The Hannibal Pirates punched their ticket to the Class 4 Missouri Show-Me Bowl by virtue of their 42-26 road win over North County Saturday.

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But, what do we know about the Smithville Warriors, the team the Pirates will be facing at 11 a.m. Friday at Farout Field in Columbia?

Like Hannibal, Smithville (at the north end of the Kansas City metro area) is unbeaten. They also won their semifinal game on the road, knocking off MICDS (a thorn in Hannibal's side in the past) 40-36.

While the Pirates trailed in their game before pulling away down the stretch, the Warriors' win was much more dramatic. MICDS had scored on their first five possessions of the game, and took a 36-20 lead into the fourth quarter.

That's when Smithville quarterback Andrew Hedgecorth went to work.

In the last eight minutes, the Warriors scored 20 unanswered points to earn their spot in the championship game.

A couple of other similarities between the Pirates and the Warriors: Hannibal has outscored its opponents 50-15, while Smithville's average margin of victory is 41-10. And, neither team has ever won a state championship in football - Hannibal lost to Webb City 26-0 in the Class 4 title game in 2006, and Smithville lost in the Class 1 championship game in 1969.

As you probably already know, the Hannibal Public Schools will be closed Friday, December 3, so students and faculty can attend the game in Columbia, which kicks off at 11 a.m.

And, as has been the case all season, if you can't attend the game, Bill Shuler and Terry Ahern will have the call of the game on KICK-FM Friday beginning with the pregame at 10:30 a.m.


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