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Pirates fight hard, but lose season opener to Goats
The Vashon Pirates opened the football season Friday with a 40-6 loss to the Chelan Goats, a top-ranked 1A team.
The out-manned and mostly young Pirates, with the help of some costly penalties against Chelan, kept the visitors out of the end zone for more than seven minutes, when the Goats pushed through from the four-yard line for their first touchdown.
Vashon was able to move the ball against the Goats but couldn’t get close to the end zone. After punting to the Chelan four, Vashon held the Goats inside the 12 until the end of the first period.
Four long penalties against the visitors on the drive brought the ball back each time they broke loose. Sophomore Garrett Starr and freshman Ezra Ende came up with a play that should go on the season highlight reel when they knocked the ball out of Chelan senior Matt Peterson’s hands on a long pass play just before the end of the period.
The Goats recovered in the second period and scored three more running touchdowns before the half.
Chelan ran for one more touchdown early in the third quarter before starting to sub in the reserves. They added another early in the final period.
The Pirates got on the scoreboard with 1:49 left in the game when sophomore quarterback Nick Amundsen connected with Starr for a 45-yard pass play and a touchdown.
The Pirates had 19 of their 22 players on the roster suited up for the game, while the Goats had 38 on the roster with probably 33 dressed and playing. Many of the Pirates played virtually every down both on offense and defense, yet they were still able to move the ball against the visitors and shut down any passing game the Goats attempted.
Pirate coach Clay Eastly said he was pleased with the team’s efforts against Chelan, one of the top five 1A teams in the state.
“I thought they played hard and played hard till the end,” he said.
The team is young this year, Eastly noted. After losing 18 graduating seniors last year and having an abundance of sophomores turn out this season, the roster has just four seniors and five juniors, several of them first-time players.
“Out goal is to improve every day and improve week by week, to get better every practice,” Eastly said.
The Pirates travel to Lakeside in Seattle for a 4 p.m. game on Friday. The next home game is Friday, Sept. 23, when top-ranked defending state champion Cascade Christian comes to the Island.