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Pirates fall to Maroons, prepare for Aspen

Fresh from a disappointing loss against Centauri, the Pagosa Springs Pirates football team was handed a 48-7 defeat in Alamosa last Friday against the Maroons, a team that has not caused much of a problem for the Pirates in recent years.

“It’s really a funny situation, because in July we have this 10-day camp,” Coach Olin Garrison said, “and we went over and scrimmaged some other teams, and we looked pretty good. Then, in our scrimmage against Ignacio we looked really good, but somebody flipped the switch and something happened. We just don’t have that same intensity or execution. We’ve lost it and we are trying to get it back.”

Alamosa scored 28 points in the first quarter while holding the Pirates at zero, then neither team scored in the second quarter.

The Pirates did come back after the half-time break and scored a touchdown in the third quarter.

“We took the ball and we started on the thirty-yard line,” Garrison explained, “and we drove it 70 yards just as smooth as you could want — just boom, boom, boom down the field. I said, ‘My gosh! That was good looking!’ and then that was it. We scored, but then after that we couldn’t get it going again.”

Alamosa went on to score 13 points in the third quarter and seven in the fourth.

“Defensively we’re just not taking care of our responsibilities,” Garrison said. “They’ve got to have faith in each other and they’ve got to be coordinated. Everybody’s got to play their technique and cover their own area of responsibility.” Alonzo Hernandez and Morgan Shelton led the defense with seven tackles each.

Alamosa was able to dominate the field with 16 pass completions for 184 yards and had 232 yards rushing. On defense, the Maroons were able to sack Pirate quarterback Dean Scott six times and force two interceptions and three fumbles. Scott completed two passes out of 12 attempts for 18 yards. One pass was to Keith Archuleta for 16 and the other was to Clay Ross for two yards.

“Each player has got to find a way to contribute a little bit more to the team,” Garrison said in a Monday interview. “We had a meeting Saturday morning. We talked about the game and a bunch of other things: workout habits and attitudes and everything. We will see if any of that sank in at today’s practice. I’ll be looking for signs. I told them that. Each player on the team could be a leader.”

Caden Henderson was the leading rusher against Alamosa with 68 yards, leading the team during its one good drive and scoring the touchdown, with Marcos Quezada kicking the extra point.

“Actually we are going to go back to some pretty strong fundamentals for the next two days,” Garrison said. “We have done fundamentals, but there are some things we can do that are even more fundamental, like using the blocking sled and getting our linemen fired up and using their shoulder pads more. We have a blocking chute that keeps them down where they can’t get up high. Just re-emphasize the fundamentals of the game.”

In a Tuesday morning interview, assistant coach Ryan Davis said, “There is still a lot of trying to find out who we are as a team,” but then he went on to describe the motivational team meeting on Saturday and concluded by saying, “Yesterday’s practice was probably one of the better practices we have had all year.”

“I don’t want people to give up on us,” Garrison admonished. “It’s the same thing I said to the team; we’re not quitting and we’re not giving up. We’re going to keep working and hopefully we’ll find the path we were on earlier and get back on it.

“Aspen has a really fast kid at quarterback,” Garrison concluded, looking forward to this week’s game (Friday, 7 p.m.). “If we don’t do a good job of containing him then we will have a tough night.”

After the away game in Aspen this week, Garrison is looking forward to the homecoming game against Basalt on Sept. 21 and he said he hopes to get the crowd support the Pirates have had in the past.

ed.fincher@pagosasun.com

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