Wiser helps set the tone early for Pirates in 74-2 win over Holden

Chris Bowie
cbowie@boonvilledailynews.com
Boonville senior receiver Charlie Bronakowski picks up yards after the catch in the second quarter Friday night against Holden at Gene Reagan field. That was Bronakowski's only catch in the game for 31 yards. The Pirates improved to 2-0 on the season by beating the Eagles 74-2.

The Boonville Pirates football team was all smiles for several reasons Friday night at Gene Reagan field.

Not just for putting up 74 points on the Holden Eagles for a 74-2 victory to improve to 2-0 overall. The Pirates were happy for players like senior running back Andrew Wiser and his five touchdown night and senior Evan Gonzalez for his opening kick off for a touchdown to start the second half.

All in all, Boonville was just happy to be on the field for the second week in a row when a lot of schools have either canceled their season or canceled games due to COVID-19.

Let’s be clear, though. Boonville still put up some pretty good numbers with the JV playing for about a quarter and half. The Pirates finished with nine first downs, 249 yards rushing and 96 passing for a total of 347. Holden, meanwhile, had 10 first downs, 1 yard rushing and 126 passing for a total of 127.

As for the 74 points, that was also a record that surpassed the 1999 team coached by Jeff Wallace that put up 61 points on the Knob Noster Panthers.

Boonville Pirates football coach Greg Hough said success early, especially in high school football, goes a long way for anybody. “We always want to come out and have success early in the game and let that build,” Hough said. But I’ll be honest, we’re still a work in progress. Heck, we will probably be underdogs next week against Southern Boone. Trent Tracy and Southern Boone has beat us the last two years.

“That’s the one where we want to come out and really play our best football. However, there’s a lot of things going on and we have a lot of things moving in the right direction.”

Wiser was definitely moving in the right direction. With four rushing touchdowns on runs of 10, 3, 6 and 10 yards, Wiser also recovered a fumble for a touchdown from the Eagles 12.

Wiser finished the game with 12 carries for 122 yards and four touchdowns.

Wiser said the fumble recovery for a touchdown was probably the best because it took Harper causing the fumble and him scoring to set it in motion.

“It was good teamwork,”Wiser said. “Harper hit the dude and I picked it up and scored. I felt like everybody played well but we can always improve. Our line looked really good tonight and that’s why I got all those touchdowns.”

As for the 74 points, Wiser said it felt really good. “I just want to keep it rolling,”Wiser said. “Coach had a few goals for us tonight and I think we met them.”

Hough said Wiser is a great back. “Andrew is a stellar kid, a great leader and just a great person,”Hough said. “For him to have that success tonight on limited carries I think says a lot about his offensive line, though. Kudos to those guys and kudos to our staff on getting those kids motivated and hungry.”

Boonville senior linebacker Harper Stock also had a few goals in mind. Although he said scoring 74 points was crazy, he wanted the shutout just the same.

Stock finished the game with a total of nine tackles, three tackles for loss, three caused fumbles and one sack.

“I’m not going to lie, I wanted the shutout,” Stock said. “I thought we played a great game from the No. 1 defense all the way down to the No. 3 defense. I thought it was a great game all the way up and down. Coach preached to us to play like this is Blair Oaks and to play like they are the best team in the state of Missouri.”

That appeared to be the game plan from the start. Of course it didn’t hurt that Boonville scored 21 points in the first-six minutes of the ballgame, or that they put up 47 points on seven touchdowns in the first half.

Wiser scored the first three by himself from 10, 3 and 12 yards. Field position also had a lot to do with the Pirates scoring early and often. Boonville’s first drive started from its own 46, while the second came from the Eagles 12 after a blocked punt. As for the third, Stock and Wiser had that one-two punch going with Stock forcing a fumble and Wiser scoring after the recovery.

Holden crossed mid-field only twice in the first half-the first coming at the Boonville 44 with 11:17 left in the first quarter and the second with 1:22 remaining at the Pirates 36.

If three touchdowns wasn’t enough, Boonville would find the end zone four more times in the first half. Sophomore quarterback Colby Caton punched it in from the 10 with 3:24 left in the second quarter to extend the lead to 27-0. Then, after another punt by the Eagles, Caton hooked up with senior athlete Lane West across the middle on a 38 yard scoring strike with 9:08 left to make it 34-0.

Boonville found the end zone again four minutes later on Wiser’s fourth touchdown from 6 yards out with 5:32 remaining. Then, for the seventh touchdown of the half, Wiser hit paydirt again from the 10 to push the lead to 47-0 with 3:17 left.

The Pirates finished the half with 296 yards in total offense while holding Holden to 42 yards.

Of course if the 47 points wasn’t gratifying enough, Boonville opened the second half with a 62 yard touchdown run on the kick off by senior Evan Gonzalez to extend the lead to 53-0.

Hough said just the effort by Gonzalez on the play was amazing.

“When Evan made that play our whole team was over here going crazy,”Hough said. “That’s how they are. They are definitely goal driven but they also care about their teammates.”

As for the Eagles, they moved the ball better in the second half but still had nothing to show for their efforts while punting the ball on their first possession and throwing an interception on the second.

Freshman quarterback Dakota Troost, meanwhile, scored his first varsity touchdown at the 5:49 mark on a 19 yard run and then followed it up with two more scores on runs of 13 and 10 yards to make it 74-0.

Then, after a fumble recovery by senior Harley Waller at the Boonville 8 yard line with 2:31 left in the game, the Eagles got the break they were looking for on the very next play when a high snap sailed over the quarterbacks head and out of the end zone for a safety.

For the game, Caton completed 3 of 6 passes for 100 yards and one touchdown.

West was on the receiving in on one of those passes for 38 yards and one score while DaWan Lomax and Charlie Bronakowski each had one catch for 31 yards.

Caton also had a big night on the ground with seven carries for 76 yards and one score while Dakota Troost had three carries for 44 yards and three touchdowns, Xavier Flippin one carry for 5 yards, West two carries for 4 yards and Spencer Steakley one carry for 4 yards.

West also finished the game with six total tackles, two tackles for loss, two caused fumbles and one sack. Peyton Taylor had a total of five tackles, while D.J. Wesolak added four total tackles and two tackles for loss, Connor Acton and Ross Brackman each with four total tackles, Peyton Hahn with three tackles, two tackles for loss and one fumble recovery, Hunter Pethan with three tackles, Nash Mckenzie with two tackles, one tackle for loss and one sack, Wiser with two tackles and one fumble recovery and Abram Taylor and Xavier Flippin each with two tackles. Dakota Troost also had one interception while Max Eckerle had one fumble recovery and Evan Gonzalez with one blocked punt.

For Holden, junior quarterback Danny Hartzler completed 9 of 26 passes for 64 yards. Treyton Barker hauled in three passes for 20 yards while Garrett Smith had three for 19 yards.