It wasn’t the start the Pirates were hoping for, but boy did they bounce back in a hurry.
West Side fumbled on the first play from scrimmage, but quickly got the ball back and proceeded to score 40 points in the opening half en route to a 50-0 drubbing of Cole Valley Christian in a non-district football game Friday night at Nampa Christian High School in Nampa, Idaho.
In the process, the Pirates increased their winning streak to 14 and head coach Tyson Moser earned his 100th victory since taking over the West Side helm prior to the 2009 season.
“That’s not the way you want to start a game, that’s for sure, but I’m very happy with the way we responded from last week,” Moser said. “I don’t feel like we played very well last week at all. We made way too many mental mistakes, and (our kids) took a five-hour bus ride and came up here and, other than that fumble, that was the only time we made any real mental mistakes tonight.”
The defending 2A state champions exploded for four touchdowns in the second quarter to turn a showdown of unbeaten teams into a blowout. West Side (4-0) gashed Cole Valley (2-1) for 308 yards on 43 rushing attempts, and this allowed quarterback Blaize Brown to burn the Chargers with some big passing plays.
Brown went 8 for 8 for 96 yards and four touchdowns. The junior tossed scoring passes to Taze Stegelmeier (16 yards), Cage Brokens (10) and Bryler Shurtliff (17) in the second quarter, and also found Jackson Stewart on a short pass to paydirt in the third quarter.
“When we’re running the ball that well and the (opposing) defense is that keyed in on stopping the run, it definitely opens those things up,” said Moser, whose team played with a running clock the entire second half. “And we’ve got some good, tall receivers who are able to get down there and create space and get open. Blaize does a good job of putting (the ball) where it needs to go, but those other guys do a good job of creating the separation too.”
Brown also galloped to the end zone on a 4-yard run in the first quarter. West Side’s other touchdown in the opening quarter was a 60-yard scamper by Cristian Plancarte, who finished with 99 yards on eight carries.
Jackson Stewart booted a 24-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for the Pirates, who got 75 yards rushing from Josh Reeder and 74 from Brokens. Reeder sprinted his way to paydirt from 40 yards out in the second quarter.
The Pirates held the Chargers to 92 yards of total offense, including a measly five yards on the ground — this against a Cole Valley offense that exploded for 58 points against Wendell a week ago. Shurtliff and Stegelmeier each intercepted a pass for the West Side defense, which also forced and recovered a fumble.
It was the Pirates’ second shutout this season and they have only allowed 12 points in four games.
“Well, that’s the best part,” Moser said. “It’s a lot of new faces (for us defensively), but it’s the same outcome. They’re just dialed in and, like I said, we’ve got some smart kids back there that make sure everybody is lined up and ready to go. And coach (Tyler) Brown puts a lot on them. They have to know a lot of stuff, but they’re dialed in. And Cole Valley’s actually a very explosive team. They scored 50 points themselves a week ago, so to hold them to 92 yards with a quarterback that can throw the ball a mile, I mean that was pretty (impressive).”