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Pirates drop conference opener against Southern Boone, 20-14

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Boonville senior receiver Charlie Bronakowski goes up for the ball over a Southern Boone player for a touchdown in the first quarter Friday night at Gene Reagan Field in Boonville.

Missed opportunities. That’s how Boonville Pirates football coach Greg Hough summed up Friday night’s game against Southern Boone at Gene Reagan Field.

Although the Pirates would fall at home in the conference opener against the Eagles 20-14, Hough said it starts with him calling a better game.

The loss dropped Boonville to 2-1 overall and 0-1 in the Tri-County Conference while Southern Boone improved to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in conference play.

“This one is going to hurt because we had our chances,” Hough said. “But I can’t fault the kids. I have to look at myself. I have to call a better game and I told them that after the game. I thought our kids played extremely hard. They played until the last second, and then after DaWan Lomax scored the touchdown late there in the fourth quarter our kids got excited and waited to be on the field for the onside kick.”

Needless to say, it doesn’t get any easier for the Pirates. Boonville will travel to Blair Oaks on Friday, Sept. 18. The Falcons beat California 50-6 to improve to 3-0 overall.

Hough said he knows the kids will rebound against Blair Oaks.

“We know we have a tough opponent, but we’re going to get off the bus,”Hough said.

Southern Boone has also been tough on Boonville by winning all three games since 2018-the first year the Pirates joined the TCC.

Nonetheless, Boonville opened the game with plenty of momentum against Southern Boone. With last week’s 74-2 thumping of Holden, the Pirates went into the game against the Eagles having outscored their first-two opponents 99-22.

Friday night was no different, at least early on, as the Pirates also scored first when sophomore quarterback Colby Caton hit senior receiver Charlie Bronakowski in the corner of the end zone with 5:00 left to make it 6-0.

The Pirates then caught another break when sophomore Connor Acton recovered a Southern Boone fumble on the ensuing kick off at the Eagles 25.

Unfortunately for Boonville, they were unable to take advantage of the miscue while turning the ball back over on downs.

The Eagles responded on their third possession of the game by driving the ball 78 yards on just five plays for the score on a 8 yard run by senior running back Alex Switzer to tie the game at 6-all with 6:08 left in the half.

Boonville and Southern Boone finished the first half with identical numbers in total yards with 98. The only difference is that the Eagles had six first downs compared to just three for the Pirates.

The breaks continued to go Boonville’s way in the third quarter after junior Peyton Hahn blocked a Southern Boone punt and teammate DJ Wesolak scooped it up at the Eagles 31. Then, after a personal foul by SBC was tacked on to the play, the Pirates now had the ball at the Eagles 17.

Three plays later after moving the ball to the SBC 1 yard line, the Pirates hit a brick wall as the Eagles held on four straight downs.

Hough said it was a fantastic effort by his team to get down there. “We had some momentum and made our adjustment after they were pinching in, but we didn’t execute,” Hough said. “We just missed some chances. It is what it is.”

Southern Boone turned Boonville’s misfortunes into a momentum changer by scoring two plays later from their own 16 on a 84 yard pass from Schupp to Dapkus to put the Eagles on top 12-6 with 6:42 left in the third.

Southern Boone never looked back after that while adding another score with 1:56 left in the ballgame on a 3 yard run by Schupp to extend the lead to 20-8.

However, on the ensuing kick off, the Pirates made it interesting when junior DaWan Lomax return the kick back 75 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to six at 20-14.

Southern Boone then recovered the onside kick and ran out the rest of the clock to end the game.

Southern Boone finished the game with 13 first downs and 255 yards in total offense while Boonville had seven first downs and 153 total yards.

Caton finished the game 9 of 19 for 117 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He also had 15 carries for 24 yards while Andrew Wiser finished the game with 11 carries for 12 yards.

D.J. Wesolak led all receivers in the game with four catches for 60 yards while Charlie Bronakowski had two catches for 40 yards and one touchdown, Lane West two catches for 16 yards and Jamesian McKee one catch for 1 yard.

For Southern Boone, senior quarterback Chase Schupp had a huge night by completing 17 of 25 passes for 246 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed 13 times for 34 yards and one score while Alex Switzer had 18 carries for 38 yards and one touchdown.

Blake Dapkus was the leading receiver for the Eagles with nine catches for 175 yards and one touchdown.

On defense for Boonville, Evan Gonzalez and Harper Stock tied for the team high in tackles with 11. Both players also had one tackle for a loss.

Nash Mckenzie, meanwhile, finished the game with eight total tackles. Lane West added six total tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and one blocked field goal while DJ Wesolak had five tackles and one tackle for a loss, Peyton Taylor with four tackles, Andrew Wiser with three tackles, Peyton Hahn with two tackles, one tackle for a loss and one blocked punt, DaWan Lomax also with two tackles and Gaige Offineer with one tackle.