Each week the Boonville Daily News will list five things to watch during Friday night’s game.
Since the Pirates open the 2019 season on the road against the Pleasant Hill Roosters, the first order of business will be how Boonville’s offense stacks up against Pleasant Hill’s defense.
1. Boonville finished the 2018 season with over 3,000 yards in total offense and return two players who accumulated over 2,000 yards and 34 touchdowns. However in the jamboree last week at Odessa, the Pirates managed just one touchdown on the night. That might be the case again this year where it takes the offense time to jell. As for Pleasant Hill, they will run out of the 3-4 on defense and will try to stop the outside game by the Pirates, which leaves the middle somewhat vulnerable for the Roosters.
2. Can Boonville’s defense stop Pleasant Hill’s offense?
Like last year the Pirates will run out of the 4-2-5 with seven starters back. Although the Pirates surrendered six touchdowns against Odessa last week, four of those came against the second and third team units. Boonville head coach Greg Hough said his team has to stop the run and be a lot more physical than they were in the jamboree. As for the Roosters, they graduated their starting quarterback and starting running back from last year from a team that put 42 points on Boonville in the season opener. Something has to give Friday night. Don’t look for the Roosters to put 42 on the Pirates again on Friday.
3. What is the key to the game?
The Pirates made plenty of mistakes last year in a 42-0 drubbing. Hough said there are going to be mistakes early on, they just can’t be big mistakes. “I think we had six turnovers in the first half and in the blink of an eye the game was over,” Hough said. Ball control will be key as well as turnovers. Who controls the balls and commits the fewest turnovers usually wins the game.
4. Does special teams favor the Pirates?
With senior kicker Will Rehagen returning from last year, Boonville looks to be in good shape on field goals, PATs and kickoffs. The question will be how junior Charlie Bronakowski handles the punting duties under the lights for the first time in a hostile environment. Hough said special teams is one of those phases-at least for the first couple of weeks-that plays itself out a little bit. This will be crucial for both teams in the first game. Aside from the early game mistakes, special teams can also win or lose a ballgame.
5. Hough and Hedrick have history over the years.
As the head coach at Carrollton, Hough said he was probably about .500 against Hedrick-maybe a little better. Hough’s won the last two meetings against Hedrick during his tenure at Holden, beating the Eagles 49-14 in 2018 and 23-19 in 2017. Holden won the meeting before that by a score of 21-16. The nod has to go to Hough again this year with Hedrick now the coach at Pleasant Hill. “They handled us on the scoreboard and on the field that night but again we had so many self-inflicted wounds,” Hough said.