Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pirates look to end Odessa jinx in district playoffs

Pirates look to end Odessa jinx in district playoffs
By Chris Bowie // Sports Editor //
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2007 12:37 PM CDT

The Boonville Pirates football team will attempt to end the Odessa jinx tomorrow night in the second round of the Class 3 District 14 playoffs at the BHS Sports Complex starting at 7 p.m.

While the Pirates took it on the chin last week against the Richmond Spartans 15-14, the Bulldogs defeated the Chillicothe Hornets by a score of 39-14 to improve to 6-2 overall and 1-0 in the district.

Nonetheless, Odessa coach Mark Bliss said his team can't look past Boonville.

“We control our own destiny,” Bliss said. “Last year we were 0-1after the first game so I think our kids know its a twofold process in that we are playing our second district game and a conference game as well. It's important that we try to build on that.”

In the game last week against Chillicothe, Coach Bliss said it was a battle while playing the Hornets to a 14-14 tie at the half. Meanwhile, after putting up eight points in the third quarter to make it 22-14, Odessa came back and tacked on two more scores in the fourth quarter to win by 25.

Bliss said it's kind of a reverse of last year as Chillicothe beat Odessa 20-19 with seven seconds left on a 36-yard field goal.

As for the game tomorrow night, Bliss said Boonville will probably be the biggest team on their schedule this season.

“We know Boonville has enough talent that on any given night, they could beat anybody,” Bliss said. “The key for us defensively is that we have to make sure we keep their speed in check. As for their defense, I know they are predominantly 4-3 again with big kids on the line. We are going to have to come off the ball and sustain our blocks. In the game last week against Chillicothe I was happy with the way the team played.”

In the game last week against Chillicothe, Conrad Hooper led all rushers for Odessa with 31 carries for 204 yards while Austin Harvey, another senior running back, had 17 carries for 169 yards.

Quarterback Ryan Becker, meanwhile, rushed eight times for 36 yards and completed 2 of 6 passes for 68 yards.

Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, Jacob Harris, Tyler Jarvis and Adam Whited each had seven tackles.

Of course Boonville head coach Brad Parsons knows his team will have their hands full against the Bulldogs.

He said offensively they run a combination of spinner backs and single wing. Parsons said Odessa also has a lot of mis-direction and are very good at running the ball.

“We have to stay home, read our keys and tackle well,” Parsons said. “They will run 90 percent of the time and their running back (Conrad Hooper) is pretty good. Ryan Becker will also throw it some and is awful good at mis-direction. As for Odessa's defense, they run a 4-4 but they are also big, aggressive and they tackle well. The key for us is that we have to maintain our blocks and get a push up front. They have two defensive tackles that are good and their line overall is excellent. Their linebackers are also big and tackle well, and their defensive backs seem to keep everything in front of them.”

As for the game last week against Richmond, Parsons said the kids played with a lot of intensity and fire and did a lot of things right. “They rebounded from a poor performance from the week before and played with a lot of heart,” Parsons said. “Even though we are 0-1 in the district we just have to play our game and improve and see where it goes from there. It puts our backs against the wall and we can't lose another game if we want to win the district. As far as our overall record at 2-6, we have had a lot of ups and down and peaks and valleys. Now we have to respond to those. The kids throughout the season have responded well and it has made them better players because of that. We want to play well and prove to everybody that we have improved from Game 1 to Game 9.”

As far as defending the mis-direction, Parsons said you can't key on one person. He said it's pretty hard to simulate it in practice because it is something you don't see very much.

Parsons said special teams could also play a role in the game on Friday. He said it could set up field position and change momentum.

As far as season totals, opponents have outscored Boonville 192-121 and have picked up 104 first downs compared to 73 for the Pirates.

However, Boonville has out-rushed its opponents 1,605-1,447 while opponents have out-gained the Pirates through the air 907-455. Add it up and for the season, opponents have 2,354 yards compared to 2,060 yards for Boonville.

As far as individual totals after eight games, sophomore running back Robert Callaway has 135 carries for 796 yards and four touchdowns.

Junior quarterback Jesse Monk, meanwhile, has completed 26 of 60 passes for 391 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions.

Senior Cody McFatrich is the leading receiver for Boonville with 13 catches for 211 yards and two touchdowns.

As for the defensive side of the ball, junior linebacker Anthony Ralph has 43 solo stops, 44 assisted tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack. Junior defensive end Corey Jones, meanwhile, has 37 solo stops, 21 assisted tackles, seven sacks and four tackles for losses.
Boonville Daily News -- 412 E. High Street -- Boonville, Mo. 65233

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