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Football team starts two-game home stand against Centauri

Fans of Pirate football can catch the first of the last two home games, and final regular season games, tomorrow night at 6 p.m. when Pagosa hosts the Centauri Falcons at Golden Peaks stadium.

Both games could determine the Pirates’ chances for post-season play and a shot at being the 2010 2A Mountain conference champions.

The final push begins tomorrow night as the Pirates host the Falcons.

Although the 1-4 Falcons (0-3 in 2A Mountain) could appear to be an easy win for the Pirates, Centauri should not be written off as a pushover. The Falcons lost by only a single touchdown to the league-leading Demons in Buena Vista on Oct. 15 and by just a single point the following week against the Salida Spartans.

The Pirates lost their Homecoming game 30-26 on Oct. 8 against the Demons and narrowly defeated the Spartans 12-9 on Oct. 1 in Salida.

“Centauri just seems to be getting better with every week they play,” said Coach Sean O’Donnell. “We’ve been very impressed with what we’ve seen.

“If we don’t play good football Friday, we very well could lose,” he added.

The Pirates close out their season with a make-or-break match against their perennial league rivals, the 6-1 Bayfield Wolverines.

Last year, the Wolverines defeated the Pirates 21-20 in Bayfield, not only knocking the Pirates out of the 2A top seed post season position, but also forcing Pagosa into the league’s co-champion designation with Salida instead of a lone conference title.

Seeking to settle a score, the Pirates will have tough time schooling a Wolverines team that has made few mistakes this season (losing only to the Demons 20-14 on Oct. 1 in Buena Vista).

“They’re an extremely good football team,” O’Donnell said, “they were front runners in the league coming into the season and deservedly so.”

Odds are that Pagosa will not end the season as undisputed conference champions. With 7-1 Buena Vista performing well all season — losing only to the 2A powerhouse (and undefeated) Colorado Springs Christian Lions 38-0 on Sept. 10 — Pagosa would have to sweep during the next two weeks, while the Demons would have to lose both of their final two games.

The Demons face the Montezuma-Cortez Panthers in Buena Vista tomorrow night, then finish in Salida against the Spartans next week.

Likewise, Bayfield is a factor in the rankings and the Pirates are hoping for a spoiler tomorrow night as the Wolverines host the hapless Alamosa Mean Moose (1-6) tomorrow night.

“We’re at this point where we have to win both of our games,” O’Donnell said, talking about post-season prospects.

Should the Pirates lose one of their two final games, the possibility of a wild card spot exists for playoff placement, but there is no guarantee.

Considering the do-or-die situation for the Pirates as their season winds down, high school football fans in Pagosa should be in for a treat: two games of down-in-the-dirt and hard-hitting gridiron grit.

Pirates fans need to plan on tonight’s game and next week’s game starting an hour earlier than usual — 6 rather than 7 p.m. — as the end of the season winds down with less light and colder weather.