Hannibal and Quincy High first met on the football field in 1896. For many years, the Pirates/Blue Devils matchup was a Thanksgiving Day tradition.

The programs haven’t met since 1985 when QHS won 7-0 on a short touchdown run by Gary Ballinger. Hannibal’s entry into the North Central Missouri Conference in 1986, Missouri’s playoff system and difficult times on the field for the QHS program are among the factors in the long layoff.

Jimmy Shinn was a running back on that 1985 Hannibal Pirate team. He’s now the Marion County Sheriff. I talked to him about that game:

John Schild is now the Sports Information Director at Culver Stockton College. In 1985, he was a guard for the Blue Devils:

The teams were set to resume the series around ten years ago. Those games were scratched when MSHSAA put the Pirates into a district with no members of the North Central Missouri Conference—effectively locking the Pirates into their ten game schedule for two years.

The Blue Devils visit the Pirates Friday night. This was to be the first part of a home and home series until earlier this summer when changes in the Western Big Six effective in 2013 means the QHS is now locked into a full schedule.

Here’s hoping the wait for the next Pirates-Blue Devils football game isn’t so long.

We'll have the webcast of the Pirates and Blue Devils on khmoradio.com beginning at 7:05 Friday night. Kickoff at Porter Stadium is at 7:30.