The third conference match of 2018 resulted in a loss for the Vashon High School football team at home last Friday night. The Eagles of Klahowya High School prevailed over the Pirates, 46-7. Vashon is now 0-6 for the season.
Light precipitation fell constantly on the second home game of the season, and very light breezes teased the mists into dancing patterns beneath the floodlights of the field. While the Klahowya Eagles came to Vashon with a 3-1 record, the Pirates were still searching for their first win of the season. With Klahowya’s multi-talented senior quarterback John Hartford at the helm, the Eagles easily handed Vashon another loss.
Klahowya kicked off to start the first quarter, and Vashon’s first possession resulted in a fourth-down punt. The Eagles’ first possession also resulted in a punt. The Pirate offense took the field again, but lost the ball on third down when a pass from freshman quarterback Will Godwin was intercepted by Klahowya senior Andrew Dickson. Hartford marched his Eagles down field, then threw a pass to the endzone, caught by senior Jacob Keppert. Klahowya then lined up to kick their extra point, but this turned out to be a ruse. Hartford took the snap as if to set it for the kicker, but then ran with the ball. The Eagles’ quarterback then fired a short pass to sophomore Hunter Wallis in the endzone for the two-point conversion, making the score 8-0.
Klahowya immediately pulled another trick play with a successful on-side kick, which they recovered 15 yards into Vashon territory. The Pirate defense was not on the field for long, though. On the first play of this possession, Hartford launched a beautiful 35-yard pass to Dickson, who reached the endzone for a touchdown. The Eagles set up for another extra-point kick, which again turned out to be another two-point conversion attempt. This trick failed when Hartford fumbled a handoff to kicker Dickson, and the Pirates had time to intercept Dickson’s surprise run. Klahowya was up 14-0.
Vashon senior Sol Dehnert returned the Eagles’ kickoff, charging out to the 32-yard line to put his team in good position for their drive. The Pirate offense was swiftly off the field, however, when Godwin fumbled the ball after nearly being sacked, and Klahowya recovered it. Soon the Eagles had another touchdown with a pass caught in the endzone by Dickson. With the successful extra-point kick, the score was Klahowya 21, Vashon 0.
Klahowya attempted another on-side kick unsuccessfully, and the Pirate offense penetrated Eagle territory with a strong first-down run by junior Richard Rivas-Gutierrez. This drive ended when their fourth down run failed. On their turn, the Eagles fought their way through a fourth down and a sack to score six more points with another touchdown pass to Dickson. The extra point made it 28-0. Vashon then repeated their last effort: Rivas-Gutierrez achieved a first down, but then a failed fourth-down run. The Eagles found some stiffer resistance on their next drive, however. Pirate sophomore Jack Cunningham deftly deflected a pass, and Pirate senior Joe Ghigleri sacked Hartford. Time was running out, so the Eagles settled for a field goal. The score was 31-0 at the half.
Klahowya received in the third quarter, and the two teams traded penalties as Hartford drove his team methodically down field. Wallis ran in another touchdown, and Hartford followed with a keeper play for another two-point conversion, giving the Eagles 39 points, Vashon 0. The Pirate offense foundered on their next attempt, resulting in a punt. Klahowya’s Wallis scored yet another touchdown on their possession, the score 46-0. Vashon’s running game improved late in the third quarter, owing to the efforts of Rivas-Gutierrez and senior Zavier Delgado-Williams.
In the fourth quarter, Godwin led his crew to the Eagles’ 15-yard line, and Williams blew through defenders and into the endzone for the first Pirate points of the game. Rivas-Gutierrez kicked the extra point, making the score 46-7. Both teams traded fourth-down punts, but a lucky break put Vashon within striking distance of the endzone in the final seconds. The Pirates had punted, but the Eagles fumbled their reception, and fleet-footed Pirate Cunningham recovered the ball. Vashon soon reached third down without advancing. Despite a remarkable zig-zag run by junior Luca Kuzma for a first down in the final seconds, the clock ran out before they could score again.
The Pirates will play the Cascade Christian Cougars in Puyallup at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13.
— Jonathan Kuzma is the father of a Vashon High School football player.