Never say never: Pirates trim four-touchdown deficit to one score, unable to finish comeback

The Hannibal football players react to their season-ending 70-61 loss to Lutheran North in the Class 4 state quarterfinals Friday night in St. Louis. | Photo courtesy Rick Ulreich

ST. LOUIS — The lead seemed insurmountable. It nearly wasn’t. Trailing Lutheran North 62-33 with four minutes remaining in the third quarter of Friday night’s Class 4 state quarterfinal, the Hannibal football team refused to lay down. Three touchdowns in a nine-minute span pulled the Pirates within 62-55 with 3:55 to play in regulation. However,…

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Playoff primer: Hannibal heads to Gateway City for state quarterfinal matchup

Hannibal running back Mike Ferreira, left, takes the handoff from quarterback Waylon Anders during last Friday's Class 4 district championship game against Warrenton at Porter Stadium in Hannibal, Mo. | Mathew Kirby photo

HANNIBAL, Mo. — For the fourth consecutive season, the Hannibal football team has reached the Class 4 state quarterfinals. Only once in those three previous postseason trips have the Pirates advanced to the state semifinals. That was in 2021 when Hannibal went undefeated until the state championship game against Smithville. A vast number of players…

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‘We’re making history’: Pirates reach state semifinals for third time in program history

Hannibal’s Aneyas Williams high steps into the end zone during the Pirates' Class 4 state quarterfinal game against the West Plains Zizzers on Friday night at Porter Stadium in Hannibal, Mo. Photo courtesy Mathew Kirby

HANNIBAL, Mo. — For the first time in the postseason, Hannibal’s football team was pushed. And make no mistake about it, the Pirates pushed right back, triggered by sophomore sensation Aneyas Williams. Williams provided another eye-popping performance, this one included five touchdown receptions on a Friday night that saw him reel in 12 catches for…

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Pirates ready for challenge of stopping Zizzers’ dual-threat quarterback

Hannibal’s John Clubine, right, forces Warrenton quarterback Austin Haas to fumble the ball during the Pirates' district semifinal game against the Warriors at Porter Stadium. Photo courtesy Mathew Kirby

HANNIBAL, Mo. — All of the attention paid to the Hannibal football team’s record-setting offense has left the defense often overlooked. That’s a mistake. Stingy when it needs to be and opportunistic when it can be, the Pirates’ defense has created problems for opposing offenses all season. Last week’s 47-0 victory over Jefferson City in…

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