It was a game that potentially anticipated the Pirates’ post season chances and, unfortunately for the team, the result was not good.
Facing the Demons in Buena Vista (by far Pagosa’s toughest opponent this season), the Pirates were unable to put together an effective offensive attack, returning home with a 28-14 loss last Friday night.
“We’ve had some big plays all year and we just didn’t get those,” said Pirate head coach Olin Garrison regarding last Friday night’s game. “The kids just got discouraged.”
Garrison also mentioned the Pirates’ inability to stop the Demons’ ground game as Pagosa defenders missed too many tackles.
“They had a good night rushing the ball against us, which no one has done all season,” Garrison said, adding, “We didn’t tackle very well. We stopped them, but we didn’t wrap up.”
Unfortunately, the Pirates allowed Buena Vista to get ahead early in the game took the lead.
In fact, it was only during the first quarter that the Pirates briefly looked to control the game. After allowing an early Demon touchdown, the Pirates scored on a short Jeremiah Miller rush, tying the game 7-7 with seven minutes, 28 seconds left in the quarter.
Behind a 34-yard run by Buena Vista standout Dakota Johnson, the Demons scored again on their next drive and, with 2:24 left in the quarter, took a 14-7 lead.
The Demons might have cranked their lead up a little higher during the quarter but a fumble at the goal line with seconds left in the first allowed the Pirates to regain possession and stop the potential Buena Vista scoring drive.
Numerous fumbles hampered the Pirate attempt at a comeback. With 3:58 left in the half, the Demons scored again on 14-yard rush by former Pirate Koby Close, pushing Buena Vista’s lead out 21-7.
The Pirates took one last stab at the game with under a minute left in the half as Tyson Ross ran the ball in seven yards, tightening the score at 21-14.
That was all the Pirates had left for the game. Receiving on the second-half kickoff, the Pirates fumbled again, setting the Demons up at the Pagosa 27 yard line. Although the Pirate defense held the Demons scoreless through the third quarter, they had no luck containing Buena Vista’s ground game and the combination of Close, Johnson and quarterback Cody Troudt. In fact, the Pirates’ doom was sealed with 6:54 left in the game when Close rushed in for his second touchdown of the game, making it a 28-14 game.
“I thought they were very good but thought we were, too,” said Garrison. “We need to regroup.”
Indeed, the Pirates have one last shot at a post-season appearance when they meet the Wolverines in Bayfield on Nov. 4 for the season finale. However, the Pirates have their work cut out for them if they hope to defeat a well-regarded and well-coached Bayfield team. Ranked second in the Denver Post poll and number four in Colorado Preps rankings, the Wolverines are only one of two unbeaten teams in the top 10 (the other being the Brush Beetdiggers, ranked first in both polls).
Furthermore, the Wolverines easily handled the Demons 28-3 on Sept. 30 in Bayfield, while destroying the Spartans last Friday 49-0 in Salida — a team the Pirates barely squeaked by 14-3 during a Sept. 30 homecoming game.
Tomorrow night, the Pirates host the Montezuma-Cortez Panthers for a game that should add another notch in Pagosa’s win column.
Last Friday, the Alamosa Mean Moose beat the Panthers 35-20 at Montezuma-Cortez High School.
Garrison said that game films he’s watched have shown the Panthers to be a team in disarray.
“They’ve got a physical team, there’s no doubt about it,” Garrison said. “But they make a lot of mistakes and their blocking breaks down. Hopefully, it will be the team I’ve watched on film and not the team they could be that shows up on Friday night.”
Kickoff for the Pirates’ final home game is at 7 p.m. at Golden Peaks Stadium.