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The Pagosa Springs Pirates finally got to chalk one up in the win column last Friday night, beating the Basalt Longhorns 6-2 on their own field.
“We were very excited to leave Basalt with a win,” coach Scott Spoede said. “The one thing the score does not reflect is how physical our guys played. From the first to last snap, it was obvious our team was the more physical one, on both sides of the ball.”
The coach has mentioned several times that the strength of the team this year is defense, and the Basalt game was a perfect demonstration, with the Pirates holding the Longhorn offense scoreless.
“The two points came from a bad snap when we were punting,” Spoede explained. “The ball went over the punter’s head and he made the heads-up play and kicked it out of the end zone to prevent Basalt from getting a free touchdown.”
Alonzo Hernandez, who was named the defensive player of the game, got credit for seven solo tackles and six assists. He also sacked the Longhorn’s quarterback once.
David McRee had six solo tackles, including one sack, and two assists, while Keenan Early also had eight total — five solo and three assists. Chase Patane had five tackles, six assists and he intercepted a pass. Freshman Robert Roberson also had 11 total tackles, including four solo and seven assists. One of Creede Wylie’s five tackles was a quarterback sack.
“Our defense shut them out,” the coach bragged. “I couldn’t ask for anything more out of them. Coach Kelly (our defensive coordinator) has that side of the ball firing on all cylinders.”
There’s still room for improvement on the other side of the ball.
“I’m starting to feel like a broken record on offense,” Spoede admitted, “but we must complete drives. We were constantly moving the ball, but would commit simple mistakes to kill the drive.”
Quarterback Dean Scott completed one out of eight pass attempts, was sacked four times, threw one interception, and was forced to run with the ball 12 times, gaining 2 yards.
Early was named offensive player of the game, running the ball 75 yards on 13 carries and scoring the Pirates’ only touchdown. Jeremiah Miller had 19 carries for 83 yards.
Describing the physicality of the offensive line, Spoede said, “When you can burn out four minutes of the fourth quarter with repeated inside runs and average three to five yards per play with eight or nine guys in the box, you know you have the more dominant team.”
The coach also explained the team’s progress towards developing a more dynamic offense, saying, “I feel that we had some more success with the passing game, completing a seventy-four yard pass that set up our one touchdown.” Tate Drane was on the receiving end of that pass.
For the special teams, Marcos Quezada rounded out the Pirates’ total yardage with two punt returns for a total of 14 yards, while Carter Walsh had three kickoffs for 105 yards and McRee had five punts for 161 yards.
Tomorrow night, the Pirates will host Coal Ridge at 7 p.m. in Golden Peaks Stadium. The Titans have yet to win a game this year and come to Pagosa off of a 43-0 trouncing by Olathe.