To the delight of head coach Tyson Moser, his Pirates were not rusty coming off a bye week.
Not one bit.
Instead, West Side put together arguably its best performance of the 2021 high school football campaign. The visiting Pirates stormed out to a 41-0 halftime lead on their way to a 53-0 shellacking of 2A Fifth District rival Aberdeen on Friday night.
“Yeah, that’s what your biggest fear is after having a bye (is coming out sluggish),” Moser said. “That was our focus all during the two weeks was to come out fast, and I felt like if we could come out fast and take control early we could take control of the game. And (our players) definitely came out and did that in the first quarter.
In the process, the Pirates (7-0, 3-0) extended their school-record winning streak to 28, plus continued their four-year dominance of the Tigers (3-4, 2-1). West Side has shut out Aberdeen four straight seasons and has outscored the Tigers by a whopping 161-0 margin in those four games.
“Yeah, that’s hard to believe,” Moser said of the 161-0 scoring margin. “They’ve given us battles for so long. They put a beating on us one year — back in I think 2015, they put a good beating on us. They beat us in overtime in 2017, I think it was. Anyway, since then they haven’t scored. I don’t know, our defense does a great job of stopping that offense, and they execute the game plan well and our defensive staff has a great plan for that offense.”
The Pirates scored touchdowns on six of their seven possession in the opening half. The only time West Side didn’t find paydirt, it immediately got the ball back when Aberdeen muffed the ensuing punt.
How dominant were the Pirates in the first half? They picked up 15 first downs and limited the Tigers to one. That lone Aberdeen first down was courtesy of a West Side penalty.
The second half flew by as there was a running clock the entire time, thanks to the mercy rule. West Side got the ball to begin the third quarter and only needed two plays to tack six more points on the scoreboard. Cage Brokens busted off a 66-yard scoring scamper — his fourth of the contest.
Parker Moser provided the final exclamation point for the visitors with a 10-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter. West Side’s second-stringers marched inside Aberdeen 2-yard-line late in the fourth quarter before the visitors lined up in victory formation on the final play.
In addition to his aforementioned 66-yarder, Brokens also scored from 10, 1 and 9 yards out. The senior’s 1-yarder was on a fourth-and-goal play.
Bryler Shurtliff chipped in with a pair of touchdowns for the Pirates — one on a 4-yard pass from Blaize Brown, and the other a 77-yarder on a well-executed reverse. West Side’s other TD was an explosive 46-yard sprint by the speedy Cristian Plancarte, who continues to do a solid job as the team’s kicker on PATs.
The Pirates racked up more than 500 yards of total offense, including more than 400 on the ground. Meanwhile, Aberdeen mustered up a measly 20 total yards — nine on 24 rushing attempts.
Hayden Robinson intercepted a pair of passes for West Side’s varsity defense, which hasn’t allowed a single point since the opening week of the season — a thrilling 26-20 overtime victory over rival Firth. This was the two-time defending 2A state champion’s third shutout of the season.
“For the most part, we’ve got the same defense back that we had last year, that I think we ended up last year allowing less than five-and-a-half points a game,” coach Moser said. “And most of those points were scored on our JV team, so it’s a surprise, but it’s not a surprise. Our defense is just very solid.”
West Side will aim for its second consecutive undefeated regular season next Friday on the road against Malad. The Pirates have only lost two games since 2018.