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Pirates punish Cedar Park Christian at home
By DON OLSON
For The Beachcomber
Vashon overwhelmed Cedar Park Christian on Friday, 59-6, and the Pirates’ game today against number-one ranked Cascade Christian will determine the Nisqually League champion. The Pirates play at 7:15 p.m. today, Nov. 4, at Franklin Pierce High in Tacoma.
On Friday, the first quarter of the game was tough — the chains were not moving down the field when the Pirates had the ball. With several Pirate starting regulars not suited up for varying reasons, it looked like it was going to be a long night. Both teams were fumbling. The Pirates repeatedly stopped the Eagles’ running game, but were unable to get those third downs converted into first downs.
With Matt Kerns and his sure-catch hands unavailable for returning punts, the coaches put all 11 players on the line to rush the Eagles’ kicker. It worked — their kicker was rushed and the results were short, lousy Eagle kicks all game. The first quarter ended with Nick Fox-Edele kicking a 36-yard field goal — Vashon 3, Cedar Park 0. Fox-Edele went on to complete eight more extra points for a perfect kicking night.
It was senior night, honoring the team seniors — who were playing their last home game — and their parents. At halftime the senior cheerleaders were also recognized.
Quinn Holert, Pirate quarterback and co-captain, is a senior. At the start of the second quarter, Holert made senior night his night. By the end of the quarter, he had scored two running touchdowns and another by intercepting a pass. It was a display of his athletic ability and maturation as an outstanding quarterback. His interception happened so quickly that no one in the stands knew he had run into the end zone with the ball until the referee signaled a touchdown.
Pirate fans have seen the other seniors — Matt Amick, Nathan Betz, co-captain Austin Frank, Randyn Gregg, co-captain Joel Harvey, Nick Hyde, Ryan Johnson, Matt Kerns, Austin Saathoff and co-captain Kyle York — guide the Pirates from losing seasons to this year’s run for the state championship.
The Pirates’ awesome defense was in full display, repeatedly stopping the Eagle running game. The Eagles turned to their passing game, but the defensive backs of Frank, Fox-Edele, Holert and Danny Sullivan shut it down. At halftime the score was Pirates 24, Eagles 0.
With less than two minutes elapsed in the third quarter, Betz went back to work with runs of 35 yards and 25 yards, twisting, turning and knocking down would-be tacklers for two touchdowns. The score then rested at Pirates 38, Eagles 0. The Eagles finally found success with a well-thrown pass and fine catch near the Pirate goal line for the only Cedar Park touchdown. The attempt at a two-point conversion failed — Pirates 38, Eagles 6.
This was a huge game for Pirates who had not seen much playing time in previous games. Max Croonquist started as a defensive lineman and played a great game. Strong contributions were also turned in by Matt Amick, Evan Hills and Austin Saathoff. Danny Lofland entered the game as quarterback. Jeff Rauma moved from his defensive linebacker position to running back and kept the Pirates moving down field, resulting in a touchdown. By the end of the fourth quarter, Lofland had two more long runs for touchdowns — to bring the final score to Pirates 59, Eagles 6.
With many of the Pirate regulars on the sidelines on Friday, the coaches were able to witness the depth and ability of athletic talent on the team.
— Don Olson is the grandfather of Pirates Jeff Rauma and Gregor Davidheiser.