Boonville will look to add to its four game winning streak
Hearing Boonville Pirates football coach Greg Hough talk about the Hallsville Indians leaves many to wonder how the Indians are currently 2-5.
After blanking the California Pintos last Friday 49-0, the Indians also improved to 2-3 in the Tri-County Conference.
With the state-ranked Southern Boone Eagles in Boonville on Senior Parents Night on Friday, Oct. 19th, Hough said he doesn’t feel like Friday’s game against Hallsville is a trap game for the Pirates.
“As the season has gone on they are a team that’s really progressed,” Hough said. “They have kind of changed their identity a little bit. They’re getting under center more than what we’ve seen earlier in the year when they played Osage. They like to run the jet sweep with inside run so it’s one of those things where it’s option football to an extent because you can’t overpursue. We have to do our job. They are a run first team and they have some pretty decent athletes. Their running back is also pretty good and does a nice job, and then to top it off the offensive line is strong. There are a couple of kids that are big physical kids that do a good job.”
While the 49 points against the Pintos all came in the first half, Hough said Hallsville may be a 2-5 team but they are a team that is improving at the right time.
Needless to say it’s been a bumpy ride to say the least for Hallsville. After dropping the season opener against Father Tolton 29-16, the Indians also dropped the next two against Ava 31-0 and Eldon 6-0. Then, after beating Osage in Week 4 40-16, Hallsville also fell against Southern Boone 34-8 and Blair Oaks 69-21 in Week 5 and 6.
Hough said he was impressed with what they did last week and then the other film they have on the Blair Oaks game, the Indians jumped out to a 14-0 lead.
As for the Pirates, they had a great first half while leading Eldon 21-0 but then had one touchdown called back in the second half and one potential touchdown dropped at the 1 yard line.
But even while being outscored by the Mustangs 21-13, the Pirates still managed to put up over 380 yards in total offense while giving up 307.
Hough said Eldon really brought the pressure, probably more than he anticipated.
“They blitzed us a lot and it was very physical,” Hough said. “It was a frustrating night. I think sometimes the scoreboard is a false sense of security and also sometimes a false sense of disappointment. We just need to handle us. I don’t care what the scoreboard says, we need to handle us and play to our potential and then as the year goes on our potential should be rising as opposed to treading water.”
Despite the missed opportunities, which probably left two more scores on the field, Hough said for the most part the defense played pretty good.
He said the Mustangs scored one touchdown on a punt block and then added a touchdown late against the JV team.
“It doesn’t show when you see 21 points on the scoreboard, but when you reflect back on it it was a pretty good game by the defense,” Hough said. “It’s just the small things and to me you do the small things to make the big things happen. The small things this past week is what killed us.”
The Pirates are close. Boonville has scored a total of 219 points for the season for an average of 31.28 points per game while giving up just 129 points for a 18.4 average.
Boonville also favors the run over the pass through the first-seven games while rushing for 1,484 yards and passing for another 829 yards for a total of 2,313 yards.
Hough said it’s important to get off to another good start against Hallsville.
“It’s every game to me in my opinion and with this group of kids,” Hough said. “They haven’t necessarily been in a grinder yet. I know how our kids play. When we jump out early, our kids play pretty good so that’s my goal each week to jump out early and get in that situation. It’s also one of those things where I am trying to keep the gas pedal down at all times, but we need to enjoy what we are doing. We like to say we are 5-2 so we want to say we are 6-2 after this week. That’s the goal. We have kind of preaching to the kids that we want to go 2-0 on the week. When we’ve kind of gotten on this winning streak so has the JV team. They started it off right with a win and we hope to do the same Friday night.”
Not so surprisingly in a physical like last week’s against Eldon, the Pirates also came away a little beat up. Boonville also faced some adversity with sickness last week.
But with everybody battling bumps and bruises at this point in the season, Hough said the biggest challenge for his team is more eternal than anything.
“I think our team needs to challenge themselves,” Hough said. “They are all big games and that’s how it needs to be. This game is big because it’s in conference and can keep us at the top behind Blair Oaks. We have to win this one to stay in second, and then we have to win next week for our seniors last home game to stay there.”
Getting there wasn’t easy for the Pirates, who took a beating earlier with losses against Pleasant Hill 42-0 and Blair Oaks 31-0. The two teams are a combined 13-1 going into Friday night’s games.
Of course not lost in the Pirates 5-2 record and 4-1 mark in the TCC is the number of players putting up good numbers this season. Junior running back Avian Thomas surpassed the 1,000 yard mark last week against Eldon and now has 1,033 yards on 137 carries and 15 touchdowns.
Junior Tramell Coleman is also having a big season with 19 catches for 347 yards and five touchdowns. Meanwhile, at quarterback, Nick Ferrari has completed 51 of 92 passes for 817 yards and nine touchdowns with only four interceptions.
On defense, 15 players for the Pirates have 10 tackles or more on the season. Senior Landon Weaver currently leads the team with 73 total tackles. Josh Polk has 54 tackles while Lane West has 52. Brandon Johnson, meanwhile, has 41 total tackles along with a team-leading 14.5 tackles for losses, two fumble recoveries and two caused fumbles. West leads the team with six sacks while Peyton Keeran has a team leading two interceptions.