Pirates battle to the very end but fall short against Pintos

Chris Bowie
Boonville junior DaWan Lomax scores on a 65 yard pass from quarterback Colby Caton on the Pirates first play of the game Friday night against California in Tri-County Conference action at Gene Reagan field. The Pirates fell to the Pintos on Homecoming 21-14.

You can’t fault the effort by the Boonville Pirates football team.

In a much anticipated battle Friday night at Gene Reagan field between the 2-2 Pirates and 3-1 Pintos, you knew something had to give.

Unfortunately for Boonville, that something was the wrong end of a 21-14 score to drop the Pirates to 2-3 overall and 0-3 in the Tri-County Conference. California improved to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the TCC.

Despite the loss, which is now at three games, head coach Greg Hough said the effort by the kids is always going to be there. “It’s tough because the work doesn’t change,”Hough said. “These kids work too hard and we work too hard as a staff not to find some benefits and find some success. I want them to win. Unfortunately, let’s be ready the score board is what tells you where you’re at and the last three weeks we have been on the wrong end.”

But even then the Pirates had a chance. While scoring the first and last touchdown of the ball, Boonville still had a chance after recovering their second onside kick of the season at the California 40 with 1:33 left in the game.

However, after moving the ball down to the Pintos 25, Boonville had no choice but to throw a Hail Mary pass with 5 seconds left and no timeouts. Unfortunately for the Pirates, the pass was knocked away from the intended receiver to end the game.

The good news is that there will be other games. But this one will sting a little bit knowing that you out-gained your opponent 220-215 and finished with 11 first downs compared to 10 for the Pintos.

This game was also a sign of what each team wanted to do in the game. While the Pintos are more of a ground and pound team, which would attest for the 160 yards rushing, the Pirates seemed to have more success throwing the ball while finishing with 130 yards passing.

The only difference is that Boonville had four turnovers through the air.

Hough said that’s high school football. “You can’t turn the ball over and we turned it over,”Hough said. “We’re just struggling offensively right now. We were getting off the ball and getting a good push, but we were staying stuck. It’s just one of those things where offensively we have to get where we can put drives together as opposed to just relying on the big play. We have to be able to run the football but then on the flip side, we have to be able to do what we did the first play of the game and just count numbers and throw the ball out in space.”

The Pirates were a perfect 1 for 1 to start the game when sophomore quarterback Colby Caton hit junior DaWan Lomax out in the flats for a 65 yard touchdown with 9:22 left to make it 7-0.

Lomax, who finished the game with both of Boonville’s touchdowns, said he just had great blocking up front and just took it to the house.

“We just had a lot of mental mistakes tonight, but we’ll get back at it next week,”Lomax said. “We just need to do a better job of preparing, but we’ll get it figured out. It’s really tough losing three in a row but we’ll bounce back.”

Lomax finished the game with one catch for 65 yards and one touchdown and also rushed for 11 yards on five carries and a score.

Hough said on Lomax’s second touchdown the plan was to throw it. “DaWan is left-handed so we were running all of our jet action to the left and kind of setting it up and he just made a play at that point,”Hough said. “We talk about if it does breakdown be an athlete, be great and it turns into a punt return or a kick off return. DaWan has proved that when the ball touches his hands, good things happen, and that was part of the game plan tonight. We knew the first play of the game we wanted to get the ball in his hands and I thought our kids did a great job of blocking up front.”

The Pintos also did a great job of taking what the Pirates gave them in the way of four interceptions. After two punts to start the game, California made its own break when Lucas Ash picked off a pass at the Boonville 7 yard line. Three plays later after moving the ball to the Pirates 4, junior quarterback Calen Kruger scored to tie the game at 7-all with 4:37 left.

Then, after a three and out on Boonville’s next drive, the Pintos came back again with their second touchdown of the game on a 35 yard run by Kruger to go up 14-7.

The Pirates turned the ball over again at their own 48 on an interception, but then California gave the ball right back three plays later when senior Lane West recovered a fumble at the Boonville 39.

The Pirates had another three and out but would have been better off keeping the ball as California came back and moved the ball 76 yards on 13 plays for a touchdown to extend the lead to 21-7. The 5 yard pass from Kruger to junior Trevor Myers was just the fourth pass on the drive. However, Myers made a great catch over the Boonville defender for the score.

The Pintos finished with 171 total yards in the first half compared to just 113 for Boonville.

Each team turned the ball over once in the third quarter. The Pirates had another pass picked off at the Pintos 42 while junior DJ Wesolak recovered a California fumble at the Boonville 18.

The Pirates also had a golden opportunity to score points early in the fourth quarter with the ball at the California 17. However, on fourth and one, senior running back Andrew Wiser was stopped for no gain.

Boonville then caught a break after a fumbled snap on the punt with 1:54 left. Three plays later, Lomax made something out of nothing by avoiding several tackles for a 7 yard touchdown to cut the lead to seven at 21-14 with 1:36 left.

The Pirates recovered the onside kick, their second of the season, but couldn’t punch it in after moving the ball to the California 25.

Hough said California is a much improved ballteam from last year. “They play a physical brand of football,”Hough said. “It’s tough right now. We just need to get it right on the score board and find our way offensively and see what we can do.”

Wiser finished the game with 12 carries for 36 yards while Caton had 16 carries for 20 yards and Jamesian McKee three carries for 20 yards.

Caton also completed 10 of 21 passes for 130 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions.

McKee also finished with seven catches for 61 yards while Luke Green had one catch for 3 yards and Lane West one catch for yard.

On the defense for the Pirates, DJ Wesolak finished the game with nine total tackles, one fumble recovery and one caused fumble. Lane West had seven total tackles, one tackle for loss and two fumble recoveries while Evan Gonzalez added six tackles, Harper Stock with five tackles, Saylor Marquez with four tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack, Peyton Hahn also with four tackles and two tackles for loss, Wiser with four tackles and one tackle for loss, Nash Mckenzie with four tackles, Lomax with three tackles and one tackle for loss, Peyton Taylor two tackles and Jamesian McKee, Hunter Pethan and Spencer Steakley each with one tackle.

For California, Kruger finished with 14 carries for 63 yards and two touchdowns and also completed 7 of 10 passes for 55 yards and one score.

Drake Schlup had three catches for 33 yards while Myers hauled in three for 24 yards and a touchdown.