by Martin Barrett
On the Pirates’ first play on offense, running back Jamaine Matthews took the ball to the end zone on a 26-yard run. Thirty seconds later, Marcus Moss recovered a Sammamish fumble on the 25-yard line. Three plays later, Matthews had the Pirates’ second score of the evening, and with less than 4 minutes gone in the game, Highline had a 14-0 lead over the visiting Redhawks. In rapid-fire, Coach Deontae Cooper’s team put the ball in the end zone. In the first quarter, Nat Clay scored on a four-yard run at the 8:12 mark. Tevita Angilau punched it in from the 3-yard line at 7:44. Then Adam Estrada got into the action with a 21-yard reception from Ronan Rasmussen; the Pirates closed the first quarter with a 35-0 lead.
The roadshow continued in the second quarter. A 29-yard touchdown reception of another Rasmussen pass to Marquawn McCraney made it 42-0. Then backup quarterback Junior Houth struck Vilisoni Angilau for a 42-yard score, but brother Tevita Angilua was not finished; he ran in a 2-yard plunge to make it 56-6. The Redhawks picked up their only score of the night midway through the second quarter on a 21-yard scamper by their lone bright spot, running-back Ty Webster.
There was no scoring in the second half. The Pirates ran the ball to use up the clock, and Sammamish was unable to move the ball into the red zone.
On this evening, the Pirate defense forced six turnovers, four fumble recoveries, and two interceptions.
The speed of the Pirates was just too much for the Redhawks. It appears as though the Pirate speed is also too much for the referees. The penalty flags were flying throughout the night. As usual, most against Highline. Long plays and touchdowns were consistently called back on the Pirates (this has become normal in Pirate games.) Usually, the speed team is not the team committing penalties. The norm is for slower teams to grab and cheat on blocks to offset the superior speed of their opponent. Toward the end of the game, a telling play occurred. The Redhawks were driving late in the 4th quarter. On a 4th and 7, the Redhawks ran a pass out to the flats. It appeared that the Redhawks would get a first down and keep the drive going. But in a flash, Hudson Sheridan flew up and put a full-speed jarring hit on the receiver 2 yards short of the first down. Sheridan’s contact with the receiver was 2 yards inbounds. But Sheridan’s speed at contact knocked the receiver several yards into the sideline. It happened so fast that someone might think it was a late hit, out of bounds if not watching closely. The referee did not see clearly and threw his flag, dishing out a personal penalty on a perfectly executed defensive hit.
The Pirates are now 4-1 and currently ranked 7th in State in the 2A Class. They play Jefferson next Saturday, with a noon start. The game will be at Highline Stadium.