Hannibal scores 35 points in second half

On a frigid night in St. Peters the Hannibal Pirates showed why they continue to be one of the hottest teams in the state, as they disposed of the Ft. Zumwalt East Lions 48-34 Friday night in the Class 4, District 4 title game.

After going to the locker room at halftime tied at 13, Hannibal, the number two seed in the district, took command of the game in the second half when it outscored top-seeded East 35-21.

The momentum shifted the Pirates' way on the first play from scrimmage of the third quarter when Dezi Jones picked off a Ben Watson pass and returned it to the Lions' 16. Five plays later Damien French would score from 2 yards out.

Another passing mistake by Watson enabled the Pirates to go up by two scores. This time Kadin Morgan intercepted a pass and returned it approximately 70 yards for a touchdown.

Just when it appeared the Pirates were poised to deliver a knockout blow the Lions converted two HHS turnovers into scores, which put East ahead 27-26 with just under 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

After falling behind Hannibal methodically marched down the field on its next possession, covering 58 yards on 11 plays. The drive climaxed on a 1-yard plunge by Gabe Worthington.

A two-point conversion pass from Worthington to Braxton Lennox put the Pirates on top for keeps at 34-27.

On its first two possessions of the fourth quarter Hannibal would tack on insurance scores by Worthington and Daylon Reading to put the game out of reach.

The 9-3 Pirates will host the winner of the Hazelwood East-MICDS contest in a state quarterfinal matchup on Saturday, Nov. 17. The game at Porter Stadium will kickoff at 1 p.m.