Battle head coach Jonah Dubinski knows that to make a run in the playoffs, his team needs to play 48 minutes of solid football.

For the second week in a row, that didn’t happen.

Battle was hampered by a slow start, falling to Hannibal 42-26 in a game that felt finished at halftime.

“It seems like every second half we can rack up a bunch of points,” Dubinski said. “At the end of the day, it is a results business, it’s about wins and losses.

“Against really good teams like Hannibal, you have to play a whole game.”

Sophomore running back Aneyas Williams got the scoring started in the first quarter for the Pirates with a 16-yard touchdown run. That was only the beginning of what would be a huge night for Williams.

He added two scores in the second quarter. Williams caught a touchdown and added another on the ground, both of them from 40 yards out while adding an interception on the penultimate play of the half.

“I feel like our defense didn’t play too bad tonight,” Dubinski said. “They have a phenomenal player in 22 (Williams) and he made some incredible plays.”

Hannibal quarterback Courtland Watson was the perfect foil for his team’s run game. His ability to stretch the field showed in the first half, throwing three touchdowns, including a 70-yarder to wide receiver Kaiser Greenwell.

While Hannibal’s offense was humming, Battle could not get anything going in the first quarter. The Spartans finally got on the board midway through the second, as quarterback Justin Goolsby found Keylan Horn from 11 yards out. That was the Spartans’ only score of the first half as Hannibal went into the locker room up 35-6.

Battle showed some life offensively in the second half. Goolsby found his rhythm, as he threw two touchdowns to TJ Turner and Livingston Coaty. He finished with 243 yards passing and three touchdown passes. His favorite target was Coaty, who caught a season-high seven passes for 108 yards.

Hannibal’s only score of the second half came on a 3-yard touchdown run by Williams, his fourth of the night. His 138 yards of total offense helped the Pirates complete their undefeated regular season.

The Spartans will be the No. 4 seed in the Class 5 District 4 tournament and host Liberty in the first round. A win will set up a matchup against undefeated Holt.

Dubinski knows that his team is going to need to improve week to week if it wants want to make a deep run in the playoffs.

“Besides the slow starts, we have to figure out our special teams,” he said. “It is evident that side of the ball is holding us back.”

  • Summer 2021 General Reporter. Reach me at or (201) 270-7962

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