Pirates snap 12-game losing streak with win over Columbia Falls
POLSON – Under the bright lights Friday night, the Polson Pirates football squad snapped a 12-game losing streak that stretched back to mid-season 2017 by winning their season opener with a 20-6 victory over the defending Northwestern A Conference Champions Columbia Falls Wildcats.
The players were beyond thrilled to have finally experienced a gridiron victory after struggling through a winless season last year. “It feels awesome,” said senior Pirate wide receiver Trevor Schultz. “It feels so good. We are turning it around this year. The team has been working hard every practice, and we are ready to keep it going.”
Mid-way through the first quarter, a 17-yard field goal by Columbia Falls was the first move to get points on the scoreboard, which gave the Wildcats a 3-0 lead over the Pirates. Neither team put points on the board in the second quarter as both teams seemed to struggle both offensively and defensively with first-game jitters.
The score remained 3-0 as both squads headed into the locker room at halftime. At about the six-minute mark of the third quarter, Pirate senior quarterback Bo Kelley connected with wide receiver Kaleb Unger on a deep 55-yard touchdown pass play that put the Pirates up 6-3. Unfortunately for the Pirates, the Wildcats were able to score a field goal on their next ball possession knotting the game up at 6-6.
At the 8:46 mark of the fourth quarter, the Pirates found the end zone and the lead on a Kelley to Trevor Schultz 38-yard touchdown pass. The touchdown and ensuing extra point gave the Pirates a 14-6 lead over Columbia Falls.
Late in the fourth quarter, a Ryker Wenderoth interception, his third of the evening, killed a Wildcat drive and gave the ball back to the Pirates offense with about six minutes left in the game.
Five plays later, Pirate running back Dugan Davis ran 40-yards down the sidelines and into the endzone for a touchdown. The score sealed the 20-6 win for the Pirates.
“It feels really good. It’s a big relief off our shoulders to get the win,” said Pirate quarterback Bo Kelley, who had eight completions for 155-yards and two touchdowns.
First-year head coach Kaden Glinsmann attributed his team’s success to their competitiveness and belief in each other. A team concept reiterated by Schultz, “Throughout the whole game, everyone kept trusting each other, and we got the win.”
The Pirates look for their first 2-0 start since 2016 on Friday night, when they travel to Whitefish to battle the Bulldogs in a Northwestern A Conference matchup.
Polson 20, Columbia Falls 6
C-Falls 3 0 3 0 – 6
Polson 0 0 6 14 – 20
CF – Kevin Maldonado field goal
P – Kaleb Unger 55 pass from Bo Kelley (extra point incomplete)
CF – Maldonado field goal
P – Trevor Schultz 38 pass from Kelley (Ryker Wenderoth pass from Kelley)
P – Dugan Davis 40 run (extra point incomplete)