To paraphrase T.S. Eliot’s oft-quoted line, this is how the Pirates’ season ends — not with a bang but a whimper.
In Denver. By a score of 48-6.
The positive aspect of that end came in the final minutes of last Saturday’s game when, down 48-0 behind the third-ranked Kent Denver Sun Devils and a running clock working against the Pirates from almost the start of the third quarter (when the Sun Devils got out ahead 41-0), the Pirates finally managed to get points up on the board.
The game did not look to be a blowout from the beginning. Although the Sun Devils managed to get out ahead 13-0 by the end of the first quarter, the Pirate offense appeared poised to snatch the momentum away from Kent Denver.
That appearance was short lived as the Sun Devils struck big in the second quarter, scoring 21 points while leaving the Pirates with a goose egg and a 34-0 deficit going into the half.
Striking again less than two minutes into the third quarter and up 41-0, the Sun Devils forced a running clock — a CHSAA mandated “mercy rule” instituted when a score is a 40-point spread. With another touchdown scored in the third to put the Sun Devils up 48-0, Kent Denver had the luxury of playing younger members of the team for more than a quarter of football.
It was not much of an advantage for the Pirates. With the running clock not allowing much time to regroup or examine options (the clock stops only for timeouts and injuries), Pagosa finally scored with minutes left when Tyson Ross (making his farewell appearance in a Pirate football jersey) rushed four yards over the goal line on a quarterback sneak.
The Sun Devils host again this Saturday, facing the sixth-ranked Faith Christian Eagles. Also on Saturday, the fourth-seeded Bayfield Wolverines will host the fifth-seeded Eaton Reds; last year’s state champs, the eighth-seeded Olathe Pirates travel to Brush to face the top-ranked Beetdiggers, and the second-ranked Florence Huskies go on the road to challenge the 10th-seeded Tigers in Bennett.
As of press time Wednesday, Pirate coach Olin Garrison was unavailable for comment.