The Pagosa Springs Pirates lost the last football game of the season, falling prey to the Wolverines last Friday night in Bayfield by a score of 29-2.
“Bayfield got up on us early,” coach Scott Spoede explained, “scoring 14 points in the first quarter. David McRee sacked the quarterback for a safety in the second quarter.”
J.C. Parsons, however, led the Pirates’ defensive efforts, making 14 total tackles, six solos and eight assists, including two behind the line of scrimmage. Ty Kimsey, Tyler Cowan and Ryan McInnis each made 12 tackles, while Alonso Hernandez made 10, Tyler Manzanares made nine and McRee and Marcos Quezada each had eight.
“Defensively,” Spoede wrote in an email, “they (the Wolverines) scored on the first couple of drives and then they settled in. Our defense lost steam in the second half and they were able to put up a few more scores then.”
Other defenders with credit for tackles include Connor Brown (six), L.J. Smith (four), Keaton Laverty (three), Jacob Jolley (two) and Clay Aucoin (one).
“We could not put anything together for a full drive on offense,” the coach continued.
Quezada, who plays on all three squads (offense, defense and special teams), was back in the game as quarterback after a hiatus for the previous week’s game against Gunnison.
“We were still missing four guys,” Spoede pointed out. “Looking around, that made us thin and susceptible in different areas.”
Quezada completed four out of 20 pass attempts last week — all four to Parsons — but only gained 31 yards total in the air. He also threw two interceptions.
The Pirates didn’t do much better on the ground, with Quezada holding onto the ball himself 11 times for a total gain of 33 yards. Parsons and Cowan each had ten carries — for 30 and 24 yards, respectively — while Aucoin got the handoff twice for 13 yards and Kimsey gained 5 yards on three carries.
“At half time,” the coach continued, “we were down 14-2 and came out the second half kicking an onside kick and recovering it.”
On special teams, McRee had to punt four times, sending the ball a total of 118 yards down field, while Quezada returned four kickoffs for 66 yards and Kimsey returned one for 16 yards.
With regular season play over, the Pirates missed out on the chance to move into the postseason action.
“This week,” Spoede explained, “we will get our equipment turned in and meet with the underclassmen. I think it is important to set the stage early for next year — let them know that we are already thinking about it.”
As far as the rest of the 2A Western Slope — South League is concerned, Gunnison finished the season on top with a 5-0 record (8-1 including their non-league games). Montezuma-Cortez finished 4-1 in league action and 7-2 overall, while Bayfield ended up 3-2 and 5-4 overall.
The Pirates wound up with a 2-3 league record (3-6 overall), while Alamosa ended the season 1-4 (2-7 overall) and Olathe had a 0-5 league record and 3-6 overall record.
“During our off-season,” the coach promised, “I will encourage the boys to be active in other sports and to take the weight training and conditioning program that our school offers. We won’t start going over routes again until this spring.”
As for Spoede and his coaching staff, who will be heading to a couple of clinics in the offseason, the plan is to collaborate, gather some ideas, and figure out how to refine the team’s practice for the next season.
“As a head coach,” Spoede wrapped up, “I will reflect heavily on the season and try to identify some major strengths and weaknesses from this year. I will focus my efforts on reinforcing the things we did well and researching and developing the things that we need to do better.”