Sports

Pirates suffer crushing defeat

Nathan Betz, 33, is pursued by Orting’s John Thompson, 25, as he runs for 13 yards early in Friday’s homecoming game.  - Rik Forschmiedt photo
Nathan Betz, 33, is pursued by Orting’s John Thompson, 25, as he runs for 13 yards early in Friday’s homecoming game.
— image credit: Rik Forschmiedt photo

By DON OLSON

For The Beachcomber

At the start of this game there were three schools tied for first place — Orting, Cascade Christian and Vashon — in the Nisqually Football League. Now there are two.

It was Vashon’s Homecoming game, and perhaps all of the festivities clouded the Pirates focus. Thank you, Pirate fans — it was a record crowd, with standing room only in front of the bleachers.

The Pirates are a better football team than the final score — 50-7 — indicates.

At halftime, the score was Orting 36, Vashon 0. Perhaps it was good that the PA system didn’t work the first half.

This was a very, very good, well-coached Orting team, showing solid performances on both offense and defense.

The Orting Cardinals, with no losses, have outscored their opponents through seven games, 354 points to 100. The Pirates seven-game record is 120 points to their opponents 111.

A sign of the Orting team’s discipline was their march onto the field — two abreast, all in a line.

The game’s statistics tell the story. Orting had a total offense of 476 yards, with 28 first downs. Their passing game was superb, 20 completions out of 27 attempts for 269 yards. It seemed that each time the Pirates had them stopped on third down and long yards they were able to complete another quality pass for a first down.

The Pirates managed only 206 yards total offense — with 93 yards from passing. Matt Kerns was responsible for 75 of those yards and one of the two best plays of the game — a 45-yard pass completion.

After four quarters of football the Pirates managed only 7 first downs. With less than two minutes remaining in the game, the Pirates finally crossed the goal line, in what was the second-best play of the game, with the longest run — by either team — from Nathan Betz (73 yards).

Once again, solid tackling was contributed by Andy Didricksen, Quinn Holert, Kyle Martin, Kyle York and Alex Sohl. Another plus for the Pirates was the performance of the line in giving quarterback Holert some of the best pass protection seen so far this season.

The halftime entertainment from the band, the King (Tim Jovanovich), Queen (Nelle Horsley) and the royal court of attendants — plus class floats — provided a midway uplift to what otherwise was a disappointing loss.

It has been a long time since Vashon has beat Orting, but you can see there are telltale signs that will be changing in the future. Don’t give up on those Pirates.

— Don Olson is grandfather to Pirates football player Jeff Rauma.

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