The Boonville Pirates football team found out the hard way Friday night while hosting the Kirksville Tigers in NCMC action at the BHS Sports Complex that while defense wins championships, speed also kills, especially on the outside edges.
Although the Pirates entered the game at 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the NCMC, the Tigers brushed away their 1-4 record by beating Boonville in every facet of the game for a convincing 36-7 victory.
The win by Kirksville also snapped a four-game losing skid against Boonville. Since joining the NCMC back in 2008, Boonville has outscored the Tigers 172-87.
Of course the schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Pirates, as they travel to Fulton to face a much improved Hornets team on Friday. Then, after hosting Moberly on Senior-Parents Night on October 18th, Boonville will travel west and north to face the Marshall Owls in the regular season finale on October 25th.
Boonville Pirates football coach Devin Brown, who was perplexed as anybody on the way the team played Friday night, said his team wasn’t really ready to play and Kirksville came to play.
“We were really flat, especially in the first quarter,” Brown said. “We just didn’t move the ball very well. They had good size up front and we just didn’t move them. When you lose like this it’s  definitely a step backward. We thought we matched up well with them and that it would be a good ballgame, but we just didn’t come ready to play.”
Four hundred and 11 yards to be exact. That’s what the 1-4 Tigers put up on the Pirates Friday night.
Nonetheless, the first half was a lot closer than the final score as Kirksville came out and jumped on Boonville with 14 first-quarter points.
Of course field position also helped the Tigers. After taking over at their own 49 on the opening kick off, Kirksville used only two plays to get the score when senior running back Blake Riley bolted outside on a 15-yard run with 11:28 left to make it 6-0.
Then, after failing on the two-point conversion, the Tigers also showed they could play a little defense by forcing the Pirates to punt the ball on their first-three possessions.
Of course it didn’t help that Kirksville’s average starting position on their first-two drives was at the 49 1/2 yard line. However, after forcing a Boonville punt on their first series, the Tigers took over at mid-field. Eight plays later after moving the ball to the Boonville 8-yard line, senior quarterback Tyler Osborn, who was a thorn in Boonville’s side all night, ran untouched to the end zone for the score with 5:32 left in the first quarter to extend the lead to 12-0.
The Tigers weren’t done, though. After failing on the two-point conversion on the first score, Kirksville made good on its second attempt on a 12-yard run by Osborn, after a penalty pushed them back, to make it 14-0.
The Pirates continued to struggle offensively for the rest of the quarter and part of the second quarter.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that the Pirates’ defense held Kirksville out of the end zone for the rest of the half. Meanwhile, after forcing Kirksville to turn the ball back over on downs at the Boonville 48 with 1:21 left in the half, the Pirates came back and moved the ball 52 yards on four plays for the score. While mixing it up with both the run and pass,  senior quarterback Jacob Francis found senior tight end Tyler Peterson on the edge for a 26-yard touchdown with 53 seconds left to cut the lead in half at 14-7.
As bad as the Pirates played at times in the first half, they were still very much in the ballgame down by only a touchdown.
Needless to say, Kirksville dominated the first half with 97 yards rushing and another 58 passing for a total of 155. Boonville on the other hand had only eight yards rushing and 81 passing for a total of 89.
The second half is where it gets ugly for the Pirates. While crossing mid-field only once in the final 24 minutes, Boonville also watched Kirksville run up and down the field while hitting paydirt on 3 of 5 possessions.
Of course the first possession by Kirksville was all good as the Pirates forced the Tigers to punt the ball after running only three plays.
But what happened after that is anybodys guess as as the Tigers scored on their next-two possessions to go up 28-7. Kirksville also showed its quick strike capabilities when Osborn raced down the sidelines on a 64-yard run on the fourth play of the drive with 6:11 left in the third to make it 20-7. Then, after forcing another punt by Boonville, the Tigers came back and hit paydirt again, this time through the air, when Osborn hooked up with receiver Dillon Wait on a 32-yard scoring strike with 3:14 remaining in the third.
Now trailing 28-7 late in the third, the Pirates proved to be their own worst enemy at times. Of their six possessions in the second half, Boonville punted the ball back to Kirksville on four different occasions. As for the Tigers, they scored on three of five possessions and punted the ball only twice.
Although the 21-point lead would have been enough to beat the Pirates, Kirksville came back with yet another touchdown after moving the ball 50 yards on 12 plays. The 3-yard run by Riley, his second of the game, put the Tigers up 34-7 with 3:11 left. Osborn then came back and scored on the two-point conversion to closeout the scoring.
After the game, Brown said he was a little shocked that Kirksville moved the ball so easily, especially after the way the defense played the week before against Mexico. “Their speed got to the outside and then we missed too many tackles,” Brown said.
For the game, the Tigers had 16 first downs along with 290 yards rushing and another 111 passing for a total of 411. Boonville, meanwhile, finished the game with 35 yards rushing and 108 passing for a total of 143.
Osborn also led the Tigers in both rushing and passing yards against Boonville. While finishing the night with 13 carries for 152 yards and two touchdowns, Osborn also completed 7 of 11 passes for 105 yards and one score.
Riley, meanwhile, carried the ball 21 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
As for the Pirates, sophomore running back Ezra Perry, who got some mop up time in the second half, led the team in rushing with six carries for 13 yards.
Francis, meanwhile, completed 11 of 23 passes for 108 yards. Junior Josh Judd, who finished the game on the bench with a slight concussion, was the leading receiver with five catches for 52 yards. Peterson also had three catches for 42 yards and one touchdown.
On the defensive side of the ball, Peterson led the Pirates in tackles for the sixth straight game with 12 solo stops and four assisted tackles for a total of 16. He also had one sack for a loss of 5 yards.
Jordan Weaver, meanwhile, finished the game with four solo stops and four assisted tackles while Grady Kay added four solo stops, two assisted tackles and one sack for a loss of 3 yards. Andrew Broyhill had five solo stops while Jacob Francis contributed four solo stops, Brenden Meyer, Dakota Meyer and Brett Kenney each with two solo stops and two assisted tackles, Andrew Garrison and Tyler Polk with two solo stops each, Austin Henderson and Josh Judd with one solo stop and one assisted tackle each,  Nolan Murray with one solo stops and Tim Price and Ryder Mesik with one assisted tackle apiece.
 The Boonville Pirates football team will play the Fulton Hornets this coming Friday night in Fulton starting at 7 p.m. The Hornets dropped to 4-2 on the season and 1-2 in the NCMC by losing on the road Friday night against the Hannibal Pirates 61-32.
Brown said the game is going to be important from the standpoint that it’s a district game. “We just have to look at this and get better from it,” Brown said of the loss to Kirksville.