Playing before a standing-room-only Homecoming crowd at Golden Peaks stadium Friday night, the Pirates gave their fans a show that far exceeded the price of admission, handing the Dolores Bears a resounding 47-6 defeat.
Exhibiting steadfast offensive and defensive lines that stymied any attempt by Dolores to get into the game, the Pirates took their bread and butter and ate a Bear sandwich, chewing up their opponents for three hours of premier high school competition.
Taking their time in the first quarter, the Pirates gained their first touchdown after a short drive downfield and a rush by Paul Hoffman, making it 7-0 after an extra point by Tyler Sharp — with 5 minutes, 19 seconds left in the quarter.
Regaining possession late in the first, Pagosa added to the lead after Tyson Ross, breaking several tackles, rushed into the end zone with three minutes left, making it a 14-0 game.
Despite being beset by penalties in the second quarter, the Pirates continued their massacre of the Bears and, with 8:24 left, a perfect pass by quarterback Taylor Shaffer led to a 20-0 lead on a 50-yard Hoffman reception.
With 6:10 left in the quarter, the Bears took their only points for the game on a 38-yard pass reception, and a failed two-point conversion attempt saw Pagosa leading 20-6. With just 38 seconds left in the half, a Shaffer 6-yard rush over the goal line sent both teams to the lockerrooms for a breather with Pagosa ahead 26-6.
When asked about the seven Pagosa penalties in the second quarter, Coach Sean O’Donnell said, “It was just guys trying to make plays, blocks in the back and holding, things we need to fix, but I’m not upset about it.”
The Pirates’ onslaught continued in the third quarter when, with 8:31 left, a 33-yard Hoffman pass reception further pressed Pagosa’s advantage, producing a 33-6 lead. After a 3-yard rush by Dakota Miller opened the lead wider to 40-6 with 2:16 left in the third quarter, O’Donnell switched out his bench, giving his second-string players some field time.
With 9:10 left in the game, a Pirate fumble in the Bear’s end zone was recovered by Kobe Close, giving Pagosa a 47-6 lead over Dolores and, by Colorado High School Activities Association rules, led to running time, via the “mercy rule.”
With 1:02 left in the game, a spectacular interception on a Bear’s pass option play by Kain Lucero nearly led to another Pagosa touchdown but, unfortunately, resulted in what might prove to be a season-ending injury for Lucero. Putting Shaffer in to replace Lucero during the final seconds, the Pirates chose to run out the clock, ending with the decisive 47-6 victory.
Although the offense stood out in the stats, O’Donnell said, “I thought the defense played very well. I think they’ve made strides the past few weeks.”
Regarding the performance of his second team, given more than a quarter of game play, O’Donnell said, “They came in late in the game and I think they played really well. Those guys are really coming up.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s game, O’Donnell said that the team still has some work to do, especially on the offensive line. Regarding the game against the Bears, the coach said, “We missed some assignments and we need some improvement there, as far as blocking goes.”
Playing their first Mountain Conference game tomorrow night, Pagosa will host the 1-3 Monte Vista Pirates on the Golden Peaks stadium field at 7 p.m. in a contest that appears far more evenly matched than last Friday’s rout of the 1A Bears.