Pirates win third consecutive game in a row, and Sammamish almost scores.
This game will be remembered for two plays. First, with 14 seconds left in the game, the Sammamish Redhawks were at the 1, threatening to score. On their last play, a run off left tackle, and the Redhawks were stopped cold by a swarm of Pirates. Coach House’s defense delivered its fourth consecutive shutout in 2A league play. The second play was Rashad Carriere’s kick-off tackle that rattled the bones of even the boys in the press box. It was the hit of the year! A perfect, textbook “thump” of the kick-off return man right in the middle of the field. The entire stadium erupted with a sudden gasp of awe!
With a 55-0 win over the Redhawks, the Pirates controlled the game on both sides of the ball. This formula seems to work well: Start the game with a strong dose of running and score a few touchdowns. When the opponents begin crowding the line to stop the run, open up the passing game and score more.
Coach House’s goal is for his defense to score every game; Thursday evening, that came early. At 7:16, first quarter, a rattled Sammamish punt team let fly a high snap on their 28-yard- line. The ball rolled into the end zone and was covered by a mound of Pirate defenders. For two consecutive games, Highline has scored a touchdown on an opponent’s punt-snap error.
The Pirates seemed to move the ball at will, in large chunks. The Highline speed at the running-back position overwhelmed the Redhawks. With a talented backfield trio, Jamaine Matthews, Nat Clay, and Adam Estrada, the Pirates got the defense off-balance repeatedly. Matthews showed more slash and power than in previous games. Clay showed impressive growth in his patience, staying behind the blocks and letting holes develop before darting through. Estrada looked more comfortable with the ball and picked the outside well.
This game highlighted the talent of Marquawn McCraney. McCraney and QB Ronan Rasmussen flowed well together in this game. Twice Rasmussen delivered the ball on deep patterns right in stride. McCraney was well guarded each time, but his focus, soft hands, and reach seemed to suck the ball to him, and he was “off to the races.”
Once again, the only blemish in the Pirates game was penalties. Highline had 11 penalties in the first half alone, totaling 100 yards (more than the Redhawks had in total offense). This is starting to become a pattern for the Pirates; a lack of discipline here could send them home early in the playoffs. The penalties brought touchdowns back and gave the Redhawks many of their six first-downs.
In previous games, the Pirates have gathered their 50+ points each game by halftime. In this game, the points were spaced throughout all four quarters.
At 9:27, Matthews scores a touchdown on a 14-yard run; 7-0 Pirates
At 7:16, the Pirates swam on a Redhawk high snap in the end zone for a touchdown; 14-0.
At 9:27 Rasmussen connects with Hudson Sheridan for a 28-yard TD pass; PAT is blocked 20-0
At 3:20, Rasmussen connects with McCraney for a 60-yard TD pass; 27-0 at the half.
At 8:42, Rasmussen and McCraney connect again on a 29-yard TD pass; 35-0
At 3:43, Rasmussen and McCraney are at it again with a 24-yard TD pass; 42-0
At 11:43, Nat Clay scores on a 22-yard scamper; 48-0
At 5:33, Matthews finishes the Pirate scoring with a hard-fought 2-yard TD run; 55-0
As with the previous game, the new Pirate weapon of Josiah Maginniss really shined. Maginniss was 5 for 6 in Point After Touchdowns. He also showed excellent accuracy in ball placement on kick-off, going deep, shallow, and side to side, keeping the Redhawks off balance and unsure what to expect.
Pirates continue to build the ship and demonstrate that they intend are team to contend with.
In keeping with the Pirate spirit and the team chant; “Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Now go home and tell someone you love them.”
At the time of publishing, the statistics were not available.
Photos by Marco Orozo, edited by Natasha Tanev.