After owning the Moberly Spartans the last-four years in the North Central Missouri Conference, the Boonville Pirates football team knew it would take a effort like no other Friday night on the road against the 5-2 Spartans.
Of course the Pirates weren’t counting on playing the game short-handed against the Spartans, or losing their starting quarterback early in the first half. But with one player suspended for the entire game and four others for one half, the odds grew even more.
Nonetheless, the Pirates put up a good fight despite playing with a make-shift lineup while falling to a much improved Moberly squad 24-6.
While the loss dropped Boonville to 4-4 overall and 3-2 in the NCMC, it also snapped a four-game win streak which started in Week 4 of the season against the Knob Noster Panthers. The Pirates will closeout the regular season this coming Friday night at home against the Marshall Owls starting at 7 p.m. Like Boonville, the Owls fell Friday night against the Hannibal Pirates 28-8. Marshall will come into the game against Boonville with a record of 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the conference.
Commenting on Friday’s game against Moberly, Boonville Pirates football coach Devin Brown said it’s tough to beat anybody when you are short-handed but then losing Jacob Francis in the first half really hurt.
“We could have come down here and got beat 40-0,” Brown said, “but the kids fought through the adversity against a good Moberly team. Honestly I thought we out-played them in the second half. I thought we moved the ball well at times, but we just have to get better and not make bad decisions. I also have to make better decisions. We got down to their 20 late in the second quarter and I threw the ball when we probably should have kept it on the ground because at that time we were running the ball well.”
Although the Spartans had plenty of incentives in the game, namely the four-game losing streak against the Pirates, they also had a chance to naildown second place in the conference with a win.
As for Boonville, they had a chance to extend its win streak to five games against Moberly on a night the Spartans were honoring the seniors and their parents.
Needless to say, the Pirates never really got a chance to do either while closing out the first half down 17-0.
But then to make matters worse right before the half, senior Rick Webb booted a 48-yard field goal with no time on the clock to break the old record set by Trey Barrow, who held the previous record for the Spartans at 47 yards. Barrow now kicks for the Missouri Tigers football team.
Page 2 of 3 - Of course the Pirates also had their hands full early on in the contest. After going three and out to start the game, Boonville watched the Spartans march down the field for the score on a six-play, 60-yard drive with 8:55 left. Senior running back Joe Galaske hit paydirt from the Boonville 9 to make it 7-0.
Then, after another three and out by the Pirates, Moberly topped its last touchdown with an even more impressive drive by marching the ball 93 yards on 14 plays for the score on a 18 yard run again by Galaske to extend the lead to 14-0 with 11:55 left in the half.
While running a total of six plays in the first quarter, Boonville may have hit a low point after punting for a third time in as many possessions early in the second quarter. Meanwhile, after stopping Moberly on fourth and three at the Pirates 17, Boonville initiated its best drive of the ballgame by moving the ball eight plays down to the Moberly 17. However with only 47 seconds left in the half, Brown felt like the Pirates could catch the Spartans off-guard with a throw in the back of the end zone. As it turned out, Brown would probably like that one call back as Moberly picked off the pass from quarterback Jared Oser and then drove in to the Boonville 31. And then if the Spartans didn’t have enough momentum going in at the half already up 14-0, Webb lifted their spirits even more with a 48-yard field goal.
While the Pirates would just as soon forget the first half with three punts and one interception, they knew the second half would be more to their liking with three of the suspended players returning to the field.
But even then the Spartans took what momentum they had in the first half and marched right down the field on their opening drive in the second half. However after moving the ball down to the Boonville 21 on 11 plays, the Pirates caught a break when Webb missed wide right on a 38-yard field goal attempt.
Boonville also looked like an entirely different team in the second half. Despite missing its starting quarterback and leading rusher for the season, the Pirates hit the Spartans where it hurts by moving the ball 80 yards on nine plays for the score with 2:00 left in the third quarter to cut the lead to 17-6. The 3-yard run by senior quarterback Jared Oser gave the Pirates new life while trailing now by just 11.
The defense also had its moments in the second half. While failing to stop Moberly in the first half while giving up two scores and a field goal on four possessions, Boonville actually dominated the Spartans at times while forcing a three and out on their second possessions. The Pirates also had a chance to add to their score after Moberly botched the punt at its own 26. However after moving the ball down to the Spartans 11, Boonville was forced to turned the ball back over to Moberly on downs with 10:27 left in the game.
Page 3 of 3 - Things got considerably worse after that for Boonville. After forcing another punt by Moberly, the Pirates turned the ball over for the second time in the game after fumbling the ball at their own 39. Meanwhile, after holding the Spartans again on downs at the Boonville 1 on a great defensive stand, the Pirates ran into some more bad luck when Moberly intercepted a tipped pass and ran it in for the score from 28 yards out with 2:21 left to go up 24-6.
The Pirates could do little after that while turning the ball back over to Moberly on downs with one minute left in the game. The Spartans then ran two plays before taking a knee to end the game.
In all, Boonville had one touchdown, one fumble and one interception in the second half. They also turned the ball over twice on downs. As for Moberly, they had just one touchdown along with one missed field goal attempt and two punts.
For the game, Moberly had 20 first downs along with 153 yards rushing and another 188 passing for a total of 341 while Boonville had only nine first downs, 76 yards rushing and 109 passing for a total of 175.
On an individual note, senior quarterback Jared Oser rushed 15 times for 36 yards and completed 6 of 14 passes for 71 yards with two interceptions. Damario Walker, meanwhile, finished the game with six carries for 29 yards while hauling in one pass for 36 yards.
Freshman Jordan Weaver had two carries for 11 yards while Brenden Meyer added one carry for 2 yards. Senior Gus Kemp also had three catches for 50 yards.
As for the defense, senior linebacker Jalen Poindexter had a total of 14 tackles with nine solo stops and five assisted tackles.
Tanner Green finished the game with eight solo stops and three assisted tackles while Damario Walker added seven solo stops and four assisted tackles, Jordan Weaver with seven solo stops and two assisted tackles, Jared Oser with five solo stops and two assisted tackles, Jordan Bledsoe with two solo stops and seven assisted tackles, Jay Barnhart with two solo stops and two assisted tackles, Nolan Murray and Brennan Hammers each with one solo stop and three assisted tackles, Brenden Meyer and Jacob Francis with three solo tackles each, Kyle Cook with one solo stop and two assisted tackles and Tyler Peterson, Austin Henderson and Brett Kenney with one solo stop and one assisted tackle apiece.
For Moberly, Galaske had 14 carries for 65 yards while sophomore running back Greg Bain rushed 10 times for 43 yards.
Junior quarterback Justin Connaway, meanwhile, completed 18 of 25 passes for 188 yards. Senior Brandon Elkins was on the receiving end on five of those passes for 97 yards. Junior Blake Joiner had six catches for 38 yards.