Big plays fuel Port Townsend win on the field

Jason Chorak addressed the crowd on Friday night, telling those gathered it was an honor to have his number retired, along with that of fellow Pirate Robert Bennedsen. - Tom Hughes Photo
Jason Chorak addressed the crowd on Friday night, telling those gathered it was an honor to have his number retired, along with that of fellow Pirate Robert Bennedsen.
— image credit: Tom Hughes Photo

For The Beachcomber

The Redskins wasted no time exploding onto the field at last Friday’s home football game. Within the first 33 seconds of play, Port Townsend’s Matt Cain ran past the entire Pirate defense for a 55-yard touchdown. The Redskins used their ground game to pound the ball down field, scoring on the next two drives.

The second quarter continued at the same grueling pace as the Redskins converted a Pirate drive into another touchdown. Vashon threatened briefly to swing the momentum when a 12-play drive brought them into Redskin territory. An interception at the 3-yard line was run back 97 yards for another Port Townsend touchdown. The Redskins led, 35-0.

Following halftime, the Pirates continued to struggle with their reads and tackling in the second half. Sophomore quarterback Sam Schoenberg made valiant efforts against the Redskins’ swarming defense, but he was under constant pressure and had trouble getting the ball to his receivers. Senior Garrett Starr, returning from an early season injury, managed to keep his hands on several short passes despite being heavily covered. The Pirates slowly moved forward for 14 plays, grinding through the middle of the Port Townsend line. Junior Winter Krimmert carried a defender behind him as he ran over the goal line for the first Pirate score.

The Redskins answered back with two more touchdowns. The Pirates held onto the ball for the last 10 minutes, ending another 14-play drive with a touchdown pass to senior Evan Anderson in the final minute of play. Despite Vashon’s strong ending, the Redskins had an insurmountable 48-14 lead as the clock ran out.

Coach Kelvin Goliday referred to the mistakes made on the field last Friday as “mental errors” and said his staff will put more emphasis on addressing them by working on game conditions.

“I know we are on the cusp of being a better team. It’s just a matter of being more mentally prepared,” he said.

During Friday’s halftime, Jason Chorak, a 1993 Vashon High School graduate, was honored when his number 43 football jersey was retired.

John Green, who was the head football coach at the time Chorak played for the Pirates, presided over the ceremony, praising Chorak as a player who was “big and fast, who completed and played hard,” he said.

During Chorak’s high school years, he was recognized by achieving All-Nisqually League, All-State and All-American. Recruited by several top universities, Chorak chose the University of Washington, where he also played football with distinction. He went on to have a brief career in the NFL.

“If you think you can’t fulfill your dream if you come from a small school, Jason has proved that isn’t true,” Green said.

In a brief speech, Chorak said he felt priviledged to have his football jersey and number be retired, like that of Robert Bennedsen, a VHS player and graduate who was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan in 2010.

“For my number to be here with his is a great honor,” Chorak said. “Go Pirates.”

The Pirates will meet Charles Wright Academy for their Homecoming game this Friday at 7 p.m. A senior recognition ceremony will precede the game.

— Cheryl Cochrane is the mother of a Pirate football player.  Elizabeth Shepherd  also contributed to this story.

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