Chimacum turns out the lights on Vashon

Nathan Lawson goes in for a tackle in Friday night’s game. - Laura Neuman Photo
Nathan Lawson goes in for a tackle in Friday night’s game.
— image credit: Laura Neuman Photo

For The Beachcomber

The events that unfolded last Friday night came as a surprise to even the most seasoned football fans. The Pirates were leading 21-20 in a tight match with the Chimacum Cowboys.

As the Pirates were gearing up to receive a kickoff following a late fourth quarter Cowboy touchdown, the crowd noticed a nearby transformer spark and then catch fire. The overhead lights sputtered then went out leaving players and fans in the dark. Up to that point, the Pirates had been playing their strongest offensive game of the season. Rather than call the close game in favor of the Pirates, the referees gave Vashon coach Kelvin Goliday the option of completing the last 5:17 another day. If the Pirates chose not to return, they would forfeit. On the cusp of ending a six game losing streak, the Pirates were unwilling to concede. In what one fan called a quixotic adventure, the Pirate team made the long journey back to meet their Chimacum rivals on Monday night to play out the final minutes of the game.

The first part of the game on Friday was thrilling. Vashon charged on the field ready to play. Early in the first quarter, Evan Anderson caught a pass at the 50-yard line and raced down for the first score. After a foul moved the ball closer to the goal line, Nick Amundsen scrambled wide to the right for the two-point conversion. The Pirates were up 8-0. A missed key tackle allowed Chimacum to score on a punt return, and a blocked field goal resulted in a loose live ball that a Cowboy scooped up and held until the Chimacum crowd yelled for him to run. He did so, moving 80 yards. Two plays later, the Cowboys scored another touchdown.

The Pirates shook off these big plays and mounted a strong defense. Linebacker Nate Lawson stood out for his physical game, tackling many Cowboys. On fourth and one at the Pirate 15-yard line, Vashon’s crowd cheered the defense on as they shut down Chimacum’s drive. The Pirates drove forward led by workhorse Ezra Ende, who racked up the yards. Quarterback Sam Schoenberg again found Evan Anderson in the end zone. The blocked kick evened the score, 14-14.

In the third quarter, Garrett Starr caught a clean pass on the Chimacum 25-yard line and ran in for the third Pirate touchdown. Austyn Heit’s point after kick pulled the Pirates forward 21-14. The Cowboys regained control at their 20-yard line and made a successful drive for another score, but missed the two-point conversion attempt. With a 21-20 game, the crowd roared, and the Pirates got ready to receive with the wind behind them. That’s when the stadium lights went out.

The Pirates arrived cold and tired on Monday following the long bus ride to Chimacum. With the brisk wind now in their faces, the Vashon team readied themselves for the last five minutes. A disastrous fumble on play four was swiftly picked up by a nearby Cowboy and taken across the goal line. Chimacum quickly capitalized on Vashon’s loss of momentum and pressed forward for another score winning the four-day long game, 33-21. Chimacum’s Cowboys had clearly studied the first part of the game and returned with effective strategies.

Goliday commented, “I feel like we took Chimacum a little too lightly when we returned on Monday because of how well we played on Friday night. This was truly a disappointing end to a game we played exceptionally well.”

— Cheryl Cochrane is the mother of a Pirate football player.

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