The Crookston Pirates Football team searched for their second win of the season when they traveled to East Grand Forks Friday night to take on the Green Wave. It was Homecoming night for the Green Wave, and they used strong defense and a few long drives to take down the Pirates 14-0 on a wet, rainy night.
The first quarter was one of the fastest played quarters of the season, as each team had just one offensive possession. The Pirates defense started strong forcing the Green Wave into a quick three and out to begin the game. After a short 21-yard punt, Crookston would gain possession on their own 20-yard line for their first drive of the night. The Pirates would proceed to go on their best drive of the season taking up the remaining 9:43 left in the quarter. Crookston would convert three straight third down conversions to begin the drive with one being a Cade DeLeon 18-yard reception on a lob pass from Jack Doda on a third-down and eleven. Jack Doda would scramble up the middle for an 8-yard run to move the chains on the next third down. Ethan Boll than went for a first down on a nice run up the middle moving Crookston down to the Green Wave 26-yard line. The rain then fell, and Crookston was finally forced into a fourth down after a sack from Joey Votava pushed the Pirates into a fourth and twenty-eight on the Green Wave 33-yard line. Crookston elected to punt and Brooks Butt sent a short punt down to the Green Wave 12-yard line. “That is exactly what we asked for,” said Pirate Coach Nate Lubarski. “It was a really good drive to start the game by eating the clock and keep our defense off the field.” The Pirates opening drive went 16 plays, by far the longest of the season, and saw Crookston gain five first downs, four of which were on third-down plays. The only thing missing from the drive was points. “We had some tremendous effort plays from our guys,” said Coach Lubarski. “We had guys making really good plays.”
The rain stopped for the time being and East Grand Forks took advantage scoring the game’s only points in the Second Quarter. The Green Wave used a steady run attack on the next drive to push the ball out past their own 35-yard line. It was on a third down and ten however, that East Grand Forks decided to pass for the first time on the drive, and Tanner Campos found Ryan Taylor wide open downfield for a 62-yard touchdown strike opening the scoring. Justin Overgaard would add the extra point giving the Green Wave a 7-0 lead with 7:58 left in the second quarter. “It was some blown coverage there,” said Coach Lubarski. “There is going to be times when mistakes happen and I was happy with how we bounced back from that.” Crookston’s next drive was much shorter than the first, as the Green Wave forced the Pirates into a three and out. After a short punt from Brooks Butt, East Grand Forks would take over inside Pirates territory on their 47-yard line. This time the Green Wave would go on a long drive taking up the rest of first half. The Green Wave worked the ball all the way down inside the Pirates 10-yard line, but thanks to a huge sack from Jacob Hesby, the Pirates were able to force the Green Wave into a third down and goal from the 23-yard line. East Grand Forks would then dial up a screen pass that worked to perfection, as Caleb Schmiedeberg used breakaway speed to run past the Pirates into the end zone making it 14-0. The first half was only 45 minutes long and saw a total of just five possessions between the two teams and one knell down from the Pirates to end the half. “It was really just a couple of plays that hurt us tonight,” said Coach Lubarski. “That last touchdown hurt. We mentioned to look for a screen play and it was an athlete making a pretty good play. We told the guys we were really pleased with the first half”
The Third Quarter was once again highlighted by defense as both teams were held scoreless. The Green Wave used their big defensive line to once again force Crookston into a quick punt to begin the Third Quarter. Brooks Butt sent a punt 32-yards and George Widman sprinted down the field to make a quick open field tackle at the Green Wave 37-yard line for a return of 0 yards. The Green Wave would gain one first down before being forced to punt the ball back to the Pirates. Tanner Campos sent a punt 49-yards into the end zone for a net punt of 29-yards giving Crookston the ball on their own 20-yard line with 6:29 left in the Third Quarter. Crookston gained a couple of first downs on an eight-yard pass from Jack Doda to Ethan Boll, and then again on an Ethan Boll 12-yard run. The Pirates were forced into a fourth down and eight, and this time they would go for it. Jack Doda would scramble up the middle for a nine-yard run and first down, but the play would be called back after the Pirates were called for an illegal block in the back. With it now being fourth and thirteen, the Pirates would punt back to the Green Wave. East Grand Forks would take over on their own 39-yard line with 2:06 remaining in the quarter. The Pirates defense once again stood tall forcing the Green Wave to punt, and after a nice return from Ethan Bowman, the Pirates would take over on their own 44-yard line to begin the Fourth Quarter trailing 14-0.
The rain once again started to fall, and the Pirates offense couldn’t muster anything going three and out. The Green Wave would take over on their own 44-yard line after a 24-yard return on a Brooks Butt 38-yard punt. East Grand Forks playing with the lead kept the ball on the ground moving it inside the Pirates 25-yard line. The Green Wave couldn’t finish the drive off however, as the Pirates forced a fumble that Antonio Romero fell on giving Crookston the football back with 7:01 remaining. The Pirates needed to drive eighty yards and do it quickly to keep their hopes alive. East Grand Forks kept everything in front of them defensively, and on a fourth down and three the Pirates were forced to go for it on their own 38-yard line. Jack Doda was sacked by Justin Overgaard as the Pirates turned the ball over on downs with 2:52 remaining. On the very next play the Green Wave fumbled again, and Carter Coauette was the one to fall on it this time, giving the Pirates one last chance. The Green Wave defense preserved the shutout as Cooper Smith intercepted a Pirates pass and East Grand Forks was able to run the rest of the time off the clock. It was the fastest game of the season by far, as in total, the game only took only two hours to complete. Both defenses played strong and the rain kept the offenses from moving the football most of the night. “We played hard tonight and had five guys in on tackles and I am extremely proud of the guys tonight,” said Coach Lubarski.
Crookston falls to 1-5 on the season and will host Pillager next Thursday night October 14. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. and you can listen to the game live on KROX. East Grand Forks improves to 4-2 with the win.
|East Grand Forks||0||14||0||0||14|
7:58 – EGF – Ryan Taylor 62-yard pass from Tanner Campos (Overgaard kick)
0:26 – EGF – Caleb Schmiedeberg 23-yard pass from Tanner Campos (Overgaard kick)
|Rushing Yards||33-18 yds||28-110 yds|
|Passing Yards||9-13-1 74 yds||2-3-0 87 yds|
|Ethan Boll 12-24||Tanner Campos 9-17|
|Jacob Hesby 11-16||Justin Overgaard 8-28|
|Jack Doda 10- (-22)||Caleb Schmiedeberg 5-34|
|Carter Vasek 3-18|
|Joey Votava 2-11|
|Jace Fore 1-2|
|Joe Doda 9-13-1 74 yds||Tanner Campos 2-3-0 87 yds|
|Cade DeLeon 4-47||Ryan Taylor 1-62|
|Ethan Boll 3-11||Caleb Schmiedeberg 1-25|
|Antonio Romero 1-18|
|Ethan Bowman 1-(-2)|