Move over the .500 mark for the first time this season at 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference
Boonville senior Carson Campbell can be his own worst critic at times.
So after dropping two potential interceptions the week before against the California Pintos, Campbell went back to work in practice and focused more on his hands and catching the football on defense.
As it turned out, the practice paid off as Campbell came up with his first pick of the season in the third quarter to stop a potential scoring drive. The offense did the rest by reeling off 28 unanswered points in the first half for a convincing 41-7 victory.
The win put the Pirates over the .500 mark for the first time this season at 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference. Osage fell to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the TCC.
Campbell said it was a good game in the first half. “The second half we didn’t come out as fast as we wanted and had a few errors and gave up six after a long pick,” Campbell said. “It shouldn’t have happened but we are going to get back in practice this week and make it better next week. As far as the interceptions, it’s just one of those things where it finally paid off. All the work that I have put in since my sophomore year it just finally paid off and I got my pick.”
Of course Campbell may have been more excited about running to the sidelines to get his turnover chain. “I just ran straight to the bench,” Campbell said.
Although the Pirates hit the 40 point mark for the second week in a row after putting up 43 on California the week before, head coach Greg Hough the first half was good but the second half was awful.
“Tonight we weren’t attention to detail in the second half and honestly we looked foolish,” Hough said. “It’s unfortunate that it ended like that in the second half because we are a better football team that what we showed. But again it’s a win. We’ve now won two in a row and we are over .500 for the season. It’s also the first road win of the season. We are kind of in some firsts and not only first for this year but first for these guys. I just really fear that they have to stay humble and they have to stay hungry, and it’s my job to sell that to them.”
The Pirates were definitely selling in the first half while scoring on their first-four possessions to lead Osage 28-0.
But it wasn’t just about the offense on this night. The defense also did its part by pitching a shutout for the first 24 minutes of the game and forcing Osage to punt the ball on four straight possessions. In fact, the Indians didn’t get their first first down of the ballgame until the 5:54 mark in the second quarter and didn’t cross midfield until the 4:46 mark at the Boonville 48.
As for the Pirates, let’s just say they scored pretty much at will in the first half while hitting four plays into the game on a 15-yard pass from quarterback Nick Ferrari to Tramell Coleman with 10:16 left. The acrobatic catch by Coleman in the back of the end zone put Boonville up 7-0.
Hough said awesome route by Coleman and awesome throw by Ferrari on the first touchdown.
“That is high level stuff,” Hough said. “That was a high level throw and a high level catch.”
While connecting on his first-five throws of the game, Ferrari said he feels like the team came out ready to play in the first half.
“We just have to learn to come out with the same tempo in the second half,” Ferrari said. “I just think we got tired. We just need to execute better in the second half like we did in the first and just keep playing the game we play.”
There was no playing around on the second touchdown, either. After forcing a three and out on Osage’s first possession, the Pirates went to ground and pound as senior running back Landon Weaver capped off an eight-play, 45-yard drive from 8 yards out with 6:06 left to extend the lead to 14-0.
Three plays and a punt later by the Indians on their second possession, Boonville found the end zone for a third time on a 4-yard scamper by Ferrari with 35 seconds remaining to make it 21-0.
The Pirates would add another touchdown in the second quarter on a 8-yard run by junior running back Avian Thomas to push the lead to 28-0 with 7:51 left.
Boonville closed out the first half with four touchdowns on six possessions and punted just once while Osage punted the ball four times on five possessions.
As for the second half, Hough said it was just a lack of focus.
“I guess we are in unchartered territory the best way to explain it,” Hough said. “We got up big last week and was successful and jumped out big 28-0 this week and really physically imposing our will offensively and defensively. We have to learn to finish those games. You have to learn to come out in the second half if you are on defense and get a stop, which we did, and then offensively we just went backwards, backwards and backwards.”
The Pirates still managed to put up 13 points in the second half and did outscore Osage 13-7. But the interception and losing the ball on an onside kick can’t happen against good teams.
But as ugly as the second half looked at times, the Indians also had a little luck go their way. After taking over at Osage’s 49 with 4:12 left in the third, the Pirates had a batted ball by Ferrari end up in the hands of Jacob Smith down to the Boonville 1. Then, on the very next play from the six after a penalty, senior quarterback Dalton Depee hit senior Garrett Sutherland for a touchdown with 2:45 remaining to cut the lead to 28-7.
The Indians never saw the end zone again after that as Campbell came up with a big interception at the Boonville 22 on Osage’s next drive. Then, after trading possessions, Thomas scored his second touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run to cap off a 9-play, 93-yard drive with 6:24 left to extend the lead to 35-7. Thomas would get his name called again only minutes later from the 24 to go up 41-7 with 3:53 remaining.
Senior Andrew Pefferman then got his name in the books with a fumble recovery on Osage’s next possession at the Boonville 40 to end the game.
The Pirates finished the second half with two touchdowns but also had one punt, one interception and one missed field goal, which had plenty of distance, from 36 yards out. As for Osage, they finished the second half with one touchdown, two punts, two turnovers on downs, one fumble and one interception.
Hough said again the things that happened in the second half can be fixed. “We can grow from this but it’s very frustrating because such a great performance in the first half and such a poor performance in the second half. I always tell these kids don’t just be good be great and tonight is one of those prime examples. If we would have handled our business like we did in the first half it would have been a great win. But we’ll learn from it and get better.”