Boonville senior Kelsey Callaway remembers the game all too well when the Pirates hosted the Fulton Hornets in the first meeting back on October 5th.
Although the Pirates wound up beating the Hornets 47-21, Callaway didn't feel like he made much of an impact even though he rushed for 79 yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns.
Fast forward to last night's district opener against the Hornets, matching the No. 3 seeded Boonville Pirates against No. 6 Fulton. Although the Hornets entered the game winners of it's last-two games, they were no match for Boonville, who put up 20 first-quarter points en route to a 48-28 victory.
As for Callaway, the senior running back made a statement last night by rushing for a career-high 328 yards on 34 carries while tying a school record for touchdowns with six.
More importantly, though, the Pirates will move on to the semifinal round of the Class 3 District 6 playoffs against the Centralia Panthers on Wednesday, Oct. 31 at Centralia starting at 7 p.m. The Panthers, the No. 2 seed in the district, beat seventh-seeded Southern Boone of Ashland last night 48-6.
In other games in the district, No. 1 California throttled MMA 71-0 while No. 5 Chillicothe knocked off fourth-seeded Macon 30-8. California will host Chillicothe on October 31.
As for his performance against the Hornets, Callaway said he couldn't do it without his offensive line.
"I just read Fulton's defense and the rest just came natural," Callaway said. "The first game we played against Fulton I was kind of lost so I had to come back strong last night. Coach said no fumbles and that got to me a little bit so I had to do better for my team and not fumble the ball. This game was a boost for us. We have to fix the defense a little bit but I think we will be alright."
Although Callaway accounted for 328 yards by himself, the Pirates also had their best offensive output of the season with 536 yards rushing and another 31 passing for a total of 567. As for Fulton, they had only 118 yards rushing but passed for 279 yards for a total of 397.
Boonville Pirates football coach Devin Brown said he thought his team came out strong against Fulton but then gave up a touchdown right before half.
Boonville led 26-0 at the 9:26 mark in the second quarter before giving up a late score on a 18-yard pass with 18 seconds left in the half.
"I think we had a letdown a little bit obviously because they saw the score and we had beaten them before," Brown said. "Then, in the second half, we came out and they started throwing it and then we lost Jordan Bledsoe in the secondary so they were able to throw the ball on us. Offensively, I thought we did well but it wasn't a complete victory."
Page 2 of 4 - Boonville senior Tanner Green, who played on both sides of the ball, said his teammates came out strong and played hard and that's exactly what they wanted to do but slipped up a little bit on defense. "The pass defense was bad and the pass rush was bad and then I thought we came out a little stagnant in the second half, so we will have to play harder if we are going to win against Centralia. But I think it will be a good matchup so we will see how it goes."
So far so good.
Despite giving up 28 points in the game, the Pirates had their way early on against Fulton while scoring on two straight possessions to go up 14-0. Of course Callaway figured on both touchdowns while scoring from 17 yards out on the first drive to make it 7-0 with 9:43 left. Then, after forcing a three and out by Fulton, Boonville came back and initiated a seven-play, 84-yard drive for the score when Callaway hit paydirt from 6 yards out with 6:05 remaining to extend the lead to 14-0.
The Hornets, meanwhile, crossed mid-field only three times in the first half.
Although Boonville led 26-7 at the break, the score could have been worse if not for a penalty to nullify a 56-yard touchdown run by Callaway with 3:56 left in the opening period.
Of course it mattered little as the Pirates got the ball right back after a punt when Damario Walker picked off a pass at the Boonville 30. Meanwhile, on the very next play, Callaway shed numerous tackles again on his way to the end zone to push the lead to 20-0.
With the offense clicking on all four cylinders, the Pirates hit paydirt again for the fourth time in five possessions on a 5-yard run by Callaway with 9:26 left in the half to make it 26-0.
While missing a PAT and a two-point conversion after the touchdown runs by Callaway, that was about the only thing the Pirates did wrong up until that point in the game.
However, after the Hornets picked off a pass from quarterback Jared Oser down to the 2, Fulton initiated its best drive of the game by moving the ball 98 yards on nine plays for the score when sophomore quarterback Sam Christensen hooked up with Chris Tilson on a 18-yard scoring strike with 40 seconds left to cut the lead to 26-7.
The Pirates threw another pick right before the half but still went into the break up by 19.
Callaway, meanwhile, finished the first half with 15 carries for 177 yards and four touchdowns while junior Jacob Francis added three carries for 63 yards and Gus Kemp with six carries for 56 yards.
The second half was a carbon copy of the first, as Boonville came out and recovered a Fulton fumble and then scored six plays later on a 31-yard run by Callaway to extend the lead to 32-7 with 7:43 left.
Page 3 of 4 - It gets better, though. After failing earlier on a two-point conversion, the Pirates came back this time on a run by Walker to go ahead 34-7.
Fulton didn't go down without a fight, though. The Hornets came right back and hit paydirt two mores times on a 1-yard run by Christensen with 4:51 left in the third and a 45-yard pass from Christensen to Tilson with 2:37 remaining to cut the lead to 13 at 34-21.
However it was pretty much all Boonville after that as Oser capped off a 12-play, 56-yard drive for the score on a 7-yard run with 9:33 left in the game to make it 42-21.
Then, after an interception by Francis on a tipped pass, Callaway hit paydirt for the sixth time on a 21-yard run with 3:53 remaining to go ahead 48-21.
With the starters all on the sidelines with the Pirates leading by 27, the Hornets came back and hit paydirt for a final time on a four-play, 99-yard drive on a 45-yard pass from Christensen to Tilson with 48 seconds left to cut the lead to 20 at 48-28.
For the game, the Pirates finished with 22 first downs compared to just 14 for Fulton.
Francis, meanwhile, closed out the game with six carries for 76 yards. Kemp had seven carries for 63 yards while Walker added seven carries for 47 yards, Oser two for 21 yards and one touchdown, Dakota Meyer with three carries for 15 yards and Austin Henderson with one carry for 1 yard.
Oser also completed 3 of 6 passes for 31 yards with two interceptions.
As for receiving yards, Walker had one catch for 13, Tyler Peterson one for 12 and Kemp one for 6 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, Oser and Jalen Poindexter each had 10 tackles. Oser finished the game with seven solo stops, three assisted tackles and one recovered fumble while Poindexter added nine solo stops and one assisted tackle.
Walker had two solo stops, two assisted tackles and one interception while Tyler Peterson added three solo stops and one assisted tackle, Kemp and Jordan Weaver each with two solo stops and two assisted tackles, Dakota Meyer with two solo stops and one assisted tackle, Jay Barnhart with one solo stop, two assisted tackles, one-half sack and one fumble recovery, Brennan Hammers with two solo stops, one sack and one forced fumble, Andrew Broyhill with one solo stop, one assisted tackle and one-half sack, Tanner Green with two solo stops, Jacob Francis with one solo stop and one interception and Jordan Bledsoe, Nolan Murray and Brett Kenney each with one assisted tackle.
For Fulton, Sam Christensen had 10 carries for 55 yards and one touchdown while completing 17 of 30 passes for 279 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Chris Tilson appeared to be Christensen's favorite target with seven catches for 158 yards and three touchdowns while Randall Cole had six catches for 85 yards and Devin Gibson 11 catches for 36 yards.
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