If the Boonville Pirates football team had questions about the Moberly Spartans record entering Friday night’s game at the BHS Sports Complex, they were quickly answered in the first quarter as the Spartans scored two touchdowns on as many plays for a 38-7 victory.
While holding the Pirates, who dropped to 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the NCMC, to just 137 yards for the game, Moberly finished the game with 252 yards rushing and another 155 passing for a total of 407.
Boonville Pirates football coach Devin Brown said in a game like this in Week 8, you just throw it away and move on to next week’s game against Marshall.
“Throw it away,” Brown said. “I man they are going to watch it because I want it to sting a little bit, but you throw it away and move on because we have to play Marshall. It should be a good game so we have to come out and try to win the football game.”
While looking ahead to the future instead of the past, the Pirate players appeared to be stuck on the Fulton game the week before after winning in the closing seconds for a 42-39 victory.
As for Moberly, they know they have bigger things in store with possibly a district title and postseason play. Although that was put on the shelf early in the third quarter when the teams leading rusher for the season, junior Gregg Bain, was carted off on a stretcher after breaking his ankle.
Nonetheless, the Spartans treated Friday night’s game against Boonville like any other while hitting paydirt on their first-two possessions.
The only problem is that both touchdowns came on just two plays, as the Spartans scored from the Boonville 44 on a pass from senior quarterback Justin Connaway to Dimaja Smith in just 9 seconds to go up 7-0. Then, after holding the Pirates to six plays before punting, Moberly hit paydirt again on a 96-yard run by Bain to extend the lead to 13-0 with 6:20 remaining.
The Spartans didn’t stop there, however. After the two-point conversion by Dimaja Smith to make it 15-0, Moberly came back and blocked a Boonville punt while taking over at the Pirates 21.
Four plays later after moving the ball to the Boonville 1-yard line, Smith broke the plain for the Spartans third touchdown in three possessions to push the lead to 22-0 with 3:00 left in the first quarter.
The Spartans would add yet another scored at the 7:08 mark in the second quarter on a 9-yard run by Smith. Blake Joiner then added salt to the wound by hitting paydirt on the two-point conversion to go up by four scores at 30-0.
While honoring the seniors and parents prior to the game on Senior-Parents Night, the Pirates probably wish they could go back into the locker room for a do over after finishing the first half with seven punts in seven possessions.
Page 2 of 3 - As for Moberly, they had a little better outcome in the first half with four touchdowns and just one punt for the first 24 minutes.
Of course the rain had little affect on Moberly, as they closed out the first half with 159 yards rushing and 116 passing for a total of 275. Boonville on the other hand finished the half with just 46 yards rushing and 47 passing for a total of 93.
Despite being shutout in the first half, Brown said his team had a few good possessions. “We moved the ball well at times but we couldn’t do anything with it,” Brown said. “The way we started it could have been worse but we hung in there. Then, in the second half, they could have scored more obviously but we played a lot better.”
With the threat of a running clock still a remote possibility, the Spartans looked to their defense to make it happen early in the third quarter. Although the Pirates forced Moberly to punt the ball for only the second time in the ballgame, the Spartans came back three plays later with an interception at their own 29. Then, after a long delay after the injury to Bain, Dimaja Smith came back with a 71-yard run for the score to expand the lead to 36-0.
Connaway added the two-point conversion to make it 38-0, which was three points more than what was needed for a running clock.
Of course after an interception and punt on their first-two possessions of the second half, the Pirates caught a break after a 7-yard punt by Moberly. Meanwhile, after taking over at the Spartans 34-yard line, Boonville marched the ball down field on seven plays before junior running back Jordan Weaver hit paydirt on a 5-yard run with 6:58 in the ballgame to make it 38-7.
Boonville and Moberly traded possessions after that in the final six minutes to end the game.
When asked if Moberly was as good as advertised after the game, Brown said yes and no.
“I think they are a good team so I don’t want to take anything away from them,” Brown said, “but do I think we played like we played against Fulton or Mexico, it just depends on which Boonville team shows up. It wasn’t our best game but they are a good football team. They have good athletes and they have size up front. I wish we could have given them a better game. We were just slow coming out.”
For the game, Moberly had 12 first downs compared to nine for Boonville.
Jordan Weaver was the leading rusher in the game for Boonville with eight carries for 47 yards and one score while Dakota Meyer had 12 carries for 33 yards and Jacob Francis four carries for 6 yards.
Page 3 of 3 - Francis also completed 5 of 21 passes for 47 yards and one interception.
Austin Hulbert led all receivers in the game with three catches for 29 yards while Tyler Peterson had two catches for 18 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball for Boonville, senior linebacker Tyler Peterson finished his eighth straight game as the leading tackler with 13 solo stops and three assisted tackles for a total of 16.
Andrew Broyhill had eight solo stops and two assisted tackles for a total of 10, while Austin Hulbert added six solo stops and four assisted tackles, Dakota Meyer with four solo stops, Jordan Weaver and Grady Kay each with two solo stops and two assisted tackles, Jacob Francis with three solo stops, Tyler Polk with three assisted tackles, Brett Kenney with two solo stops, Nolan Murray with two assisted tackles and Ryder Mesik with one assisted tackle.
For Moberly, who improved to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the NCMC, Bain led all rushers in the game before his exit with four carries for 103 yards. Connaway, meanwhile, completed 7 of 16 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown. Dimaja Smith led all receivers in the game for Moberly with two catches for 88 yards.