Eagles score 21 unanswered points to win 35-7
Trailing 14-7 going into the fourth quarter seemed like an attainable goal for the Boonville Pirates football team Friday night against the Grain Valley Eagles.
In the first meeting of the two teams since Boonville’s departure from the MRVC back in 2007-08, the game Friday night also marked the first time this season that Boonville was facing an unranked team in the state polls.
Although Grain Valley entered the game at 1-2 overall versus 0-3 for Boonville, head coach Devin Brown predicted a touchdown or less ballgame between the two former MRVC rivals. And after 36 minutes, Brown was dead on as Grain Valley led by a single touchdown at 14-7. However, in the fourth quarter, Grain Valley reeled off 21 unanswered points for a 35-7 victory.
While the loss dropped Boonville to 0-4 overall, Brown said disappointed is a good word to describe the game.
“We had missed tackles and we weren’t getting off the ball when we were blocking,” Brown said, “however, I thought we had some good drives, we just didn’t make enough plays. I thought if we could have score right before the half after the long drive that would have given us a little momentum for the second half but we ended up running out of time on Grain Valley’s 30. Then, after we scored the touchdown in the third quarter to cut it to seven, we allowed them to drive the ball downfield for a touchdown. That took the air out of our sails and we just couldn’t recover.”
The Eagles also dominated the game on paper while finishing with 199 yards rushing and another 141 passing for a total of 340. Boonville on the other hand had 114 yards rushing and only 86 yards passing for a total of 200.
Nonetheless, the 14-point deficit in the first half and the 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter by Grain Valley were just too much to overcome for the Pirates.
Of course it didn’t help that Boonville first-three possessions in the first half ended either by a punt or turnover on downs. While the first drive of the ballgame by the Pirates was impressive to say the least, which started at their own 47 and ended at the Grain Valley 30, the result was all too familiar as Boonville turned the ball back over to the Eagles on downs.
Grain Valley, meanwhile, looked like a team clicking on all four cylinders by scoring on its first play of the game on a 70-yard pass from quarterback Kellen Holland to Zach Ehlen. The touchdown took only 14 seconds off the clock but it was devastating to say the least as Grain Valley led 7-0.
Of course if you thought the Eagles first touchdown of the ballgame was impressive, all you had to do was hang around for their second drive. After forcing a Boonville punt, the Eagles initiated a 18-play drive which started from their own 15-yard line and capped it off when Ehlen hit paydirt from the 15 with 7:18 left in the half to extend the lead to 14-0. While the drive was impressive in itself, Grain Valley also took almost 10 minutes off the clock.
The Pirates then put together their most impressive drive of the game by moving the ball from their own 14 down to the Grain Valley 30. However with only 1:44 left in the half, Boonville had little time with 86 yards between them and the goal line. Unfortunately for the Pirates, they needed a few more minutes to reach the end zone as time expired in the first half.
Speaking of the first half, Grain Valley finished with 62 yards rushing and another 113 passing for a total of 175 while Boonville had 92 yards rushing and only 26 passing for a total of 118.
The Pirates, meanwhile, dominated the third quarter with the game’s only touchdown. Although the Eagles missed a 36-yard field goal on their first possession of the second half, Boonville made good on its first drive by moving the ball 80 yards on 13 plays for the score. The 22-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Nick Zeitlow to senior Josh Judd in an acrobatic catch in the back of the end zone cut the lead to seven at 14-7 as time expired in the third quarter.
What happened after that is anybodys guess as Grain Valley would come back and score on its next-three possessions to break the game wide open. A 11-yard run by Ehlen started the downfall for Boonville, which capped off a three-play, 45-yard drive with 10:57 remaining to make it 21-7. Then, after a bad snap to punter Josh Judd, Grain Valley needed only three plays again to move the ball 32 yards for the score. However, the Eagles went to the air this time as Holland hit Trevor Henson on a pass to extend the lead to 28-7 with 5:14 left in the game.
It got worse before it got better for Boonville, who punted after only three plays on its next drive. Grain Valley then took advantage of good field position again from the Pirates 25. Needing only four plays to get the score, the Eagles went to the air again as Chaise McCord hooked up with Jake Hennrich on a 12-yard pass with 32 seconds left to go up 35-7.
Ehlen also finished the game for the Eagles with 14 carries for 121 yards and two touchdowns while hauling in two passes for 78 yards and one score. Holland, meanwhile, completed 7 of 10 passes for 141 yards and one touchdown.
For Boonville, Jordan Weaver had 17 carries for 60 yards while Austin Henderson tallied eight carries for 43 yards, Austin Hulbert two carries for 12 yards, Gabe Kaiser two carries for 6 yards and Nick Zeitlow eight carries for 3 yards. Zeitlow also completed 9 of 19 passes for 86 yards and one touchdown.
On the receiving end, Austin Hulbert had three catches for 38 yards while Josh Judd added four for 30 yards and one touchdown. Dalton Hodge also had one catch for 9 yards.
Defensively for Boonville, Austin Henderson had a total of eight tackles with five solo stops and three assisted.
Dalton Bealmer finished the game with four solo stops and three assisted tackles while Gabe Kaiser added five solo stops, Jordan Weaver four solo stops and one assisted tackle, Austin Hulbert with four solo stops, Kole Ficken with two solo stops and two assisted tackles, Ben Eichelberger with two solo stops, one assisted tackle and one tackle for a loss, Remington Hammers with two solo stops and one assisted tackle, Makiah Waibel with one solo stop and two assisted tackles, Keandre Anderson with one solo stop and one assisted tackle, Andrew Garrison with two assisted tackles and Adam Lixey, Weston Fahrenbrink, Brandon Ford, Lucas Gerke, Tyler Polk and Josh Judd each with one solo stop.