The Hogan Prep football team proved Saturday in a Class 3 District 7 playoff game in Kansas City that one quarter can make all the difference in the outcome of a game.
Hogan Prep scored 24 unanswered points in the first quarter to beat Boonville 32-14 to move on to the second round of the district playoffs against Pembroke Hill, a 42-0 winner Friday night against Kansas City Southeast.
In other games in the district, top-seeded Odessa beat No. 8 Oak Grove 62-7 while No. 5 Pleasant Hill knocked off No. 4 Center 32-14.
Odessa will play Pleasant Hill in the semifinal round of the district playoffs on Friday, Nov. 2nd while Pembroke Hill host Hogan Prep. The winners will advance to the championship game on November 9th.
While the loss dropped Boonville to 6-4 on the season, head coach Greg Hough said this season was bittersweet to an extent.
“I really felt like last week we let one slip by against Southern Boone,” Hough said. “I felt like we didn’t play very well and I felt like realistically in the games that we lost there were just so many self-inflicted wounds. Today was the turnovers, penalties, the missed tackles early, thats why it’s bittersweet to me. Even though we finished 6-4 and had a winning season, which was positive, I really think this was a really good football team and if we could have eliminated some of the self-inflicted wounds and played to our potential, I think we could have been better than 6-4. Unfortunately we lose some really good seniors, kids that are huge players for us this year. Fortuntely we return some kids that seen a lot of action this year, too, so we’ve definitely got to grow. We will have to work hard in the offseason as far as coaches, players and everybody and get right back to the grind next year.”
While dropping their last two games by a combined score of 75-41, the Pirates also proved to be their own worst enemy during that stretch with eight turnovers in the last two games and 10 over three games.
Of course it didn’t help that Boonville spotted Hogan Prep a 24-0 lead in the first quarter, one of which was self-inflicted.
However, the Rams can take credit for some of the damage after scoring on the very first play from scrimmage on a 61-yard run by junior running back Demetris Taylor to go up 6-0 with 11:46 left. Hogan Prep also scored on the two-point conversion attempt to extend the lead to 8-0.
The turnover bug showed its ugly face on Boonville’s first possession of the game when senior Lamont Washington picked off a pass and raced 50 yards to the end zone for the score to make it 14-0. Washington then hit Rajon Hill on the two-point conversion to push the lead to 16-0.
Hough said it’s one of those things that you don’t believe it until you see it sometimes.
“I have played these guys before in the past and I have told these kids,” Hough said. “I knew that Hogan Prep would come out with a lot of energy. The one thing we probably didn’t notice was their physicality. There are college bound athletes on that team and we knew that going in. That’s why these kids come to this school. Again, we showed a little bit of fight in us in the second half right there coming out, just like last week we showed some fight, but we just couldn’t get the stop that we needed to make on defense or the play on offense that we needed.
“Good job by Hogan Prep, they did a good job. We expected to see a three man front and we got a four man front. They also did a good job forcing us to throw the ball and that’s one of those things I didn’t want to have to do coming into this game, but Hogan is a very good tea. They will be successful and they will keep playing.”
Of course it didn’t help that Boonville finished the first half with two punts, one interception or one turn over on downs against Hogan Prep. As for the Rams, they finished the first half with three touchdowns, one turn over on downs and one missed field goal to closeout the half.
The Rams also had a stingy defense to go along with their opportunistic offense in the first half while holding Boonville to two first downs. Hogan Prep’s also held Boonville on its side of the field until the 3:39 mark in the first half after the Rams picked up a five yard penalty to spot the ball on their own 45.
Boonville never got any closer than the 39 for the rest of the half.
Hogan Prep, meanwhile, scored on its third straight possession of the ballgame by moving the ball 57 yards on just five plays after a 43-yard pass from Washington to Tyrese Collins to extend the lead to 24-0 with 5:33 left in the first quarter.
Hough said you can’t spot anybody 24 points, especially in the playoffs.
“Again it’s one of those things we knew coming in that we had to be able to execute out on the field,” Hough said. “We showed flashes that we could play with these guys, but like I said I was nervous with the passing game coming in because I just knew how athletic these kids were and I knew if we weren’t on time with our throws or we weren’t crisp with our routes, bad things would happen. The first interception returned for a touchdown we weren’t on time with our throw. The other interception in the second half we had two receivers run into each other so our spacing wasn’t right.”
The good news is that Boonville still had a half to play against the Rams. But while trailing by 24 points, the Pirates would have to score quick and often to make up ground.
As it turned out, Boonville appeared to be up to the challenge in the third quarter by moving the ball 60 yards on just two plays for the score when junior running back Avian Thomas hit paydirt from 31 yards out with 11:31 left to cut the lead to 24-7.
Meanwhile, after exchanging punts, Boonville caught another break when Hogan Prep fumbled the ball after a Pirate punt (recovered by Peyton Keeran) at the Rams 41. Unfortunately for Boonville, they were picked off again at the Hogan Prep 32 on its next drive. Then, after another great defensive effort by the Pirates to hold Hogan Prep to three and out, Boonville handed the Rams another gift with an interception at midfield. Three plays later, Hogan Prep would hit paydirt for a fourth time in the game on a 50-yard pass from Washington to Zyan Thomas-King to extend the lead to 30-7. Taylor also scored on the two-point conversion to add to the lead at 32-7 with 8:02 left in the game.
Boonville and Hogan Prep traded possessions after that. Then, with 1:31 left in the ballgame, the Pirates drove 62 yards on just four plays for the score when senior Brandon Johnson hit paydirt from the 4 to make it 32-14 with 19 seconds remaining.
While outscoring the Rams 14-8 from the second quarter on, the Pirates also put up a valiant effot in the second half with two touchdowns and just one punt while holding Hogan Prep to just one score and three punts.
Hough said there are a lot of things his team can take away from this game. “I felt like we were a physically conditioned team but with the change I guess to a Saturday game and you are back into the heat again, it kind of took a toll on us and it took a toll on them, too. Late in the second quarter we felt like we were wearing them down but then they got the halftime. It’s just one of those things.”
For the game, Avian Thomas finished with 24 carries for 157 yards and one touchdown while Brandon Johnson had nine carries for 63 yards and one score. Tramell Coleman, meanwhile, finished the game with eight carries for 22 yards. Junior quarterback Nick Ferrari completed just 1 of 7 passes in the game for 9 yards with three interceptions.
On defense, Josh Polk finished the game with seven solo stops and five assisted tackles for a total of 12. He also had two tackles for losses.
Lane West had nine total tackles and one tackle for a loss while Johnson had eight total tackles, four tackles for losses and two sacks,  Coleman, Keeran and Harper Stock each with seven total tackles, DeAndre Wesolak with six total tackles, one tackle for a loss and one sack, Carson Campbell and Dalton Williams each with four total tackles, Mesik Grayson and Alan McCarter with three tackles each, Avian Thomas and Trae Williams with two tackles each and Andrew Pefferman with one tackle.
Keeran also had one fumble recovery and one tackle for a loss while Williams was also credited with one tackle for a loss.