20210924-Branson FB-Tristan Pierce-1.jpg

Branson senior quarterback Tristan Pierce looks for an open pass. Carthage defeated Branson 42-14 on Sept. 24, 2021, at Branson High School.

The Branson Pirates lost to the second-ranked team in Class 5 on Friday.

The 42-14 loss didn’t show what the Pirates were able to do, though. Against one of the best teams in the area, the Pirates left with positives.

“They stifled us early, but at halftime we made a list of what we could do,” head coach Anthony Hays said. “We minimized it to what we felt like we could execute, and we did just that.”

Carthage scored on its first five drives, while Branson struggled to get more than a few yards each drive. After the first quarter, Carthage led 21-0. The second quarter had a similar look, but Branson was able to get its first first down of the game with 8:06 to go before halftime.

Carthage scored two touchdowns in the second quarter to lead 35-0 at halftime.

In the locker room, the Pirates made adjustments and held Carthage to one touchdown in the third quarter.

“We talked about finishing with class and pride and kind of acting like it was 0-0. We tried to win the second half, and I think we did that,” Hays said.

Branson’s two touchdowns came in the fourth quarter. Senior David Hadaller ran in a 4th and 3 ball in the red zone to score. Prior to the touchdown, Branson took a timeout to come up with a game plan.

Branson’s second TD came from a big pass from senior quarterback Tristan Pierce to junior wide receiver Justin Gill with 30.3 seconds left on the clock. Both extra points from freshman Dane Efird were good.

“We were able to score those last couple of drives, so I think we showed improvement, and I think we can carry that into next week,” Hays said.

The tough game against Carthage prepared the Pirates for yet another tough game. They will travel to Webb City on Friday, Oct. 1. Webb City was ranked No. 5 in Sept. 20 polls.


Forsyth falls to Skyline

Forsyth fell to No. 10 Class 1-ranked Skyline 42-26 on Friday.

The Panthers are 2-3 now. On Friday, for homecoming, the Pirates will host Stockton with Sheldon, which is also 2-3. Last year, the Panthers defeated the Tigers 56-16. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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