The Pirates got their much anticipated first win Friday night against Carl Junction. The 21-20 win put the Pirates at 1-2 for the season.
The team jumped out to an early 21-0 lead.
Hays said the team had a good defensive series to start the game, which led into a good offensive series with a nice drive that ended with sophomore Payton McCormick scoring to put the team up 7-0. It soon turned into what Hays described as a fast 14-0 lead to end the first quarter.
The Pirates had another good drive in the second quarter, which put them up 21-0 to end the half.
Coming back from the half, things proved to be a bit more difficult.
“We just kind of held on for dear life at that point,” Hays said.
In the third quarter, the Pirates had another nice drive that took up a good amount of time. Hays said the drive kind of fizzled out, and Carl Junction was able to score at the very end of the third quarter.
Carl Junction scored twice in the fourth quarter, their last touchdown was made with just 18 seconds left on the clock. They brought the game within just one point, but missed the extra point.
The Pirates got the on-side kick, and they then took a knee to win the game.
Prior to Friday’s game, Hays had said he was looking forward to showing a home crowd what the Pirates were capable of. He thinks they accomplished that Friday night.
“We just played a lot cleaner football,” Hays said. “We didn’t have any turnovers, had three penalties, we just played a lot more disciplined and clean football. It showed on the scoreboard against a really good Carl Junction football team.”
The Pirates hit the road the next two weekends. Hays said the main thing to do is focus.
“It’s still a football game,” Hays said. “Everything is exactly the same, you’re just at a different stadium. For us, it’s just about executing everything we do at a high level with very little mistakes. We’re going to try and carry the momentum we had from this past Friday into this Friday.”
Next up for Branson is a game against Neosho (0-3).
Going into Friday’s game, head coach Andy McFarland knew Mt. Vernon would be a tough team to beat. The Wolves fell 28-10 at Mt. Vernon.
The Wolves are 1-2 after three weeks of play. They return home Friday and will play Springfield Catholic (0-3).
After three weeks of play, Forsyth stands with the best record in the area. The team is 2-1 after a 49-13 win on the road against Clinton. The team was originally scheduled to play Clever.
The Panthers return home this week to face Fair Grove who is 1-2 for the season.
Reeds Spring head coach Andy McFarland and Forsyth head coach Kristopher Conley could not be reached in time for print.