Sports

Pirates fall to a combined team, lose chance at state playoffs

Alex Sohl scores Vashon’s third touchdown midway into the third quarter.    - Rik Forschmiedt Photo
Alex Sohl scores Vashon’s third touchdown midway into the third quarter.
— image credit: Rik Forschmiedt Photo

No, Vashon High School's Pirate football team did not play two teams on Friday night. A handful of players from Seattle Christian High School joined Life Christian Academy's team this season, as Seattle Christian did not have enough players to field a team of its own. They stronger Life Christian Eagles are enjoying this new merger with a record of three wins and three losses. The Pirates, with two wins and four losses, lost to the Eagles, 42-27.

The loss means they won’t attend the State 1A playoff games, a goal the team set at the start of the season.

On the crisp fall night, the Pirates may have been taking their football inspiration from the half-moon on display. It seemed that they had come to play for only half a game.

Pirate spirits soared in the first two minutes of play when the Eagles fumbled on the first play of the game, with the Pirates recovering the ball. Three plays later, a pitchout end run to Adrian Arceo had the ball in the end zone. The extra point kick failed.

The Eagles returned the ball to mid-field on the kickoff. Missed Pirate tackles resulted in the ball on the Pirate 25-yard line. On a third down play, their quarterback, under pressure, desperately looked for a receiver. Slipping away from missed tackles, he heaved a long pass caught in the end zone, bringing to score to Vashon 6, Life Christian 7.

On the next series of plays, the Pirates returned to some of their bad habits: drive-killing penalties, holding and illegal procedure. The drive ended. The Eagles took over the ball at midfield and behind good running and passing moved down the field. Tyler Stoffer ran down and tackled a sure touchdown reception, but on the next series of downs, another touchdown was put on the scoreboard with two minutes remaining in the first quarter, raising Life Christian to 14 points.

With another Pirate drive stalled, the Eagles went back to work with a well-executed screen pass resulting in a 40-yard run and touchdown, and seven more points for Life Christian.

The bad news continued. On a fumble, the Pirates turned over the ball to their 35-yard line. The next thing they knew, the Eagles' quarterback scrambled for a run around and through the Pirates for another touchdown, bumping Life Christian's score to 28.

But the half was not yet over. It got worse for the Pirates when a high-floating, 45-yard Eagles pass — again their quarterback was under pressure but not tackled — was caught in the end zone, bringing the score to Vashon 6, Life Christian 35.

On the next series of downs, the Pirates showed that moon the other half of what they could be. There was a dazzling display of alertness when one Pirate missed his pass reception, but tipped the ball, and it was caught by another for a 40-yard gain. On the ensuing play, a screen pass had Adrian Arceo in the end zone after a 35-yard run. The Pirates went for two points successfully, bringing Vashon’s score to 14.

The first half ended with the Pirates executing a successfully recovered onsides kickoff. Incomplete passes ended their ball possession, and the half concluded.

The second half showed the resiliency of the Pirates and the talents they possess in executing quality football performance. The tenacious Pirate defense showed up, limiting the the Eagles to only one touchdown in the second half.

Over and over, spectators heard the names of Alex Sohl, Zach Theno, Hazah Griffin and Tyler Stoffer, who all made key tackles. Quarterback Jeff Rauma threw for three touchdowns, a total of 197 yards.

The Pirates also showed their ability to deliver accurate passes to receivers holding the ball. Danny Sullivan caught a precision pass against two defenders all over him and went for a 35-yard touchdown run. Alex Sohl caught another pass for a touchdown.

The Eagles mounted one successful drive the entire second half. The game ended with the Pirates moving down the field, Arceo running and Rauma passing, but the clock ran out with Life Christian ahead, 42 to 27.

— Don Olson is the grandfather of Jeff Rauma.

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