summary of the Pirates' 36-6
semifinal victory over Carl Junction
by Tad Brewer
The Platte County Pirate football team overcame the Carl
Junction Bulldogs with a 36-6 victory, sending the Pirates
packing to St. Louis to battle the fifth ranked New Madrid
County Central Eagles.
The Pirates headed south to Carl Junction, which is about
10 miles west of Joplin, on Saturday, Nov. 17, to take
on the Carl Junction Bulldogs in a contest that would
determine which team would be headed to the former TWA
Dome, in downtown St. Louis, to compete for a shot at
the Missouri 3A State Title.
This was the third consecutive season that the Pirates
were competing in the semifinals. Two seasons ago Platte
County lost to Aurora in the semifinals, which was the
Pirates last loss. Last season they defeated OHara,
and this season they overcame Carl Junction.
The Pirates began their game against Carl Junction by
kicking off to the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs tried to find a way to run on the Platte
County defense, in an attempt to get a drive established
against the Pirates, but Carl Junction did not succeed
and were forced to punt the ball to the Pirates.
Platte County made a statement on their first drive,
marching the ball down the field for a score against the
Bulldogs defense. A combination of passing by senior
quarterback Robbie Campbell, receiving by senior David
Poolman, and rushing by senior halfback Zach Sherman set
up a two-yard rushing touchdown by junior fullback Matt
After the touchdown by Prout, a personal foul penalty
was called on a Carl Junction player. The Pirates accepted
the penalty, making the ball be spotted on the one-yard
line for the extra point attempt. Since the Pirates had
the ball even closer to the goal than a regular extra
point attempt, they opted to go for two points. Sherman
pounded the ball into the end zone converting the two-point
attempt giving the Pirates an early 8-0 lead.
With 3:29 remaining in the first quarter, the Pirates
took the lead with the score, concluding a 64-yard, 13-play
drive that originated from a Carl Junction punt.
The Pirates kicked off after the touchdown, and junior
kicker Nick Jaros kicked the ball off, where the ball
was bobbled by the Carl Junction return man who accidentally
kneeled the ball, giving the Bulldogs possession of the
ball deep in their own territory.
The Bulldogs were eventually forced to punt, yet again
turning the ball back over to the Pirates.
Platte County traveled 72-yards down the field on just
4 plays before they scored again. Sherman broke a 61-yard
touchdown rush to account for most of the yardage on the
drive. Jaros converted the extra point attempted and gave
Platte County a 15-0 lead with 6:18 remaining in the half.
Once Carl Junction received the ball again after the
touchdown, they were quick to turn the ball back over
to the Pirates. Jaros intercepted a Bulldog pass and returned
it 15 yards, down to the 25-yard line.
Just two plays after the interception, Sherman broke
a 15-yard run for a touchdown with 5:03 remaining in the
half. Jaros converted the extra point, and extended the
Platte County lead to 22 points.
Neither team score
d again in the half, and the Pirates took their commanding
22-0 lead with them into halftime.
The Pirates received a squib kick, recovered by junior
Luke Rainey and returned it 16 yards to their own 45-yard
line to begin the action in the second half.
Platte County sent the ball 55 yards down the field on
3 plays for another Pirate touchdown against the Bulldog
defense. Prout rushed the ball into the end zone from
eight yards out for his second touchdown rush of the game.
The extra point by Jaros was true, and the Pirates lead
grew to 29-0 with 10:58 remaining in the third quarter.
Carl Junction powered the ball down the field on a series
of dump passes and rushing plays that led to their only
score of the game. On 14 plays, the Bulldogs moved the
ball 74 yards, concluding the drive with a 6-yard touchdown
rush by their quarterback. Carl Junction decided to attempt
a two-point conversion to try and get themselves back
into the game, but they could not complete their two point
conversion pass attempt, and the Pirate lead was cut down
to 29-6 with 5:30 remaining in the third quarter to be
With hopes of recovering it, Carl Junction attempted
to recover a squib kick, which was narrowly recovered
by Rainey for the Pirates.
The final score of the ball game came with 11:33 remaining
in the fourth quarter, when Campbell dove into the end
zone from 1-yard out. This run concluded a 6-play, 63-yard
drive. Jaros made the extra point kick, and the Pirates
took a 36-6 lead over Carl Junction.
Shortly after this touchdown, Platte County removed its
starters and wound down the clock advancing the Pirates
to 13-0 on the season, past the semifinals, and back into
the championship for the second consecutive year in St.
Senior wide receiver and linebacker Chase Verdoorn did
not play at all in the Carl Junction game due to nagging
leg injuries. Senior center Joe Bullock left the game
early against Carl Junction with a banged up knee. Despite
their injuries, both are expected to start in the championship
in St. Louis.
The Pirates had 354 yards of total offense compared to
138 yards by Carl Junction. Of the 354 yards of Platte
County offense, 231 came on the ground and 123 came through
Sherman was the leading rusher for Platte County as he
had 191 total yards on 21 attempts with 2 touchdowns.
Sherman, Missouris second all-time leading rusher,
now has 328 carries on the season for 2,688 yards, and
1,113 career carries for 7,565 yards, which is ninth in
Other leading rusher for Platte County included Prout
who had 24 yards on 4 attempts with 2 touchdowns, sophomore
Brian Lister who had 14 yards on 3 attempts, and sophomore
Jeremy Hart who had 11 yards on 5 attempts.
Campbell was 11-15 passing for 123 yards.
The leading receivers were Poolman with 4 for 62 yards,
Jaros, who had his first career varsity action at wide
receiver, had 19 yards on 3 receptions, Prout who had
17 yards on 2 receptions, and senior Mitch Black who had
2 receptions for 25 yards.
The leading tacklers for Platte County included juniors
Sean OConnor who had 15, Aaron Bernard had 13, Travis
Frogge and Prout had 12 each, Cory Williams had 11, and
Jaros and Poolman each added 5 of their own.
Poolman and Bernard each had one sack apiece.
Jaros had the only interception of the night.
After the Pirates defeated Carl Junction, they were set
to take on the winner of the New Madrid County Central
and Salem game. Salem fell to the Pirates last season
in the championship, but they could not make it back to
the dome, as New Madrid County Central pulled off a 43-23
New Madrid County Central is a speedy team that will
have to find a way to overcome the Platte County defense
and stop the Pirate offense. In the last poll of the season,
the eagles of New Madrid County Central were ranked fourth,
while the Pirates were ranked first in Missouri Class
The Pirates will seek to defend last seasons championship
and bring home another championship during their game
on Friday, Nov. 23, at 3:15 p.m. at the former TWA Dome,
it is no longer called the TWA Dome after the buyout of
TWA by American Airlines, so as of now there is no official
name for the Dome.
The Pirates are riding a 27 game winning streak, which
is the longest in Missouri, into the championship game.