Pirates fall to Beavers in opening game
POLSON – One look at the scoreboard Friday night was enough to tell the Polson Pirate faithful that the Pirates aren’t the same team they were a year ago.
Polson lost 21-7 to the Dillon Beavers in its season home opener at Pirate Sports Complex, which marked the debut of the coach Pat Danley. The final score is a far cry from the 38-6, 43-7, 47-0 and 44-9 whipping Dillon has put on the Pirates in the past four seasons.
“I was very happy with our defense given that they played on a short field much of the game and only gave up 3 TD’s,” head coach Pat Danley said.
The Pirates’ opening drive looked promising at first. The Pirates started on their own 35 and were able to move the chains within a couple of plays. However, a third down false start penalty and an incomplete pass stalled the drive forcing the Pirates to punt.
The Beavers plodded down the field on their first possession and scored on a nine-yard pass play to take an early 7-0 lead.
The Dillon offense could only muster up one more touchdown in the second quarter, as both teams struggled offensively in the first half of play.
At the half, the defending Montana Class A State Champions headed into the locker room with a 13-0 advantage.
“Offensively, I was extremely disappointed with our inability to move the ball, particularly on the ground,” Danley said. “We had several untimely penalties and failed to convert an early 4th and 1 inside of Dillon’s territory.”
During the third quarter, the Pirates’ defense held the Beavers’ offense scoreless.
“We stopped Dillon several times on 4th down throughout the game,” Danley said.
Dillion scored once more on a short touchdown run to take a 21-0 lead around the nine-minute mark of the third quarter.
On the ensuing Pirates’ possession, junior quarterback Colby Soderquist lofted a pass to sophomore wide receiver Ryker Wenderoth who ran 80 yards into the end zone for the Pirates’ first and only score of the night.
“I’m proud that our kids competed throughout the game,” Danley said. “Overall we had a lot of kids playing in their first varsity game who gained valuable experience that will hopefully pay off starting next week in Corvallis.”
On Friday, the Pirates are on the road looking for their first win of the season at Corvallis, while the Blue Devils, who are coming off a 35-7 win over Libby, will looking to extend their two-game win streak.
Dillon 21, Polson 7
Dillon 7 6 0 8 — 21
Polson 0 0 0 7 — 7
D – Gabe Kirkley 9 pass from Koby King (Kirkley kick good)
D — Jake Ferris 22 pass from King (kick blocked)
D — Graden Greenslade 3 run (Bradley Rakich pass from King)
P — Ryker Wenderoth 80 pass from Colby Soderquist (Connor Lanier kick good)