On most nights, 36 points are more than enough to win. Not so Friday night for the Hannibal Pirates who took on Moberly with the NCMC crown up for grabs. While the visiting Pirates amassed 36 points, Moberly logged 56 points to claim the victory.
Moberly struck first, scoring at 8:48 of the opening stanza on a 5-yard run by Gregg Bain. Bain also kicked the point after.
The Pirates would knot the score at 3:52 of the first on a 9-yard run by Mitchell Nichols. Marcus Allen put the PAT through the uprights.
The Spartans regained the lead at 10:42 of the second quarter when Scott Mason rambled 66 yards for a TD.
Again the Pirates would rally, reaching the end zone on a 25-yard gallop by Nichols with 1:14 to go in the half. Allen’s PAT evened the score at 14 apiece.
Moberly would enjoy a 21-14 halftime lead thanks to a score with just three seconds left in the second quarter. The TD came on a 61-yard dash by Dimaja Smith. Bain added the PAT.
Moberly would add to its lead in the third quarter. Justin Connaway rumbled in from 1 yard out at 10:03. Bain’s PAT boosted the home team’s lead to 28-14.
A turnover set up the Spartans’ next score. Following a pass interception by Mason, Connaway scored on a 59-yard run with 7:12 to play in the third quarter. Bain’s two-point conversion run pushed Moberly’s lead to 36-20.
Hannibal cut into its deficit with 3:22 to go in the quarter on a 1-yard run by Nichols.
A Pirate fumble set up Moberly’s final score of the third quarter. The TD came on a 15-yard run by Dupree Alexander.
Moberly opened the fourth quarter scoring on a 1-yard run by Blake Joiner at 9:33. The PAT boosted the Spartans’ advantage to 49-20.
A safety on a bad pitch from the 2-yard line gave Hannibal two more points.
Hannibal’s next score came at 6:25 to play on a 34-TD catch of a pass from Austin Kirby by Jerry McBride. A two-point conversion run by Nichols made the score 49-30.
Moberly’s Connaway reached the end zone from 17 yards out with 2:50 to play for the Spartans’ final score.
A 23-yard touchdown pass from Kirby to McBride accounted for Hannibal’s final points on the night.
Individually for Hannibal, Nichols ran 31 times for 139 yards and two TDs. Wyatt King added 96 rushing yards for the Pirates on nine carries.
Moberly featured three rushers with more than 100 yards - Bain (136), Smith (114) and Connaway (108).
Through the air, Hannibal’s Kirby was 10 of 18 for 128 yards and two TDs. He suffered one interception.
Moberly’s Connaway was 5 of 10 passing for 128 yards.
On the night, Hannibal suffered three turnovers.
Moberly, 7-0 overall, holds the conference lead at 4-0. The Pirates are 6-2 overall and 4-1 in NCMC play.
Hannibal returns home to face Marshall on Friday night. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Porter Stadium.