The Vashon Pirates football team played their best defensive game of the year, but it was not enough to best the Raymond High School Seagulls in a game last Friday night in Raymond. The final score was 21-7.
And yet, the Pirates went into the game the healthiest they’ve been in a number of weeks.
“We came out and drove down the field at the start of the game and stalled out on the 25-yard line,” Coach Clay Eastly said. “They got the ball and scored on a drive. For the next three quarters, our defense shut them down, and forced them to punt a lot.”
There was finally a crack in that defense at the end of the third quarter when the Seagulls scored, and then they scored again in the fourth quarter. Then the Pirates came back with an offensive run.
“They made a nice drive down the field and down the 3-yard line and Richard Rivas-Gutierrez ran it in for a touchdown,” said Eastly, who added that Rivas-Gutierrez played exceptionally well. “I felt that Richard played probably the best game of his career on defense and ran the ball hard.”
Eastly also said that a number of players turned in great performances in their positions.
“Ryan Nelson, both on offense and defense, had another stellar game. Jack Cunningham played some strong defense. Will Weber played a great game at defensive end,” Eastly said. “Martin Ellison had a couple of nice catches on offense. The offensive line played their best game of the season.”
While the team went into this non-league game knowing that the Seagulls had been a strong presence in their own league this season, Eastly said the outcome was not a foregone conclusion.
“We had a few key mistakes that killed drives offensively, or who knows, the game could have gone either way,” he said. “I am proud of how hard they played. It’s been a long season. They are still playing hard and wanting to learn and improve.”
The Pirates’ final game is this Friday, Nov. 8, at Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma. The Tarriers are 4-1 for the season and often are a tough rival. The game starts at 7 p.m.
Eastly says the Pirates are up for the challenge.
“We’re going to go as hard as we can and finish this season strong,” he said.
— Anne Higuera is the mother of a Pirate football player.