We put ourselves where we wanted to, in the best possible position,” Anders said.
Boonsboro picked up 278 yards in total offense, but relied on pair of special gems to help control the outcome.
Leading 8-0 midway through the second quarter, Ryan Ruiz stepped in front a Zach Krall pass and scampered 64 yards for a touchdown with just more than two minutes left in the half for a 15-0 lead following Trevor Walsh’s kick.
“The interception was a huge play,” Anders said. “Our coverage was good all night.”
The Boonsboro defense forced a quick three-and-out by Smithsburg (4-6, 1-5) to open the third quarter, and Zach Poffenberger put the Warriors on the board on a 65-yard punt return, made possible by a bone-crushing block by teammate Tyler Hollis.
For the game, Boonsboro had three interceptions — the others by Ryan Ruiz and Justin Jardeleza — along with a fumble recovery.
Smithsburg’s defense stuck its nose in and played tough, but the offense couldn’t produce any offense, getting only 31 rushing yards and 40 passing yards.
“It’s been frustrating this year,” Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff said. “We’ve got good athletes, but for some reason they tend to do some things on the field they’re not coached to do.”
Boonsboro took the opening drive and marched 68 yards, with a 22-yard pass from Chad Cowden to Jardeleza and a fourth-down play by Cowden for a first down becoming key plays.
The biggest play, however, was a roughing-the-passer penalty on Smithsburg that gave Boonsboro the ball on the 12, with Jardeleza eventually scoring from the 1.
“We’ve had more roughing-the-passer and late-hit penalties on us than ever,” Orndorff said. “It’s about self-discipline.”
The Warriors made it 8-0 when the defense forced Krall to roll right through the end zone, unloading a pass which was flagged for intentional grounding and a safety to start the second quarter.
The final score came with 11:13 left in the fourth quarter, as Ethan Foster capped a 49-yard drive — following a short Smithsburg punt of 16 yards — by scoring from the 8.
The Warriors were guilty of four turnovers — two on fumbles along with interceptions by Smithsburg’s Colby Messersmith and Ben Bush.
Anders said the layoff early in the week should not have led to the miscues.
“You’re playing in Week 10, so the layoff should be no big deal,” he said. “By now you’ve had 50 or so practices.”
Jardeleza churned out 129 yards rushing on 18 carries and Foster added 63 on 13 attempts.
Smithsburg’s leading rusher was Dalton Condo with 23 yards on six carries.
The victory gives Boonsboro a 25-21 lead in the series. The Warriors also posted their sixth shutout of the season.
Boonsboro 28, Smithsburg 0
Boonsboro 6 9 7 6 — 28
Smithsburg 0 0 0 0 — 0
B—Justin Jardeleza 1 run (kick failed)
B—Safety, Krall called for intentional grounding in end zone
B—Ryan Ruiz 64 INT return (Trevor Walsh kick)
B—Zach Poffenberger 65 punt return (Walsh kick)
B—Ethan Foster 8 run (kick failed)
First downs 18 6
Rushes-Yards 51-208 33-31
Passing Yards 62 40
Comp-Att-Int 3-11-2 4-15-3
Total Offense 62-270 48-71
Fumbles-Lost 5-2 1-1
Punts-Avg. 3-31.0 7-29.3
Penalties-Yards 7-35 8-48
RUSHING—Boonsboro, Jardeleza 18-129, Foster 13-63, Poffenberger 9-11, Ruiz 3-9, Cowden 6-6, Walsh 1-(minus 5), Hollis 1-(minus 2), Team (minus 7); Smithsburg, Condo 7-23, Krall 9-11, Ryan 11-5, Stevens 2-4, Scott 1-2, Schmieder 1-0, Team (minus 20).
PASSING—Boonsboro, Cowden 3-10-2-62, Poffenberger 0-1-0-0; Smithsburg, Krall 4-15-3-40.
RECEIVING—Boonsboro, Derocher 1-32, Jardeleza 1-22, Poffenberger 1-8; Smithsburg, Condo 1-14, Sprecher 1-12, Stevens 1-7, Ryan 1-7.