Pleasant Hill mounts second half comeback, beats Boonville 43-35

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Boonville senior running back DaWan Lomax had a big night rushing the ball for the Pirates Friday night in the season opener against Pleasant Hill. In only 16 carries, Lomax rushed for 176 yards and two touchdowns in a 43-35 loss to the Roosters.
Boonville sophomore receiver Dakota Troost picks up yardage against Pleasant Hill in the season opener Friday night in Pleasant Hill. Troost finished the game three catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns against the Roosters.

It didn’t come as a surprise that Friday night's game between the Boonville Pirates and Pleasant Hill Roosters would come down to the final seconds. 

Except this time, unlike the last two years, Pleasant Hill came away with the win in a hard-fought battle on a steamy night 43-35.

Prior to Friday night’s game, Boonville won the last two meetings 25-20 in 2020 and 19-14 in 2019.

The good news for the Pirates, who dropped to 0-1, is that they have eight games remaining in the regular season before the district playoffs.

Boonville will hit the road again Friday night, as they travel to play the Holden Eagles-a 50-0 winner over Sherwood last Friday-in Week 2 of the regular season. The Pirates beat Sherwood 70-2 in the second game of the season last year in Boonville.

As for the game Friday night in Roosterville, the Pirates had plenty of good and bad during the 48-minute campaign. First with the good. Boonville racked up 415 yards in total offense and finished with 20 first downs. As for the bad, the Pirates still gave up 327 yards in total offense-242 which came through the air-and allowed Pleasant Hill to erase a 28-8 deficit at one time by outscoring Boonville 35-7 for the rest of the game.

Breaking it down quarter by quarter, the Pirates won the first 12 minutes by outscoring Phill 14-8 and played the Roosters even in the second quarter with 21 points. However, in the third and fourth quarters, Phill dominated in the trenches and score board for that matter by outscoring Boonville 14-0.

But even then the Pirates had a chance while initiating a 17-play drive from their own 10 all the way to the Phill 15. However, on fourth and two with 45 seconds left, Boonville was stopped for no gain while turning the ball back over to the Roosters.

Pleasant Hill also took the early lead in the ballgame by hitting paydirt on only one play from the Boonville 12 after a great opening kickoff and horse collar penalty. Pleasant Hill junior wide receiver Mason Hicks then put the Roosters on top 6-0. Pleasant Hill then caught Boonville off guard by going for two instead of the traditional PAT to go up 8-0.

The Pirates quickly answered, though. After taking the ensuing kickoff at their own 39, Boonville came back and hit paydirt three plays later on a 52-yard pass from junior quarterback Colby Caton to sophomore Dakota Troost to make it 8-7.

Boonville caught a break after that when sophomore Will Stock recovered a fumble on the kickoff at the Pleasant Hill 30. Two plays later from the Roosters’ 12-yard line, senior running back DaWan Lomax picked up his first touchdown of the season to extend Boonville’s lead to 14-8.

The Pirates would add two more scores after that, hitting paydirt on a 29-yard pass from Caton to Troost with 10:47 left to go up 21-8. Then, after an interception by junior Ethan Watson on Pleasant Hill’s very next series from the Boonville 47, the Pirates would score again six plays later from the Phill 5 on run by senior Travis Dell to extend the lead to 28-8.

The game would get interesting after that as Pleasant Hill came back with 14 unanswered points, hitting paydirt on a 3-yard run by Hicks with 4:32 left in the half to make it 28-15. Then, after forcing Boonville to punt on its next series, the Roosters scored again after only one play on a 46-yard scoring strike from junior quarterback Easton Roe to Tyler Wise to cut the lead to 28-22.

Boonville and Pleasant Hill would trade touchdowns after that, with the Pirates finding the end zone on an 80-yard run by Lomax with 3:01 remaining to push the lead to 35-22. Then, with 31 seconds left in the half, the Roosters crossed the end zone again on an 18-yard pass from Roe to Grayson Sudduth to cut the lead to 35-29 at the half.

Boonville out-gained Pleasant Hill 304-286 in the first half but started to show signs of tiring while giving up 165 of those 286 yards in the air. The Roosters also had 11 first downs compared to nine for Boonville. Lomax led all rushers in the first half with seven carries for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Caton was 6 of 8 passing for 92 yards and two scores for Boonville. Troost also had two receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns.

Although the momentum had clearly shifted to Pleasant Hill’s side, the Pirates were able to maintain the lead until the 9:06 mark in the third quarter. After turning the ball over on their first drive of the second half, Boonville struggled to keep the Roosters out of the end zone while giving up the go-ahead touchdown on a 2-yard run by Hicks. Of course, Pleasant Hill didn’t have to go far on that drive after the fumble-13 yards to be exact-to go up 36-35.

The Roosters would add another touchdown at the 7:30 mark in the fourth, capping off a five-play, 56-yard drive on a 2-yard run by junior running back Dylan Kauffman to extend the lead to 43-35.

The Pirates still had a chance after that to tie the game. With a little over seven minutes left in the game, Boonville took over on its own 10-yard line and moved the ball 75 yards on 16 plays down to the Pleasant Hill 15 with 50 seconds left. Needing 2 yards to continue the drive, Pleasant Hill came up with a stop when they needed to by holding Caton short of the first down to end the game.

Despite outgaining Pleasant Hill by 88 yards, Boonville struggled in the secondary while giving up 242 yards as opposed to 84 yards rushing. The Pirates were significantly balanced with 248 yards rushing and 167 passing.

On an individual note, Lomax finished the game with 16 carries for 176 yards and two touchdowns. Caton finished with 18 carries for 60 yards on the ground while completing 12 of 18 yards for 167 yards and two scores. Troost led all receivers with three catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns, while Jamesian McKee had five catches for 76 yards and D.J. Wesolak with two catches for 7 yards.

Nash Mckenzie led the Pirates on the defensive side of the ball with six solo stops and seven assisted tackles for a total of 13. Xavier Flippin had 10 total tackles, followed by Jamesian McKee with eight, Peyton Hahn with seven, Ethan Watson with five, Travis Dell, Rhodes Leonard and Connor Acton each with four, DaWan Lomax, Luke Green and Maddex Douglas with two each, and Will Stock, Drake Cottrell, Zane Watring, Dakota Troost, D.J. Wesolak, and Tyson Ellison with one tackle apiece.

Stock and Dell also had one fumble recovery each, while Watson finished the game with one interception. 

For Pleasant Hill, Kauffman had 28 carries for 146 yards. Roe completed 15 of 23 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns, while Dylan Dimarco led all receivers with 4 catches for 93 yards.