Everytime Boonville senior running back Kelsey Callaway touches the ball, he said he takes it personal. So with 35 carries Friday night during Homecoming against the Mexico Bulldogs, Callaway must have really took it personal while rushing for a career-high 282 yards and three touchdowns en route to a 26-0 victory.
After hitting paydirt in the first quarter on a 2-yard run, Callaway sent a message to Mexico late in the second quarter that it was going to be his night while out-running the entire Bulldogs' team for 85 yards to put the Pirates on top 12-0 at the half.
The only problem is that Callaway wasn't done. Although the first half was sloppy at times for both teams, Callaway erased all of that with his third score of the game from the 1 to make it 19-0.
Boonville then added some insurance on a 15-yard touchdown run by senior receiver Damario Walker in the fourth quarter for the final tally.
"Our line is finally here and our wide receivers are blocking like they should be," Callaway said. "We shouldn't get beat by anybody. After I scored my first touchdown I just thought keep giving the ball to me because I just wanted to run all over Mexico. I do take it personal, though. I didn't want to come down. At times I should break some but at times I don't. It's an off night when I don't get the ball that much."
While recording its first shutout of the season, the Pirates also raised its season record to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the NCMC.
Boonville Pirates football coach Devin Brown said that's what the option can do is break big plays.
"We broke some big plays like we did last week," Brown said. "We also threw it a couple of times and completed some and that was important. With Kelsey, last week he had only 50-60 yards so it's kind of the thing like pick your poison. Last week it was our quarterbacks and this week its him and that is what the option does. Which one are you going to take away and that is what we have to find out who it is and that is the one we have to exploit."
The Pirates definitely exploited Mexico's defense with over 450 yards in total offense. Even the first half was lop-sided as Boonville had over 260 yards in total offense compared to just 88 for the Bulldogs.
But even though Boonville led 12-0 at the break on runs of 2 and 85 yards by Callaway, they also punted the ball twice and failed to capitalize on fourth down on two occasions. As for Mexico, they were dismal at best while punting the ball on four possessions and then turning the ball back over on downs on the fifth.
Page 2 of 3 - The Pirates also had a couple of nice defensive stands in the first half while holding Mexico on fourth and three from their own 5 with 4:35 left in the first quarter. From that point on the Bulldogs didn't do much offensively as Boonville forced four straight three and outs.
As for the second half, the Pirates couldn't be stopped while hitting on their first-two possessions.
The first touchdown of the half came after a 13-play drive, which resulted in a 1-yard run by Callaway with 3:07 left in the third to make it 19-0. Then, after another three and out by Mexico, the Pirates put together another 13 play drive from their own 17. While mixing the run with the pass at times, Boonville also took almost seven minutes off the clock by moving the ball down to the Bulldogs 15. Meanwhile, on the 13th play, Walker had his name called and delivered with a run around the left side with 6:33 left to extend the lead to 26-0.
Walker said the week before at Knob Noster coach told him to stay outside but he went inside instead. "Coach told me at practice this week to stick to the outside so I stuck to the outside and found a hole and found the end zone," Walker said. "We just have to keep moving the ball on offense-passing and running and passing and running. I feel like we are finally coming together. All the seniors are coming together, the offensive line is coming together, our receivers, our defensive line and the linebackers are all coming together as a team and it's time to win five straight."
Despite finishing the game with 21 first downs, 364 yards rushing and 87 passing, Brown said he thought the offense was a little flat at times.
"That's football games," Brown said. "If you look at a lot of teams they feel each other out the first half and the second half you are able to exploit a little bit so that's a big deal. What surprised me though is that we had no penalties during the game. The referees didn't call many penalties like last week but Mexico didn't have many either."
As for the shutout, Brown said being able to hold on fourth and five from their own 5 in the first quarter was huge. "If they get that score they either tie us or go up by 1 so I thought it was important for the defense to get that stop," Brown said. "But all in all, I thought this was the most complete game of the season. Now we have to get back to work and try to beat Kirksville on Friday."
In addition to Callaway's night, senior quarterback Jared Oser completed 4 of 7 passes for 65 yards while junior Jacob Francis hit on 2 of 4 attempts for 22 yards.
Walker also had a big night catching the ball for Boonville. With one touchdown run of 15 yards, Walker also hauled in five catches for 68 yards.
Page 3 of 3 - As for the kicking game, senior Bailey Pfeiffer, who was 5 for 5 the week before against Knob Noster, hit on 2 of 3 extra point attempts against Mexico.
Defensively in the game against the Bulldogs, senior linebacker Jalen Poindexter had six solo stops and four assisted tackles.
Junior Tyler Peterson, meanwhile, finished the game with seven solo stops and one assisted tackle. Jared Oser had six solo stops and two assisted tackles while Jay Barnhart added three solo stops, three assisted tackles and one sack, Kelsey Callaway with three solo stops, one assisted tackle and one sack, Andrew Broyhill with two solo stops and one assisted tackle, Dakota Meyer with one solo stop and two assisted tackles, Jordan Bledsoe with two solo stops, Brett Kenney with one solo stop and one assisted tackle, Austin Henderson, Damario Walker and Jordan Weaver each with one solo stop and Gus Kemp, Nolan Murray and Kyle Cook with one assisted tackle each.