To say the Boonville Pirates football team had its backs against the wall Friday night against Hallsville would be a major understatement.
While spotting the Indians 20 points in the first half, the Pirates somehow managed to make it a game in the fourth quarter by cutting the lead to 20-14.
However a costly turnover, followed by another score by Hallsville was all it took for the Indians to escape with a 27-14 victory.
The Indians improved to 6-2 overall and 5-1 in league play. Boonville dropped to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the conference.
Boonville coach Greg Hough  said the sun is going to come up tomorrow and the biggest thing is that his team controls their own fate. “We’ve got to beat Southern Boone,” Hough said. “Next week is our Super Bowl. But first I have to get over this one. I think Justin Conyers is one of the best coaches in the state of Missouri, but to be honest I knew our kids were going to battle back. We just ran out of time and timeouts toward the end.”
The Pirates also ran into a team on a mission since their season opening loss to Ava and 35-0 setback against Blair Oaks.
Conyers said he didn’t really anticipate a 20-0 lead at halftime happening. “I thought what we did is that we did a really good job of controlling the ball on the ground tonight and controlling the clock,” “Conyers said. “If you look at the first quarter, Boonville had one offensive possession and when they are not on the field, they can’t score points. I thought that was really huge of our offense to be able to do so and our defense to be able to stop them a little bit and force them to punt in the first quarter.”
But give credit where credit is due. The Indians played well in every facet of the game while finishing with 335 yards in total offense.
Senior quarterback Cooper Crane also played a huge role for the Indians while finishing with 21 carries for 188 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed 3 of 4 passes for 28 yards with one interception.
It was also Crane who led the Indians on their first touchdown of the game with a 31-yard run to put Hallsville on top to stay by a score of 6-0.
But the Indians weren’t done yet. After forcing Boonville to punt on its opening possession, Hallsville came right back with a 12-play drive that took almost six minutes off the clock. Senior running back Mason Huskey capped off the 69 yard drive with a 11 yard run to extend the lead to 12-0 with 11:23 left in the half.
Hallsville’s defense was also up to the challenge against a Boonville offense that was averaging over 34 ppg in seven games. However, after stopping the Pirates on fourth and one at the 49, the Indians came right back and drove the ball to the Boonville 29. Crane took over after that with his second touchdown with 7:07 remaining in the half to make it 20-0.
Hough said if it wasn’t for a interception by senior Peyton Keeran right before the half, the score could have been much worse.
The third quarter was very similar to the first half for the Pirates. Boonville moved the ball at times but couldn’t generate any type of offense. Hallsville also stopped one possession with a interception by senior Eric Reed at the Indians 35.
The fourth quarter was a different story. Boonville began to find the end zone and finally got on the score board with a 2-yard run by junior Lane West with 11:22 left to cut the lead to 20-7.
The Pirates caught a break right after that when senior lineman Greyson Mesik recovered a fumble at the Hallsville 26. Five plays later after moving the ball to the 15, senior quarterback Nick Ferrari found receiver Tramell Coleman in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown to make it 20-14 with 9:45 left.
The Pirates’ defense also stepped it up a little more in the second half by holding Hallsville on fourth and goal at the 1. Five plays later, the Indians capitalized on a interception by Reed-his second of the game-and took it in for the score six plays later on a 4-yard run by Huskey to extend the lead to 27-14 with 1:11 remaining.
Boonville never got any closer.
Hallsville finished the game with 12 first downs along with 307 yards rushing and another 28 passing.
As for Boonville, they had 12 first downs, 73 yards rushing and 102 passing for a total of 175.
Huskey also had a big night on the ground for Hallsville, rushing 25 times for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Reed had two catches for 25 yards.
For Boonville, senior Avian Thomas had 20 carries for 75 yards. Ferrari finished the game with three carries for 14 yards and completed 13 of 23 passes for 102 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Tramell Coleman had two carries for 11 yards and five catches for 51 yards and one touchdown while Lane West had two carries for 1 yard and one score. West also finished the game with one reception for 17 yards.
Charlie Bronakowski had two catches for 12 yards while Spencer Steakley had two for 11 yards, Colby Caton one for 5 yards, Jamesian McKee one for 4 yards and Avian Thomas one for 2 yards.
On defense, Josh Polk had 12 tackles and one tackle for a loss. Coleman finished the game with seven tackles, three tackles for a loss and one caused fumble, followed by Harper Stock with seven tackles, DJ Wesolak, Colby Caton and Lane West each with six tackles, Peyton Keeran with four tackles and one interception, Avian Thomas with four tackles, Nathan Platt with three tackles, Greyson Mesik with two tackles, one tackle for loss and one fumble recovery, Alan McCarter with two tackles and Russell Potter with one tackle.