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Hannibal defeated Moberly 31-17 to stay atop the NCMC Friday night. The host Spartans took their first lead in the second quarter.

Eric Duick with the call on KWIX and Hannibal’s Damien French answered with a 46-yard touchdown run on fourth down after a roughing the punter extended the drive. The Spartans added a field goal to enter the half with a 17-13 advantage, but Hannibal capitalized on Moberly’s mistakes in the second half. Spartans head coach Cody McDowell evaluated the inconsistency.

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The Spartans outgained the Pirates 234-89 in the first half. Moberly committed three of its four turnovers in the second half, and the Spartans suffered a third down drop on the first possession of the third quarter. French provided a six-yard score in the middle of the third quarter, and the Hannibal junior notched a third touchdown early in the fourth to hand the Pirates a 25-17 lead. Hannibal converted on fourth and medium three times in the second half to maintain control. McDowell described his halftime emotion as he noted the Spartan miscues started early.

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Hannibal opened the scoring with a 65-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. Moberly fumbled twice and tossed two interceptions. French rushed for an unofficial 232 yards while Jarrett Kinder paced the Spartans with 93 yards on the ground. Moberly junior Toby Short recorded seven catches for 148 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7 late in the first quarter. Moberly sits 4-3 and 1-2 in conference ahead of a trip to Kirksville. 4-3 Hannibal remains unbeaten in conference play and can earn an outright NCMC title versus Marshall next week. Hear Moberly head coach Cody McDowell’s full postgame interview below.

Moberly head coach Cody McDowell:

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