For everything that went wrong in the first half, Boonville Pirates football coach Greg Hough knew it couldn’t get any worse in the second half.
He was right. After two fumbles and a blocked field goal for the first 24 minutes, the Pirates settled down into some good old fashion football by reeling off 33 unanswered points for a 33-13 victory.
“We didn’t change any game plan from what we started the game with, we just blocked it right,” Hough said. “We just got off the football and moved somebody. Our offense has the potential to do a lot of things, but then also we are also our own worst enemy with self-inflicted  wounds and not making great decisions.”
Those came in the first half. However the Pirates also made some great plays, the first one coming on an interception by junior linebacker Lane West at the Holden 45. Although the Holden quarterback had intended to throw the ball out in the flats, West just happened to be in the right place at the right time with a perfect pass right to him. Unfortunately for the Pirates, they had the ball blocked five plays later and returned to the Eagles 10 by senior Jayden Brown. Four plays later, Holden scored the first of its two first half touchdowns on a 42-yard run by junior Karsen Kauffman to make it 7-0 with 10:51 left in the half.
The Pirates fumbled again on their next possession-this time at their own 42. Two plays later, Kauffman found the end zone again on a 45-yard run to extend the lead to 13-0 with 8:17 left.
Luckily for Boonville, they still had enough time to right the ship. As their own worst enemy for a quarter and a half, the Pirates finally got a taste of what they can do when they hold on to the football. As it turned out, the Eagles were also in the giving mood when West recorded his second interception of the game at the Boonville 47 with 2:34 left. Two plays later, senior quarterback Nick Ferrari found receiver Tramell Coleman for a touchdown on a 17-yard pass to cut the lead to six at 13-7.
The Pirates had a chance to cut further into the lead right before half but missed a 33-yard field goal wide right.
West said the defense struggled a little bit in the first half. “Personally I just had to step up and be a leader and get others be a leader and we just came through in the second half,” West said. “We got our act together and got it done.”
Hough said the kids may have also been overlooking Holden a little bit.
“We watched Holden play Sherwood last week and they had 18 kids on the team, but Holden is a lot better  in person than what we though. I knew they would be pretty good but for us it’s just the small things. Once we got them into halftime and could talk to them, it was just boom here we go, and that’s what scares me with this group of guys.”
Whatever the coaching staff said at halftime it worked. After the kick off to start the second half, Coleman put the team on his shoulders with three straight plays-the latter coming on a 60 yard score with 11:18 in the third to give Boonville its first lead at 14-13.
Coleman said it was great blocking by the line. “I did what I was supposed to as an athlete and make people miss and then try to do what I can.  “After just pushing, pushing and pushing in the first half we made them use all of their gas and after that we just had to keep our foot on the pedal and never let up,” Coleman said.
The defense also followed suit with back to back sacks by Andrew Wiser and DJ Wesolak to force a Holden punt on its first series. Two plays later after taking over at the Eagles 46, Wiser got his name called and delivered on a great run up the middle from 31 yards out to extend the lead to 21-13.
Sophomore linebacker Nash McKenzie then made another big boy play with the team’s third interception on Holden’s next series at midfield. Four plays later after three straight runs down to the 1, Ferrari took it in for the score to make it 27-13 with 3:51 remaining in the third quarter.
Hough said going to a quicker tempo and no huddle in the passing game allowed the team to  pick up some momentum in the second half. “We made some adjustments and jumped in what we call “NASCAR” and boom we scored real fast,” Hough said.
Of course with the help of Holden’s turnovers, the Pirates scored on their first four possessions in the second half. The final touchdown came after a fumble recovery by Spencer Steakley at the Boonville 33 with 10:59 left. Three plays later after a 54-yard run by Avian Thomas, the senior standout hit paydirt on a 21  yard run for the final tally with 2:00 left to go up 33-13.
Thomas finished the game with 144 yards on 15 carries. Coleman had 86 yards on six carries along with four catches for 33 yards. Andrew Wiser had 73 yards on four carries.
Ferrari was 10 of 13 passing for 120yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Josh Polk had three catches for 75 yards while Landon Williams hauled in one pass for 25 yards.
On defense, Harper Stock had 14 tackles and three tackles for losses. Lane West had eight tackles and two interceptions while Josh Polk finished with eight tackles, Colby Caton, Russell Potter and Tramell with four each.
DJ Wesolak had two sacks while Wiser, Coleman and Hahn each had one. Spencer Steakley was credited with one fumble recovery while Nash McKenzie had one interception.