The Hannibal football team was unable to stop its losing ways against Helias on Saturday as the Pirates fell to the Crusaders 52-14 in Jefferson City. The loss is the fifth straight game over the last three seasons for Hannibal against Helias. Two of the losses have come in the district championship game.
The Pirates were held out of the end zone in the first half while the Crusaders built up a commanding lead. Helias led Hannibal 21-0 after the first quarter and 42-0 when the intermission came.
The Pirates finally found a way into the endzone during the third quarter while their defense finally kept the Crusaders out.
Jerry McBride scored the Pirates’ first touchdown on a one-yard carry with 3:53 left in the third. Hannibal then scored again early in the fourth quarter. This time it was Shamar Griffith getting the carry and finding his way into the end zone. Griffith scored on a four-yard run with 9:06 left in the game.
Trailing 42-14 with 9:06 left in the game was as close as Hannibal would get. Unfortunately for the Pirates, that was also their last score of the game.
Helias, on the other hand, was not done scoring.
While neither team came up with a takeaway, the Pirates’ Wyatt King did force a Helias fumble. Unfortunately for the Pirates, the Crusaders were able to recover their own loose ball and carry it nine yards for a touchdown, giving the Crusaders a 49-14 lead with 7:17 left on the clock. With 0:45 left in the game, Helias scored the game’s final three points on a 29-yard field goal.
Hannibal and Helias nearly matched each other with their ground games, but in the end it was the Crusaders outgaining the Pirates on the ground with fewer touches. Hannibal rushed for 235 yards on 40 carries while Helias picked up 238 yards on just 30 carries.
Griffith and King attempted to carry the load for the Pirates as each running back picked up yardage, but neither could matcih last week’s totals of 100-plus yards. Griffith had 12 carries for a team-high 93 yards while King had a team-high 17 carries for 84 yards.
Hannibal completed two-thirds of its passing attempts with quarterback Austin Kirby going 6-for-9 for 59 yards. On the flip side, Helias had little trouble with its passing game as the Crusaders picked up nearly as many yards through the air (276) as Hannibal gained on total offense (294). Helias completed 16 of its 23 passing attempts.
McBride caught three passes for 28 yards while Dalton Overstreet caught a pair of passes for 27 yards.
Following a pair of Saturday road games to open the season, Hannibal (1-1) will host its home opener on Friday. Boonville will come to town as the Pirates begin a string of seven straight games against North Central Missouri Conference foes. Kick off on Friday is set for 7 p.m. at Porter Stadium.