PIERCE CITY, Mo. — Pierce City football hit the practice field this week off the biggest win of the season.
The Eagles here today expected that these final practices before the final week would be vital as they try to lock up a third straight perfect regular season.
But news early Tuesday afternoon changed those plans entirely.
Last week’s matchup between 7-0 Pierce City and 7-0 Miller represented the best of Missouri Class One football.
Two hard nosed teams tied at 7-7 heading into the Eagles’ final drive, and one final message from Pierce City Quarterback Colten O’Hara.
“I said this is the drive we’re going to remember,” O’Hara said. “I trust them. I trust them with everything I have. I’ll put the ball in your hands. Go and make plays. That’s how much faith I have in them. For them to do that, it was a special moment for us.”
A special moment indeed as O’Hara punched in a last-second quarterback keeper to top Miller, 13-7.
“I haven’t stopped thinking about that one yet,” O’Hara said. “I remember it like it was yesterday already.”
The win of a lifetime, but while Pierce City now sat just one game away from a perfect regular season, their opponents for Friday Pleasant Hope were unable to give them the satisfaction.
Without enough players, the Pirates were forced to forfeit Friday night’s game.
While Pierce City is seeing unparalleled success, the announcement served as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by class one schools.
“Small town you get small teams,” O’Hara said. “We want to work as hard as possible like we do every week and get to the next week healthy.”
None of the Eagles wanted to be handed a perfect season without a fight, but the result doesn’t come without some positives.
“The initial feeling, as you were talking about, is disappointment,” Pierce City Head Coach Brad Hocker said. “But then you realize you’ve got some people banged up, some key people. It’s probably kind of nice to go ahead and let them get off their feet a little bit, heal up and get ready for the stretch run.”
Now, Pierce City can put the regular season behind them and look ahead to reaching new milestones in the upcoming playoffs.
“We have that district championship on our mind and beyond, so we want to work as hard as we can to get there and just give this community because of all the support they given us,” O’Hara said. “We want to do the best we can for them.”
So while it comes with pros and cons, Pleasant Hope’s forfeit locks up three straight perfect regular seasons for Pierce City football.
Now the Eagles’ real goals start to take place as Friday’s match ups determine district playoff opponents.