One thing is for certain entering Friday night’s game against the Holden Eagles. The Boonville Pirates football team and Holden are currently 1-0 for the season.
While the Pirates defeated the Pleasant Hill Roosters 19-14 in Week 1, the Eagles had a little easier time by upending Sherwood 35-0.
Something has to give on Friday. Will the Pirates be 2-0 after the game, or will the Eagles be undefeated.
1. Something has to give on Friday. Will the Pirates be 2-0 after the game, or will the Eagles be undefeated?
Although the win over Sherwood was impressive, the Marksmen are nowhere near the caliber of Pleasant Hill. On paper, the Pirates and Eagles both feature running backs that are capable of breaking it at anytime. The question will be how Boonville’s offensive line handles Holden’s defensive line in the trenches. Boonville Pirates football coach Greg Hough said one to two is the biggest adjustment for every team. “That’s when you generally see the most improvement and we are looking to do the same this week.”
2. Can Boonville’s defense stop Holden’s big play offense?
Again on paper, the Pirates clearly have the advantage when Holden runs the ball. And if the Eagles are forced to throw the ball down field, Hough said the Pirates can be successful there as well since Holden is not a throwing team. However, the Eagles put up 303 yards in total offense last week on 43 plays. Of those 303 yards, starting quarterback Jackson Tevis was 6 of 8 through the air for 123 yards while backup QB Danny Hartzler was 1 for 1 for no gain. As for Boonville, the Pirates surrendered 47 yards rushing on the ground but gave up big yardage through the air-mostly on missed tackles. “We have to stop the run,” Hough said. “We will do the same stuff that we did last week.”
3. What is the key to the game?
Another easy one for the Pirates. Establish the run game and stop Holden’s ground attack. If Boonville does that, they win the game. If not, it could be a long night for the Pirates. However with Boonville’s size up front and speed on the edges, the run game should favor the boys in blue. Hough said at the end of the day it’s going to come down to the kids making plays and playing with great effort.
4. Will grass field be a equalizer?
No doubt the grass field could hinder both teams in their run game. While both teams rely on the ground game in their offense, the Pirates proved last year and again Friday night against Pleasant Hill that they can do both. Of course the Eagles were also efficient on the ground and through the air against Sherwood. But like I stated early, the Marksmen are not Pleasant Hill. Boonville also had success the last time they played at Holden, beating the Eagles 23-19. While the game looked close on paper, the Pirates pretty much dominated the whole game until the fourth. Boonville has also won the last two meetings against Holden, winning 49-14 last year and 23-19 in 2017.
5. Can the Pirates go 2-0 heading into Week 3 against No. 1 ranked Blair Oaks-the Class 2 defending state champions?
Don’t be fooled by Holden’s lack of size. Hough said the Eagles have plenty of athletes on both sides of the ball, starting with Fred Frazier at running back-who gained over 2,000 yards last year. Hough also mentioned the starting center for the Eagles and the linebacker on defense. “The linebacker also plays fullback on offense,” Hough said. “He’s a kid that is in almost severy single tackle. We will definitely have to know where he is. We are going to do our best to block him on every play not just with one but with two guys sometimes three. They also have a good receiver-a 6’-5” type kid-who did a lot of stuff against us last year and is a big play threat.”
My prediction: Boonville 28, Holden 14