Football team falls hard in season opener against Chelan Goats

The long haul over the mountains to Lake Chelan must have played havoc with the Vashon football team’s ability to hold on to the ball as Vashon’s nine turnovers helped Chelan bury the Pirates, 35-7, last Friday night in the season opener.

“Obviously, we need to do a better job protecting the ball,” commented head coach Clay Eastly after the game. After the plethora of fumbles and interceptions, Eastly had one thing to say to his offense: “Hold on to the ball; that’s my quote for the week.”

Despite the lopsided score, Eastly sees great strength in this year’s Pirate squad and believes the team will bounce back quickly to show their true colors. “Just look at the game stats,” he emphasized. “Take away those turnovers, and it’s clear that we can play with this team (Chelan); we can beat them.”

Indeed, the Goats, who advanced to the Division 1-A semifinals in the state championship last year, scored most of their points off of the Pirate turnovers, and discounting those turnovers, their defense never really stopped a Vashon offensive drive.

The Pirates racked up 315 total yards to Chelan’s 307, and Vashon notched 17 first downs to the Goats’ nine. Adrian Arceo finished the night with 23 carries for 133 yards and one touchdown. He also grabbed six receptions for 55 yards. Nick Fox-Edele grabbed four passes for 51 yards, and Hamzah Griffin notched four receptions for 30 yards. Quarterback Jeff Rauma completed 16 passes for 148 yards.

The Pirates put together a long, sustained drive on their first possession of the game, but a fumble on the Goat 30 yard line, a portent of things to come, was picked up by Chelan and returned for a touchdown. Soon thereafter, Chelan picked off a Pirate pass in Vashon territory and scored again four plays later. Late in the first period, the Pirate offense put together another great drive, which resulted in a touchdown on an eight-yard sweep by Adrian Arceo. Nick Fox-Edele connected on the PAT, and the quarter ended with the Goats up 14-7.

The second quarter opened with Vashon moving the ball from its own 30 to the Chelan 45, but another fumble was recovered by the Goats. Two plays later Chelan found a hole and popped a run right up the middle for a 55-yard touchdown. The PAT was good, and the Goats were up 20-7.

Six plays into Vashon’s next possession, the Pirates fumbled again, giving the ball back to Chelan at midfield. The Goats picked up a first down on a fourth and two with an 11-yard run, and three plays later scored on a 10-yard run. The two-point conversion was good, and Chelan was up 28-7 at the half.

The third quarter saw neither team score. The Goats had four possessions, but the Pirate defense held firm and forced Chelan’s only turnover of the game, a fumble the Pirates recovered deep in their own territory near the end of the period. For its part, Vashon also had four offensive chances. In the story of the game, however, the Pirates gave the ball away on three of those possessions and were forced to punt on the other.

A Chelan touchdown pass from the Vashon 25 with about five minutes left in the game concluded the scoring.

— Steve Edee is the father of Nick Fox-Edele.

Support the team

All proceeds from mulch, chips or topsoil purchased at the Dirt Yard this week and next will be used to support the Vashon football team. The Dirt Yard, which will only keep its delivery fee, is ending its operation there.

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