Pirates victorious in Homecoming nail-biter

Alex Sohl, 7, Danny Sullivan, 17, and another Pirate flatten the Charles Wright ball carrier on the Tarriers’ final drive. - Rik Forschmiedt Photo
Alex Sohl, 7, Danny Sullivan, 17, and another Pirate flatten the Charles Wright ball carrier on the Tarriers’ final drive.
— image credit: Rik Forschmiedt Photo

After four consecutive weeks of disappointing loses, the Vashon High School football team rallied last Friday in its annual Homecoming game for an old-fashioned, heart-pounding, down-to-the-last-second 10-7 win over Charles Wright Academy.

While the offense played much stronger this week, the game ball really needs to go to the defense, which gave some ground from time to time, but held firm when it needed to. The big D tallied one interception in the first half (James Spencer) and three interceptions at key moments in the second half (Tyler Stoffer, Hamzah Griffin and Nick Fox-Edele). But the highlight of the year came at the end of the game.

As time was running out, Charles Wright collected a first down on a fourth and five from the Pirate 13. The Charles Wright Tarriers, who had used up all their time-outs, quickly spiked the ball, bringing up second and goal from the two-yard line with about 20 seconds left on the clock. A false start then moved the ball back to the seven. On second down and seven, the Vashon secondary draped the Tarrier receivers, as they had throughout most of the night, and the pass went incomplete with 14 seconds on the clock. On the third down, Charles Wright tried to sweep left, hoping to catch Vashon off the line in pass coverage, but the defense stopped them cold, time ran out, and the Pirates, smiles a mile wide, got to sing the fight song to the fans for the first time in five weeks.

Charles Wright struck first when, with 1:52 left in the first half, they put together an eight-play, 82-yard drive. The Tarriers hit on three big pass plays in the drive, including a 15-yard touchdown strike, and they took a 7-0 lead into the locker room.

The defense can certainly take partial credit for the Pirates’ first score of the evening. On a fourth and one from the Charles Wright 29-yard line, Vashon stuffed the Tarrier ball carrier for a one-yard loss, giving the Pirates the ball only 30 yards from paydirt. On second and 10 from the 18, quarterback Jeff Rauma tossed what appeared to be a beautiful touchdown pass, but the play was nullified on a penalty. Three plays later, with 4:12 left in the third quarter, Adrian Arceo hit a 44-yard field goal to close the gap with the Tarriers, who now led 7-3.

Vashon’s game-winning scoring drive began at its own 25-yard line with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter. The drive featured great blocking up front, strong running from Arceo, and three perfectly thrown, critical completions by Rauma.

On second and 10 from the 25, Rauma picked up nine yards on a keeper, which was followed by Arceo’s 20-yard blast to the Tarrier 46. On the next play, a holding penalty against Vashon took the ball back to its own 46. Then, on first and 20, Rauma completed an 11-yard strike to Fox-Edele, and Arceo followed with a 22-yard scamper down to the 23. On second and eight from the 21, Rauma struck again as he hit Stoffer at the 10. On third and goal from the 9, Rauma found Griffin open at the 2, and on the next play Arceo ran it in for the score. Fox-Edele’s PAT was good, and Vashon took a 10-7 lead, which they held in masterful fashion.

In addition to Homecoming, the evening was also Senior Night. The game was the perfect contest in which to honor Pirate seniors Tyler Stoffer, James Spencer, Nick Fox-Edele, Adrian Arceo, Alex Sohl, Hamzah Griffin, Jeff Rauma, Marshall Montgomery, Dan Sullivan, Patrick Byrne, Zach Stackhouse, Logan Malczyk, Evan Hills, Vince Javonovich, Kyle Bakker, Carlos Recendes and Zach Theno.

The Pirates conclude their season Friday night in an away game at Cedar Park Christian.

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

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