HHS led 42-0 at the half.
Before Friday night's district opener Hannibal and St. Charles had not met in 18 years. Following a 56-0 loss to the HHS Pirates one might think that it would be another 18 years before St. Charles Coach Bob Leonard would want to see the black and red buccaneers again. But such is not the case.
"I didn't like the results the times I've brought my teams up here, but I sure like the competition," he said.
Leonard was not surprised when Friday's game turned one-sided.
"We knew coming in we weren't going to be strong enough to really compete with them," he said. "But at times I thought our kids did some good things."
St. Charles' ground attack earned it a first down on its opening possession before being forced to punt the ball away. On Hannibal's first play from scrimmage it would score on a 58-yard pass and run from Gabe Worthington to Will Whitaker.
"That hurt us deeply," Leonard said. "We had a freshman corner that got on the field late. That's why you shouldn't have to play freshmen on varsity."
Even though Worthington would throw three additional TD passes before taking the rest of the night off, Leonard contended that it wasn't Hannibal's aerial attack that did in his team.
"We can't stop the running game," he said. "We couldn't tackle them. We would bounce off."
Hannibal Coach Mark St. Clair said it also took a bit to slow St. Charles' running game.
"They got us on our heels a little bit early. They moved the ball and got a couple of first downs, but we did a good job of adjusting and making them turn the ball over," he said.
Leonard said his team was able to run the ball until Hannibal figured out that it could not throw effectively.
"Our starting quarterback had surgery on Tuesday. Our backup is injured so it didn't take Coach St. Clair long to figure out we can't throw," he said.
A 1-yard run by Daylon Reading gave Hannibal a 14-0 lead after one quarter.
Touchdown passes of 60 and 23 yards from Worthington to Whitaker, plus a 2-yard scoring run by Reading had Hannibal on top 42-0 at the half.
"I thought the first half was probably our best execution all your long. We were efficient and effective. I was really pleased with the way the kids came out with a little fire in their bellies and we got after it," St. Clair said.
Damien French and Ben Sublette added short TD runs in the second half to complete Hannibal's scoring.
"I thought it was a great team outing," St. Clair said. "We had a lot of kids doing a lot of great things out there."
Hannibal, 7-3, will host the winner of Westminster Christian Academy and Parkway Central in the next round of district play on Friday night at Porter Stadium.
Because of a printing schedule change Friday's game stories will appear in Tuesday's edition of the Courier-Post.