Pirates win big in season opener

Photo courtesy Stacey Barker
No. 18 Grant Aucoin runs wide around the edge of the Middle Park Panthers’ defense, with No. 4 Dylan Tressler and No. 8 Aaron Aucoin out in front lead blocking. The Pirates beat the Panthers 44-0 with the help from Grant Aucoin, who had one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown on the day.

By Clayton Chaney
Staff Writer

 Saturday, the Pagosa Springs High School Pirate football team traveled to Granby to take on the Middle Park Panthers. The Pirates showed up ready to play, beating the Panthers 44-0.

The Pirates had a big first quarter, putting up 28 points on offense.

 The team added seven points in the second quarter, three in the third and six in the fourth.

Senior Dylan Tressler had two breakaway runs, one for a 73-yard touchdown and the other a 55-yard touchdown rush in the first quarter. 

Tressler lead the team in rushing and ended the day with a total of 243 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. 

“He had the hot hand, he’s done a good job for us… he was the guy this week,” coach Nathan Morales said of Tressler’s performance.

Morales added that although Tressler was the go-to-guy for this week, “wherever we can score, that’s who gets the ball … the team is all about we, not I.” 

The Pirates put up a total of 449 yards of offense on the day, with 397 rushing yards and 52 receiving yards. 

Senior Grant Aucoin connected with senior Mitch Lewis for a 43-yard touchdown pass. Sophomore Aaron Aucoin completed one pass attempt to senior Caleb Laverty for 9 yards.

Morales mentioned that depending on the week, “we could throw more, we could rush more, whatever gives us the best chance to win,” regarding the offensive play calls. 

Other notable offensive performances came from freshman Galvin Lindahl, who had a 15-yard rushing touchdown; junior Tommy Barker, who put up 51 yards on the ground with 13 rushing attempts; and senior Cam Hinger, who knocked in a 20-yard field goal in the third quarter. 

Morales offered praise for the Pirates’ defense as it held the Panthers to just 62 all-purpose yards on the day. 

“Overall, it was a good day … our defense was amazing,” Morales said. 

The Pirates’ defense forced three turnovers, all of them being fumbles. 

Junior Wil Aucoin and Grant Aucoin each had five solo tackles on the day. Tressler and Lewis each came up with a fumble recovery, along with senior E.J. Monterroso, who also had a fumble recovery. 

Morales commented on how the team responded to the win and its goals moving forward. 

 “We enjoyed it for the bus ride home and then we switched our mind to Alamosa … the kids are ready to work,”he said.

He added, “The win was great, but we know we just got to focus on us and work hard and good things will happen for us.”

Morales mentioned the attitude of having “nameless faces” as their opponents going forward through the season. 

“We don’t worry about the opponent, we control us … We just want to be the best team and people we can be everyday,” he said.

Morales added that the goal for now is to “keep working hard, control the controllables and focus on us.” 

The Pirates will begin conference play tonight against the Alamosa Mean Moose. The game is set to kick off at 7 p.m. at Pagosa Springs High School’s Golden Peak Stadium.

The Mean Moose are coming off of a 21-13 defeat in last week’s nonconference game against the Woodland Park Panthers. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only two spectator ticket opportunities are allowed per home player and coach, with no visiting spectators allowed and no general admission, according to Athletic Director Marcie Ham.

Those looking to watch the games can do so by purchasing a subscription at https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/supportprogram.

Ham noted the school hopes to stream home games beginning with today’s contest.

All spectators and personnel must wear masks at all times and follow social distancing guidelines.