The Vashon High School Pirates, led by first-year head football coach, Manu Samanna-Spagnoli, have shown moxie and togetherness as they have battled injuries and penalties to start off their season 3-0 — for the first time since 2009.
A fall-like evening, on Friday, Sept. 16, found the 1A Blaine Borderites visiting Vashon’s stadium for a non-conference game. Blaine came into the contest with a 0-2 record, with losses to 2A schools Port Angeles and Sehome. Meanwhile, Vashon entered the game at 2-0, with victories over both 1A Fort Vancouver and Sultan.
The first quarter saw Vashon receive the game’s opening kickoff with a 30- yard return by Maxwell Delgado Williams to the Pirate 38- yard line.
Both Vashon and Blaine went three downs and out on their first possessions.
Blaine was able to regain the ball after a fumbled punt return by the Pirates at their own 42-yard line. Another stop by the Vashon defense forced Blaine to punt on fourth down and 12.
The Pirates then would lose two offense starters to injuries — first, junior tight end/defensive end Sawyer Ranney with an arm injury, and then starting quarterback and team captain William Weber to an ankle injury.
Vashon would turn to senior backup quarterback Ben Godwin to lead the offense for the rest of the game.
Neither team was able to have much success on offense in the 0-0 first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Blaine fumbled the ball and the Pirate defense recovered it at the Vashon 18-yard line. Ben Godwin then found an open Maxwell Delgado Williams for a pass completion of 69 yards to the Blaine 23-yard line.
On the next play, Oskar Weiss rushed to the left side for a 17- yard gain, but a holding penalty would push Vashon back to the Blaine 33- yard line. A fumble on the ensuing play let Blaine take over possession of the ball at their own 46-yard line.
Blaine then put together a three-play, 54- yard scoring drive to take a 6-0 lead midway through the second quarter, snapping a five-and-a-half quarter scoreless streak by the Vashon defense.
Two possessions later, the defense would come up with another stop, forcing Blaine to turn the ball over on downs at the Vashon 14-yard line. A few plays later, the Pirates were faced with a third-down and 8, from their own 17-yard line.
But then, the Godwin- Delgado-Williams connection would strike again, this time for an 83- yard touchdown pass. Vashon took a 7-6, with the extra point from Holland Moore. Blaine’s next possession would end on a Ben Larson interception for the Pirates, with a return to the Blaine 28- yard line. Three plays later, Holland Moore would bang a 34 -yard field goal through the uprights to give Vashon a 10-6 lead going into halftime.
The third quarter would see each team fumble the ball with the defense recovering both times. Neither team was able to put together an offensive drive as the defenses were flexing their muscles. Junior defensive back Ricky Rasmussen would make the next big play on defense with an interception at the Pirate 36- yard line.
On first down and 10, Godwin found Delgado Williams for a 43- yard completion to the Blaine 21- yard line.
The drive was capped off by a 9-yard rushing touchdown, by Chase Bradrick, to increase the Pirates’ lead to 17-6, with the extra point. The Vashon defense would bend but not break, holding the Borderites scoreless in the fourth quarter, though Blaine had a first and goal late in the quarter from the Vashon 1- yard line.
The Pirates rose to the occasion and stopped Blaine on three rushing attempts, and a fourth-down and goal incomplete pass.
Vashon would run out the clock and come away with a hard-fought 17-6 win.
The Pirates’ next game is at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, to open Nisqually League play at home against Klahowya. Come out and cheer on the Pirates!