Sports

Pirates stomp Eagles, 26-6

Pirate running back Nathan Betz, in dark uniform on the ground, is tackled by a Life Christian player after a gain of 11 yards, one of a series of runs that led to Betz scoring the final Pirate touchdown late in the fourth quarter. - Eric Horsting/staff photo
Pirate running back Nathan Betz, in dark uniform on the ground, is tackled by a Life Christian player after a gain of 11 yards, one of a series of runs that led to Betz scoring the final Pirate touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
— image credit: Eric Horsting/staff photo

By DON OLSON and

MARY KAY RAUMA

The Vashon High School Pirates football team put on another dominating performance last week, this time against Life Christian at the Vashon High School stadium on Friday.

Vashon had a game total of 321 offensive yards, leaving Life Christian in its wake with only 181.

Almost half of the Pirate yards were made by junior Nathan Betz, who had 23 carries for 144 yards. The spectators watched Betz run into a swarm of tacklers and run out carrying at least one of them for another five to seven yards. Betz runs so low to the ground it appears he is running through the defenders’ legs. The Pirates’ outstanding linemen made this possible, opening the holes and clearing the way for Betz to make all the right moves.

At the half, the score was Vashon 17, Eagles 0. One of those Pirate touchdowns was a 63-yard pass from quarterback Quinn Holert (another solid performance) to Andy Didricksen — the longest touchdown pass this year. Adrian Arceo’s golden foot added a field goal in the first quarter, and he followed that with a touchdown in the second quarter.

Life Christian is a passing team — almost all of their offense was gained through the air. The Pirate coaches saw this coming and had the team well-prepared with a terrific pass rush and outstanding coverage by the linebackers, safety and cornerbacks.

Pass defense has not been a Pirate strong point so far this season. All that changed in this game. The Eagles quarterback was good, but he was rushed on all his passes with Michael Stoffer, Alex Sohl, Kyle Martin and Hamzah Griffin in his face. Matt Kerns and Quinn Holert made some great defensive plays — preventing certain touchdowns without any interference calls the entire game.

In the third quarter, the Pirates had stopped the Eagles deep in their territory, and on the punt attempt the hiked ball went over the punter’s head, and the Pirates tackled the punter in the end zone for a two-point safety, making the score Vashon 19, Life Christian 0.

The Eagles went on to dominate the third quarter, making some third-down and long-yardage pass completions. They were assisted by two Pirate 15-yard penalties, and finally, in the last seconds of the third quarter, Life Christian scored on a quarterback end run. The extra point effort failed.

The Pirate running game came back in the fourth quarter with Betz making first downs and sophomore Jeff Rauma adding another. Soon the Pirates were back in the end zone with Betz completing the scoring: Pirates 26, Life Christian 6.

Late game desperation passes by Life Christian were knocked down. A fourth-down attempt failed, and the Pirates took over to run out the clock.

The victory ended a losing streak: Vashon hadn’t beat Life Christian in a long time.

During the halftime intermission, Paul Wallrof introduced the standing-room-only crowd to the future: 40 Pirate Youth Football players, third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders fondly known as Bud’s Bombers. Each player took the microphone and gave his name, number and position. They are part of the system that’s begun to feed experienced players into the high school ranks.

— Don Olson and Mary Kay Rauma are father and daughter football fans.

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