In perhaps the final meeting between the two schools, the Boonville Pirates football team can now put the Hannibal Pirates in the rearview mirror after last week’s 26-7 loss.
While the game against Hannibal opened the conference season for both teams, the game Friday night against Father Tolton presents a new challenge for the Pirates on Homecoming.
Boonville and Father Tolton will enter the game with identical records at 1-2 on the season. The Pirates beat Holden 23-19 in Week 2 while the Blazers first win came last week against Fulton 21-14.
In the first meeting between the two teams last year in Columbia, the Pirates defeated the Blazers 35-27.
As for the game last week against Hannibal, the Pirates took advantage of four Boonville turnovers and one interception to win for the ninth time in 10 meetings since 2008.
Boonville Pirates football coach Barry Blank said the kids came out and played hard and defensively did a really good job  against the run for the most part.
“We were making them earn a lot of their yardage,” Blank said. “We had some pass breakdowns and their kids made some great plays. Offensively I thought we moved the ball early but you can’t fumble inside 20. We had chances where you feel like you can at least put three on the board but we weren’t able to do that. Then we throw a pick six there and that’s probably me getting a little greedy too fast and should have been a little more patient, but our kids played hard.”
Maybe the Pirates were trying a little too hard knowing this would be the final meeting against the two teams. And considering that Boonville played Hannibal closer than any team in the conference last year, losing 28-20, Blank said the kids didn’t want to rest on moral victories.
“It’s a game they wanted and they came out and played hard and that’s all we ask of them,” Blank said.
Of course Hannibal also had something at stake in the game. After falling in the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs last year against Kearney, the Pirates   feel like they have the team this year to get back to the playoffs.
Needless to say there was nothing pretty about the first quarter as both teams struggled to hang on to the football while combining for four turnovers.
The only difference is that Hannibal had seven points on the board after opening the game with a six play, 63-yard drive for the score with 9:12 left.
The 35-yard pass from junior quarterback Gabe Worthington to receiver Evan Allen put the Pirates on top 7-0, a lead they would never relinquish.
Boonville also drove the ball down field on its first possession but fumbled the ball going into end zone for a touchback.
Three fumbles later, two by Hannibal and one again by Boonville, the Pirates hit paydirt again on a 15 play, 77 yard drive for the score to extend the lead to 14-0. The 21-yard pass from Worthington to Will Whitaker was the second touchdown pass of the game for Hannibal, who is traditionally a ground and pound team.
Hannibal also finished the first quarter with 88 total yards while Boonville had 95 total yards but nothing to show for its effort.
Hannibal, however, played opportunistic football again after recovering another Boonville fumble on its next drive at the Hannibal 21.
Six plays later, the Pirates went to the air for the third time on a 53-yard pass from Worthington to Whitaker to extend the lead to 20-0 with 1:05 left in the half.
Hannibal finished the first half with 11 first downs, 94 yards rushing and 150 passing for a total of 244. Boonville, meanwhile, had six first downs along with 83 yards rushing and 48 passing for a total of 131.
Worthington also had three touchdown passes on 6 of 8 attempts in the first half, two of which found its way into the hands of Whitaker, who had three catches for 83 yards. Worthington also had seven carries for 44 yards on the ground.
As for Boonville, sophomore running back Avian Thomas led all rushers in the first half with 12 carries for 74 yards. Junior quarterback Malik Brazil completed 4 of 7 passes for 48 yards.
The turnovers continued for Boonville in the second half when senior Kevin Campbell picked off a Malik Brazil pass and raced to the end zone for the score to extend the lead to 26-0.
Boonville had its chances after that when sophomore Tramell Coleman picked off a Worthington pass at the Pirates 10 with 5:18 left in the third.
Boonville sophomore Josh Polk also recovered a fumble at the Pirates 24 at the end of the third quarter but was forced to punt three plays later.
Boonville then held Hannibal on downs at the Pirates 3 yard line. Twelve plays later from the Hannibal 2, Avian Thomas punched it in for Boonville’s only score of the ballgame with 50 seconds left to make it 26-7.
 Blank said it was nice to get the touchdown even if it came with a minute left in the game.
“Just kind of finish on a positive note,” Blank said. “Avian made a great effort because it was actually a broken play. He just makes a great effort and he played hard. I also thought Avian grew up a lot in this game and that was just one example.”
For the game, Hannibal had 18 first downs along with 179 yards rushing and 199 passing for a total of 378. Boonville, meanwhile, finished the game with 12 first downs, 169 yards rushing and 72 passing for a total of 241.
On an individual note, Worthington rushed 14 times for 55 yards and completed 9 of 12 passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns.
Senior running back Billy Smashey also had 55 yards on the ground on 13 carries. Whitaker led Hannibal in receiving yards with four catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns.
For Boonville, Avian Thomas finished the game with 22 carries for 153 yards and one touchdown. Malik Brazil, meanwhile, completed 6 of 11 passes for 59 yards and one interception while junior tight end Brandon Johnson had two catches for 32 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore Josh Polk led the Pirates with 10 solo stops, four assisted tackles and one tackle for a loss.
Ben Eichelberger, meanwhile, finished the game with 13 total tackles and one tackle for a loss. Brandon Johnson had nine total tackles, followed by Andrew Pefferman with six total tackles and one tackle for a loss, Tramell Coleman with five tackles and one tackle for a loss, Dylan Watson also with five tackles, Gabe Rumbaoa and Kole Ficken each with four total tackles, Carson Campbell and Adam Edler with three tackles each, Ben Horst with two tackles and one tackle for a loss, Christian Kosnopfal also with two tackles and Peyton Keeran, Dalton Williams and Avian Thomas with one tackle apiece.
Polk also had one sack and one fumble recovery in the game while Tramell Coleman had one interception, Kole Ficken and Jaylen Butner each with one fumble recovery and Dylan Watson and Andrew Pefferman each with one caused fumble each.