Both Mexico and Boonville enter Friday night's football game with a common goal--to pick up their second win of the season and move up in the North Central Missouri Conference standings. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Hawthorne Heights.
The two teams have an identical 1-3 overall record but Mexico is 1-1 in the NCMC and Boonville is 0-1. Both squads have played a tough early season schedule including shared opponents NCMC power Hannibal and state-ranked California and are looking to add to their win column.
"Everything is better when you win," said Mexico head coach Ty Harrison. "Conference games create an added level of importance."
The Bulldogs are looking to rebound from a close 21-20 loss at Hannibal and the Pirates are coming off their first win, a 34-3 victory over Knob Noster.
According to Harrison on offense the Pirates run a two back pistol and two back under center on offense and will play 4-4 defense with a style similar to Mexico. The team will mix up the pass and run and have a strong quarterback in senior Jacob Francis.
"They have a veteran, experienced quarterback and we have a quarterback still learning the ropes," Harrison said, referring to Mexico QB Tyler Bracht who just made the switch this season from wide receiver to quarterback.
Francis has been productive for the Pirates this year completing 41-74 passes for 494 total yards and two touchdowns through the air and has also rushed for 108 yards and 1 touchdown.
Other Boonville players to watch are senior linebacker Tyler Peterson who has 50 solo tackles and 25 assisted tackles on the season, senior center Grady Kay, sophomore running back Ezra Perry and senior RB/LB Dakota Meyer.
The game also marks the return of former Mexico head coach Devin Brown who coached at MHS from 2008-2010 and led the Bulldogs to the state playoffs in '08 and '09 before leaving for Boonville in 2011.
In a matchup that could be tight, every play counts. "Special teams is key; we have to win in that area," Harrison said. "Turnover margin might be the difference also."