The Vashon High School Pirates came back with a vengeance Friday night in Port Townsend against the Chimacum Cowboys. Ending their winless season (five losses overall, three in-district losses), the Pirates clobbered the Cowboys in a 38-0 shut-out.
After a long few weeks for Pirate fans, the game in Port Townsend (Chimacum was playing its Homecoming game there due to field construction) had a different feel from the start. Vashon scored its first touchdown right out of the gate.
The Pirates hauled in more than 300 yards total on offense, with most of that in the first half of play. The offense relied greatly on two healthy running backs who have both been plagued with injuries this year. Connor Hoisington and Richard Rivas ran the ball hard and scored all of the touchdowns. Hoisington, in particular, was a fierce presence, switching back and forth from playing quarterback to running back. But the success was linked to great downfield blocking by the line and receivers.
“Finally having Connor and Richard healthy was a huge deal,” said head coach Clay Eastly. “But they didn’t do it alone. The blocking was amazing. The whole team made it happen.”
One of the ongoing challenges this season has been fielding a solid Pirate defense.
Eastly pointed out the fantastic defense held the Cowboys to fewer than 100 yards.
“The biggest thing about this game was the defense,” Eastly said. “The guys finally played the defense I have been envisioning for them. And they never let up. We held them. It was great to see.”
Beyond Hoisington and Rivas running the ball much of the game, another standout was junior Sol Dehnert who played quarterback, filling in for an injured Grady Earle. The team was also helped by great kicking (also by Rivas), and impressive tackles and sacks by an array of Pirates, including Joe Ghighleri, Steven Rice, Will Hennessey and Jack Cunningham.
Eastly credits much of the team’s success to the dedication the players have brought to practice the last two weeks, working particularly hard to turn the corner on the season.
The win makes the Pirates 1-3 in district play. On Friday, the boys will play their Homecoming game against Port Townsend (3-1 in district play) at 7 p.m. Eastly said he hopes all Pirates new and old turn out for the home game Friday night and support the scrappy team.
“If we play like we played last weekend, we can do this,” he said.
— Lauri Hennessey is the mother of a Vashon High School varsity football player.