Vashon football takes a tough loss to top-ranked Cascade Christian

The Vashon Pirate football team played the first seven minutes of last Saturday’s contest against Cascade Christian pumped to the max. During those seven minutes, the Pirates and their fans had every reason to believe that this would be the night Vashon knocked off the number-one ranked Division IA team in the state.

Midway through the first quarter, however, the game turned, and it quickly became apparent why the Cougars are ranked at the top. The Pirate defensive secondary could simply not keep pace with a blistering aerial attack as the Cougars scored six times through the air and twice on the ground to rout Vashon, 55-17.

Vashon scored on its opening possession, running 10 plays from its own 19 yard line and holding on to the ball for nearly five minutes. Coach Clay Eastly kept the ball on the ground, passing just once on the drive.

Most of the runs went for short gains, but there were three big plays that accounted for the touchdown. Quarterback Jeff Rauma picked up 9 yards on a third and four from the Vashon 25 yard line. Three plays later, on third and seven from the Pirate 37, Rauma couldn’t find an open receiver and scrambled for 13 yards and a first down. It appeared that the Pirate drive would come to a halt when they faced fourth and three from the Cascade 43, but running back Adrian Arceo broke free after crashing through the middle of the line and took it all the way in for the score. Nick Fox-Edele’s PAT was good, and the Pirates took a stunning 7-0 lead.

Fox-Edele’s ensuing kickoff sailed into the end zone for a touchback. The Pirate fans were worked into a frenzy when, on the Cougar’s first play from scrimmage, the Pirate defense forced a fumble, and Vashon recovered on the 17. Arceo picked up 5 yards on first down, but ran for no gain on the next two plays. On fourth and six from the Cascade 13, Fox-Edele hit a 30-yard field goal that put the Pirates up 10-0.

Cascade had had enough. On second and eight from their own 37 the Cougars scored on a 63 yard touchdown pass to a wide open receiver. Wide open receivers were to be the Pirate nemesis all night long. After two quarterback run plays and a screen pass picked up only three yards for Vashon, Cascade ran the punt back to the Pirate 33 yard line. After a short gain on a run, the Cougars struck again, hitting yet another open receiver for a 33 yard touchdown strike. They went up 13-10 and never looked back.

Vashon would put points on the board one more time before the night was done. Down 34-10 midway through the third quarter, the Pirates were forced to open up their offense more than they normally would. Following a Cougar punt, the Pirates took over on the Cascade 47. On first down Rauma hit Fox-Edele on a slant across the middle for a 16 yard gain. The senior quarterback came right back on the next play with a beautiful 31 yard touchdown strike to Dan Sullivan.

The Pirates (1-1 in league play) go against Orting (2-0) at home this Friday at 7 p.m.

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

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