Thursday night saw the Highline Pirates host the Evergreen Wolverines in another KingCo 2A matchup. The game was decided early, with the Pirates taking a 30-0 lead by the end of the 1st quarter. The final score was 58-0.
The Pirates executed precisely what they had scripted as their two pillars for a guaranteed victory. First, an aggressive ground game with slashing runs through holes created by a well-coached and disciplined offensive line led by Sr. Jacob Brown. Second is a relentless blitzing and swarming defense with 4 to 7 defenders on the ball in a gang-style tackling. In the first half alone, the Pirates had ten tackles behind the line of scrimmage against the Wolverines. The Pirates forced two fumbles, two interceptions, five three plays, and a punt in the first half. Two of those punt tries resulted in high snaps. With a fast defense, the Pirates made the most of the high snap errors, the first high snap going out the end zone for safety and the second recovered in the end zone by Nat Clay for a Pirate touchdown.
In our preseason interview with Defensive Coordinator Morgan Rosoborough, he shared that he wanted his defense to score every game. This week the Pirates brought home four defensive scores, not including a beautiful interception runback by Sophomore Adam Estrada for a touchdown that was called back for a Pirate holding penalty. Estrada would get his first season score 4 minutes later on another interception, returning it to the end zone. “I hope that is the first of more to come,” said a smiling Estrada after the game. Rashad Carriere also got into the defense scoring action with a 41-yard rumble into the end zone after scooping up a forced fumble by the swarming Pirate D.
Wolverine Quarterback Kalvin Singh rarely had time to set his feet. Pirate defenders (often led by Tackle Jordan Heng, and Linebackers Yannis Togi, Alijah Garza, and Charles Brown) were constantly in his face. In the second half of the game, Evergreen sought to use 240-pound Tight End Tunoa Mulitauaopele, and 300-pound JT Mataafa on short passes over the middle. Both Mulituauaopele and Mataafa proved to be hard takedowns for the Pirates, who needed six or more to stop them, but it was too little, too late.
Pirates execute a “gang-style” tackle.
Penalties abounded with the Pirates this game. A total of 9 infractions brought back scores, kept Wolverine drives alive and stalled a couple of Pirate drives. Besides these issues, Highline’s performance was solid and well-executed.
The Scoring For The Pirates:
- Nat Clay on a 17-yard run play set up by a Wolverine fumble on the Pirate 30 at 9:50 in the first quarter.
- A 2 point safety on a Wolverine high snap at the Pirate 14-yard line that went through the end zone
- Marquawn McCraney, 7-yard touchdown, pass completion from Ronan Rasmussen with 7:07 in the first quarter.
- Estrada touchdown on a 30-yard interception at the 4:55 mark of the first quarter.
- Rashad Cerriere 41 yard run for the touchdown on a fumble recovery at the 0:39 mark in the first quarter.
- Clay again on a Wolverine high snap recovery in the end zone for a touchdown with 10:19 left in the second quarter.
- Estrada again on a 2-yard run sweep to the right with 6:27 in the second quarter.
- McCraney down the sideline on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Rasmussen with 1:54 left in the half.
At halftime, the score was Pirates 51, Wolverines 0. The game’s scoring finished with Charles Brown taking a pass from Junior Houth for a 54-yard touchdown at 6:27 in the third quarter.
One of the brightest developments for the Pirates is the emergence of kicker Josiah Maginniss. Maginniss was a perfect 8 for eight on Point After Touchdown. He shows consistency and is continuing to develop his range. While field goals may not be called on often during the regular season, as playoff time comes, this can be the difference between moving deeper into the playoffs or going home for the season. We will watch Maginniss’ development with anticipation.
At the time of publishing, no stats were available.
The Pirates next game is Friday, September 30 at 7 PM at Sammamish High School.
Photos by Marco Orozco, edited by Natasha Tanev.