Like the Missouri-Kansas series in football, you can throw out the records when it comes to the Boonville Pirates and California Pintos football game Friday night.
Although the game was a blowout last year with the Pirates winning 43-0, the game Friday night figures to be a little closer. However if you go by the first-three games of the season, Boonville looks to be the favorite once again at 2-1 compared to the Pintos 0-3 record.
Boonville dropped its first game last week to No. 1 Blair Oaks 38-21 while California fell in a close game against Osage 20-14.
1. Can the Pirates take another step forward against the Pintos?
Although the Falcons would put up 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter against Boonville, head coach Greg Hough said more than anything the team took a step forward on how they evaluated themselves and how they walked off the field. “We weren’t real happy with ourselves, especially after we watched film on Saturday because we had an opportunity to win that ballgame and do something that 41 others haven’t been able to do. We’re close. I kind of told the kids now the big say is somebody is playing chess and I’m playing checkers. Last week was a chess match.”
Boonville finished the game against Blair Oaks with 200 yards in total offense, but 198 of those came through the air.
2. Boonville’s offense versus California’s defense. Who will win the battle?
On paper, the Pirates clearly win this battle while averaging 26 ppg compared to California’s 10 ppg. Hough, however, said he doesn’t know what to expect since the Pintos have shown both a three and four man fronts in the first-three games. Expect the Pintos to bring pressure just as Blair Oaks did last week. But if they do that, senior quarterback Nick Ferrari and senior receiver Tramell Coleman could have a big night in the passing game.
3. Boonville’s defense versus California’s offense. Can the Pintos surpass last week’s point total against a sting Boonville defense?
The Falcons still got their yards last week against Boonville through the air and on the ground while finishing with 381 yards in total offense. However, only 139 of those yards came in the second half when the Pirates clamped down.
As for California, Hough said the Pintos will run triple option out of the gun. He said they will have two backs in the backfield and if they don’t have two, they will motion one in the backfield for the pitch. “You have to play sound football, option responsibility and be aggressive in the box nd then create as much havoc as you can. They are going to try and run the football against us. They have a couple of offensive line that do a really good job firing off the football, but at the end of the day it’s going to be 11 on 11 and we just have to win the small battles and hopefully come out successful.”
4. Hough said Boonville-California game is a big rivalry to the kids
Separated by only 34 miles, the Boonville-California matchup has been very competitive at not just in football but in all sports.
Although the Pintos have struggled the last few years in football, Hough said the kids seem to know the players more than other teams. That doesn’t look to change Friday night. The Pintos will surely key on seniors Avian Thomas and Tramell Coleman on offense and senior linebacker Josh Polk and juniors Harper Stock and Lane West on defense.
Look for the Pintos to pull out all the stops against Boonville at home. Although California fell last week on the road to Osage, it took two touchdowns by the Indians in the fourth quarter to pull out the win. California head coach Derek Scroggins said it had been a long time since the Pintos had been in a game like the one against Osage.
Respect all fear none. That’s the motto Hough uses week to week. On paper the Pirates should win this game but Hough said they still have to go out and play.
5. Hough looking to reach the .500 mark in his career
If the Pirates win on the road Friday night, the game will be Hough’s 70th in his 14 year career. While starting as a head coach at 21 years of age at Carrollton, Hough is currently 69-70 as a head coach. The Pirate skipper has had stops at Carrollton, Marceline and Boonville.