Pirates in familiar spot heading to Bolivar

Hannibal's Daylan Reading, right, makes a tackle in last week's game against Jefferson City at Porter Stadium.
Mathew Kirby/Courier-Post
By Mat Mikesell, Hannibal Courier-Post Sports Editor
Posted: Sep. 12, 2019 10:37 am

HANNIBAL – Quentin Hamner’s message following the Hannibal football team’s loss to Jefferson City last Friday was simple.

Hannibal had lost its first two games for the second straight season, but last year still ended up being a successful campaign. The Pirates are hoping history repeats.

"Being 0-2 just fuels us," senior cornerback Cole Gander said. "It gives us a reason to come out here every day and play our hardest. No one likes losing."

It’s set up for Hannibal to right the ship.

Similar to last season, Hannibal opened with losses to Helias and Jefferson City to go 0-2. In Week 3, Hannibal throttled Bolivar 49-12 and started a six-game winning streak.

Hannibal travels across the state Friday night to Bolivar, hoping to start that same kind of streak.

The Pirates are confident they will.

"That’s the thing about these kids in Hannibal," Hamner said. "Win or lose, I don’t think those things affect them, and they just want to come back and work. That’s what makes us proud as a coaching staff is their ability to not left the scoreboard effect their ability to come out the next day."

However, the Pirates know they have to play crisper to come back from Bolivar with the first win of the season.

"Our word of the week has been attack," Gander said. "That’s something we need to do on both sides of the ball. We’ve been giving the effort, but we just haven’t been making plays and giving up plays that hurt us."

Those seemed to be cleaned up in the loss to Jefferson City last week. After the Jays threw a 47-yard touchdown pass on the fourth offensive snap of the game, the Pirates allowed only one play of 30 yards or more, which was also a touchdown pass.

Eliminating those two plays this Friday increases Hannibal’s chance to win.

"We just need people to do their jobs," sophomore safety Kaiser Greenwell said. "Just fill the gaps and stay on their man. We can’t give up those big plays because those have killed us so far this season."

The Pirates moved the ball better offensively, and actually outgained the Jays by 11 yards last week. The two scoring drives went for at least 12 plays and more than 82 yards, which shows the offense is starting to click.

Hannibal hopes it all comes together against Bolivar.

In Case You Missed It

Naomi R. Cheek Hearn, 96, of Quincy, Ill., formerly of Hannibal, passed away at 10:43 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020.