Pirates trounced by the Orting Cardinals

The ball sails just over the fingertips of Nick Fox-Edele, number 4, in the corner of the end zone in the fourth quarter of Friday’s football game against the Orting Cardinals.  - Rik Forschmiedt Photo
The ball sails just over the fingertips of Nick Fox-Edele, number 4, in the corner of the end zone in the fourth quarter of Friday’s football game against the Orting Cardinals.
— image credit: Rik Forschmiedt Photo

The good news is that the Pirate defense played a much stronger game against the pass this week. The bad news is that they struggled against the running attack and they mounted no serious offensive threat as the Orting High School Cardinals shot down the Vashon Pirates 19-0 last Friday on the Pirates’ home field.

The loss dropped the Pirates to 1-2 in league play, while catapulting Orting into a first place tie with Cascade Christian at 3-0.

The Pirate defense looked strong at the start. Orting began the game with the ball on its own 20 yard line. After five run plays moved them only as far as the 32, they were forced to punt. Unfortunately, the Pirates' opening offensive series was a harbinger of things to come. After an incomplete pass, a two-yard run and a quarterback sack, Vashon was forced to punt and the Cardinals took over on their own 38 yard line.

Orting then put together an offensive drive that ate up eight minutes and strung together 16 consecutive run plays that resulted in the first touchdown of the game.

The first half saw the Pirates with the ball five times. They picked up only two first downs, and only three plays picked up over 10 yards. The first came on the Pirates’ second possession when, on first and 10 from their own 22 yard line, running back Adrian Arceo broke free out of the wildcat formation, made a nice cut back to the middle of the field, and sprinted all the way to the Orting 47. The other two significant gains came on Vashon’s only real offensive threat of the half. The Pirates started a drive late in the half from the Orting 44. On a fourth and six from the Cardinal 41, quarterback Jeff Rauma hit Nick Fox-Edele, who fought for a first down at the 30. On the next play Alex Sohl burst up the middle for a 10 yard gain to make it third and one from the 21. However, the next play saw the Pirates turn the ball over on a fumble.

With less than two minutes left in the half, the Cardinals mounted another drive, taking the ball all the way down to Vashon’s 18 yard line with the help of a personal foul called against the Pirates. Pirate Alex Sohl put an end to the Cardinal threat, however, with a timely interception, and the half ended with Orting up 7-0.

The Pirates opened the second half with the ball on their own 31 yard line. On first down, the Pirates turned the ball over on yet another fumble, a problem that has plagued Vashon this year. The defense answered the call this time, sacking the Orting quarterback on a fourth and seven and regaining control of the ball at their own 31. The Pirates then put together an 11-play drive that took them to the Cardinal 35 yard line before stalling and turning the ball over on downs.

Orting scored again shortly thereafter on a 37 yard quarterback draw. Fox-Edele blocked the PAT, and the Cardinals held a 13-0 lead.

Vashon’s Nick Betz handled an Orting onside kick attempt, taking the ball to the Cardinal 47. On the next two plays, Rauma threw two perfect passes to Fox-Edele, giving the Pirates a first and 10 at the Cardinal 16. Two running plays for no gain, an illegal procedure penalty and two incomplete passes ended the drive.

The Pirate defense held Orting to three and out, and Vashon regained possession at the Cardinal 46. On third and 10 from the 46, Arceo broke free for a 17-yard scamper to the 29 yard line. On the next play Vashon ran the ball to the 15, but a holding penalty pushed it back to 37 where, on the following play, the Pirates fumbled the ball away to give it to Orting with time enough for its final scoring drive.

The Pirates will play Chimacum High School on Friday night at 7 p.m. on Cowboy turf.

— Steve Edele, the father of Nick Fox-Edele, covers football for The Beachcomber.

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