Humphrey carries load for Hannibal football team after Williams exits with injury

Hannibal’s Kane Wilson (24) sheds a block during the Pirates game against Battle Friday in Hannibal.  Mathew Kirby/Herald Whig/Courier Post

Hannibal's Kane Wilson, left, sheds a defender during Friday night's game against Columbia Battle at Porter Stadium. | Photo courtesy Mathew Kirby

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Markahl Humphrey ran for a career-high 193 yards and scored three touchdowns Friday night, triggering the Hannibal football team’s hard-fought 27-21 victory over Columbia Battle at Porter Stadium.

The spotlight was thrust on Humphrey, a senior running back, following a first-quarter injury to junior all-purpose back Aneyas Williams, a major NCAA Division I prospect.

Williams, who had gained 71 yards on 11 runs and scored a touchdown prior to the injury, did not return to the game. There were no details available on what kind or the severity of Williams’ injury. He is expected to be examined again Saturday by doctors.

Williams, a running back who has offers from most major NCAA Division I programs, has rushed for 1,362 yards, caught 33 passes for 424 yards and scored 34 touchdowns, including a 32-yard scoring run against Battle midway through the first period.

Williams currently sits ninth on Hannibal’s career rushing list with 2,840 yards and is the school’s career leader in receptions (133), receiving yardage (2,434), touchdowns (102) and points (641).

Humphrey’s two second-half rushing touchdowns proved to be the difference for Hannibal (7-2), which stretched its win streak to six games. Humphrey also scored on a 71-yard pass from quarterback Waylon Anders in the first quarter.

Battle (2-7), which entered the contest surrendering 44.4 points a game and had wins against two clubs — Hickman and Smith-Cotton — with just one victory apiece, led Hannibal 14-13 at halftime.

Humphrey scored on a 3-yard run in the third quarter and a 37-yard scamper with 6 minutes, 15 seconds to play to put Hannibal up 27-13. Battle scored the game’s final points with 4:37 remaining, but could get no closer.

Humphrey boosted his season rushing total to 890 yards and needs 110 more yards in the postseason to give Hannibal its first pair of 1,000-yard backs in the same season since Shamar Griffith (2,467) and Jerry McBride (1,278) in 2015.

Anders, a sophomore, completed 5 of 12 passes for 113 yards, the first time this season he had completed less than 60 percent of his throws. Anders’ scoring pass to Humphrey was his 14th of the season, the fifth-best single-season total for a Pirates quarterback. He has at least one touchdown pass in eight of the nine Hannibal games.

Hannibal’s 27 points were its lowest output since a 31-21 loss to Helias in the season opener, snapping a stretch of seven straight games with 40 or more points. The Pirates are averaging 43.9 points per game. The school record is 43.5 in 2015.

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