The Boonville Pirates football team needed just one more stand to preserve the victory Friday night on the road against the Marshall Owls.
In a back and forth game in the first half, which ended in a tie at 14-all, the Pirates expanded that lead to 28-14 with 9:44 left in the ballgame.
However, the game was far from being over at that point as the Owls rallied back with 13 unanswered points to pull to within one at 28-27 with 1:38 left.
Marshall coach John Stockman then elected to go for the win on the two-point conversion only to fall short of the goal line. Then, after forcing the Pirates to punt from their own 1-yard line with 1:03 remaining, Marshall had the ball again at the Boonville 29 needing only a field goal for the win.
However, after losses on their first-two plays totaling 7 yards, the Owls had no choice but to spike the ball with no timeouts and 14.6 seconds remaining. Meanwhile, on fourth and 17 from the 36, Marshall watched its final pass fall to the ground as the Pirates celebrated a 28-27 victory.
Boonville finished the regular season at 4-5 overall and 3-3 in the NCMC while Marshall dropped to 2-7 overall and 1-5 in the conference.
The Pirates will now play Macon, 7-2, in the opening round of the district playoffs on Friday, Oct. 25 in Macon starting at 7 p.m. The Tigers fell Friday night against the Centralia Panthers 49-14.
Despite losing the game by one, Marshall finished the game with 14 first downs along with 54 yards passing and 345 yards rushing for a total of 399. Boonville, meanwhile, had 10 first downs along with 170 yards passing and 129 rushing for a total of 299.
Senior quarterback Jacob Francis led the Pirates in both rushing and passing while completing 10 of 20 passes for 170 yards and one touchdown while rushing 12 times for 121 yards and two scores.
Junior Austin Hulbert led the Pirates in receiving yards with five catches for 98 yards while Tyler Peterson had three catches for 50 yards and one touchdown. Peterson, who now owns two records on defense for the Pirates this season for most tackles in a single game with 19 and most solo tackles in a season currently with 122, had 18 solo stops and eight assisted tackles in the game against Marshall.
For Marshall, quarterback Canaan Heinzler completed 3 of 12 passes for 54 yards while Devin Cott led the Owls in rushing with 40 carries for 240 yards and four touchdowns. Logan Harris had all three receptions in the game for 54 yards. On defense, senior Brett Maupin led Marshall with seven solo stops and one assisted tackle.