The West Side Pirates kicked off their regular season at home Friday night hosting the Firth Cougars in a matchup that has always proven a great contest.
Entering the competition the Pirates looked to build on their confidence after a successful showing in their jamboree last week.
Winning the coin toss the Pirates deferred to the second half giving the Cougars the first opportunity on offense, but the intensity of the Pirate defense kept Firth to a three and out. The West Side offense wasted little time putting a scoring drive together with a fourth down, 21-yard pass conversion from Beckstead to Shurtleff and Jaxon Moser finished the job with an 11-yard run and the 2-point conversion to take an 8-0 lead.
The Pirate's special team contributed to the scoring with Bryler Shurtleff returning a Cougar punt 69 yards, extending the Pirates 14-0.
West Side's defense kept the Cougars at bay most of the first half but the Cougars finally broke their drought late in the second quarter with an 11-yard run to close the gap 14-6.
The Pirates added another six points on a 36-yard run by Cage Brokens for a 20-6 advantage. They then gave up some ground during the second quarter and the Cougars took advantage of the field position, adding six more points with just four seconds on the clock. The Pirates were eight points ahead, 20-12 at the break.
The Pirates received the ball to begin the second half but turned the ball over quickly, and the Cougar offense capitalized adding six more points on a fourth down, 20-yard touchdown pass. That put them within two points of the Pirates. West Side's offense regrouped, moving the ball down field in the fourth and capped it off with Jaxon Moser's one-yard touchdown run and quarterback Ryan Beckstead converting the 2-point PAT with a bootleg run, clinching a season opening win 28-18.
"I was very happy with the way our team started the game, Coach Tyson Moser commented, "and I was even more pleased with how they responded to a big Firth push in the third quarter. They never quit or got down. They kept fighting. It was a good game for us to try and build on."
The Pirates are on the road this week at Snake River