By BEN MCCARTY
News staff writer
What a difference two weeks makes.
Two weeks ago, the Cascade Locks Pirates traveled to Easton, Washington and got roughed up by the Jaguars in their first game of the season.
On Saturday, Easton made the trip to Cascade Locks and it was entirely different story as the Pirates took Easton all the way to the last play before falling 40-36.
"They were pumped," Pirates coach Ryan Nolin said of his squad. "You could tell it was a totally different team."
The Pirates, who had lost their first two games of the season by 48 and 46 points respectively, actually led at halftime 24-16, before the Jaguars were able to get and hold the lead.
The Pirates got the ball back with 13 seconds left on the Easton 30-yard line when Jordan Osborne forced a fumble and recovered it. However, an interception on the next play ended the Pirates hopes.
The week before, against South Wasco, Redside defenders were constantly in the Pirate backfield and stopping the Pirate offense before it could get going. Against the Jaguars, the Pirates front line blocked well and gave their offense, which included a variety of trick plays, a chance to develop.
"On offense we got some good blocks," Nolin said. "They were out there getting it done."
The Pirates offense got moving well in the first half, with Alex Rose getting them started with a touchdown run, and Derrick Harbaugh rushing for a two point conversion. Levi Brazille and Michael Ryan both had touchdown runs in the second quarter with Rose converting a two point try on Brazille's touchdown and Harbaugh running for the conversion on Ryan's touchdown.
In the third quarter Harbaugh ran for a touchdown of his own, and Brazille added another in the fourth, but the Pirates were unable to convert their two point conversion tries on either touchdown.
Osborne led the way on defense with 12 tackles, four sacks, and the fumble and fumble recovery. Steve Muilenberg added 15 tackles and a fumble recovery and Charlie Moor accounted for 11 tackles and an interception.
Nolin also felt his team was ready for the onside kicks that baffled them against Easton the first time, and took well to the trick plays he put into the play book.
While the Pirates executed their trickery well, Nolin was told a scout for Washington School for the Deaf, the Pirates opponent on Thursday, was in the stands for the Saturday game, meaning he will have to develop some more wrinkles for Thursday's contest.
"We've got a few more," he said of the surprises that he has in store for the Terriers on Thursday.
One one unexpected side effect for the Pirates playing in a close game was the crowd noise. Nolin said at points that his players could not hear the play calls on offense, leading him to try and explain to the Pirate fans that they needed to cheer louder when the Pirates opponents were on offense.
"It was a good game," he said. "It was exciting."
The Pirates next take the field when they play Washington School for the Deaf on Thursday at 4 p.m. At Cascade Locks School Field.