MOBERLY, Mo. — When Hannibal and Moberly meet, it usually means one of them is going to be crowned the North Central Missouri Conference champions.
Instead, it was a lopsided game that saw the Pirates defeat Moberly 48-14 at Dr. Larry K. Noel Stadium on Friday night.
The Pirates came out of the gate ready to attack. Hannibal offense under QB Courtland Watson only needed two plays and 55 yards to find the end zone with Markahl Humphrey to take a 7-0 lead.
Hannibal’s offense took no time again in finding the end zone. Watson would throw a nine-yard touchdown to Greenwell after several strong runs by A.J Thomas
Tyler Hardy would have several hard tackles to stop the Spartans offense. Spartans would fumble the ball on their own 7-yard line and the Pirates would recover the ball.
Pirates would take advantage of this misfortune and find the end zone on 2 plays and seven-yards with AJ Thomas running in a touchdown to give the Pirates a 21-0 lead against the Spartans.
“We had great focus all week,” said Hannibal offensive tackle Caden Selle. “We watched our film. Looked at their tendencies and saw what they were doing. We stuck to our fundamentals and technique. Our line improves each week. We just need to keep moving and stay focused, listen to coaching, and keep improving and keep rolling as a line.”
Daquan Powell would find the end zone for the Pirates on a 7-yard run giving the Pirates a 28-0 lead.
The Pirates would once again find the end zone with Watson on the keeper, giving the Pirates a 35-0 lead.
The Spartans offense would struggle on their next possession with a penalty flag for a false start and quarterback Collin Huffman would throw an interception to Powell, who would run it all the way down to the one-yard line.
One play later, the Pirates were in the end zone with a one-yard run by Thomas giving the Pirates a 42-0 lead.
“It felt great to get that ball,” Powell said. “My team blocked in front of me. I wish I would have scored for us.”
The Spartans would take three plays and 50-yards to find the end zone with a pass from Huffman to Martez Nabors to give the Pirates a 42-7 lead.
The Pirates would answer back with an 84-yard kick return by Markahl Humphrey for a touchdown to give the Pirates a 48-7 lead into halftime.
The Spartans would take advantage of a Hannibal fumble in the fourth quarter and march down the field. Moberly then scored a touchdown late.
Thomas had 94 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns. Humphrey was 40 yards with 7 carries and 1 touchdown.
Courtland Watson had 91 yards on seven carries with one touchdown, while going 4-for-7 passing for 21 yards and two touchdown passes.
“The second half wasn’t much of a game, but we came out and played well,” Watson said. “We stuck together and did what we had to do. I think when we play Moberly we are thinking of how they took the Conference Championship away from us last year. That was in the back of our minds. Last time we played here we blew them out in the district championship, and we just wanted to come back and make a statement. We have a lot of people stepping up”
Kane Wilson led the way with eight tackles and 2 assists. Hardy had four tackles and one assist.
Pirates head coach Jeff Gschwender said that Hannibal played a clean game.
“We came out fast, and we executed our plays well,” Gschwender said. “We had some good long drives. We played great up front. We kept the ball off the ground. Courtland obviously made some good decisions, not just on the RPO game but also on the option game. I thought our running backs did awesome and our offensive line did phenomenal.”
Hannibal (7-0) will host Marshall (0-5) in its next game on Friday, Oct. 15.