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Pirates offer no quarter in win over Loggers

by WILL LANGHORNE
The Western News | September 28, 2021 7:00 AM

Faced with a blistering offense, Libby melted 49-14 to the Polson Pirates on Sept. 24.

Coming away from the loss, coach Neil Fuller said the Loggers had played better than they had in recent matchups but still needed to make strides.

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The Libby Loggers fell 49-14 to the Polson Pirates at home Sept. 24. (Derrick Perkins/The Western News)

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The Libby Loggers fell 49-14 to the Polson Pirates at home Sept. 24. (Derrick Perkins/The Western News)

“We’re a little short-handed right now but we moved the ball offensively, which we haven’t done the last couple of games,” he said. “We just got to cut back on the mistakes.”

From Polson’s first possession, quarterback Jarrett Wilson gave no quarter, lobbing the ball rapidly down the field with a hurry-up offense. Within five plays the 6-0 Pirates drew first blood with a touchdown and a good extra point kick.

The 2-3 Loggers opened the game with a ground-heavy offense. Quarterback Ryder Davis relied on carries and handoffs to running backs Ryan Collins and Jace DeShazer to move the ball down the field early in the first quarter.

Libby initially struggled to string together plays. Meanwhile, Wilson secured a 65-yard touchdown with a deep pass to Xavier Fisher with just over four minutes in the quarter. The Pirates landed another touchdown a few plays later off an interception to bring up a score of 19-0.

During Libby’s next possession, Davis again turned to the tried-and-true Logger ground game, handing the ball off to Collins and running back Cy Stevenson. With a series of roughly eight-yard runs, the Loggers marched the ball down to the Pirate’s 27 yard-line. After Collins broke containment to put the Loggers within 10-yards of the end zone, Davis carried the ball the rest of the way. An extra point kick by Aydan Williamson was good, bringing up a score of 19-7 for Polson at the end of the first quarter.

Continuing to rely on his passing game, Wilson lobbed the ball down the field, favoring Fisher and Robert Perez. The Pirates struck again with a touchdown and two-point conversion with just under 11 minutes into the second quarter.

After a series of carries and handoffs to DeShazer, Davis was sacked for a loss during Libby’s next possession. Faced with a third down and 17, Davis launched the ball to tight end Tripp Zhang for a nearly 20-yard gain.

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The Libby Loggers fell 49-14 to the Polson Pirates at home Sept. 24. (Derrick Perkins/The Western News)

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The Libby Loggers fell 49-14 to the Polson Pirates at home Sept. 24. (Derrick Perkins/The Western News)

The Loggers continued to move the ball in short runs until Polson bogged them down with a fourth down and 10 at the Pirate 41-yard line. Davis again turned to his passing game to get out of the pinch, landing a more than 21-yard pass to Kaleb Folk.

While Libby got within 16 yards of the end zone, the Loggers weren’t able to convert the push into points.

“It felt good to be actually passing the ball and completing for some yards,” said Folk after the game. “It’s just not something that we normally do.”

The Logger defense saw success in stopping Polson’s next drive. Williamson secured a fumble for Libby after the Loggers sacked Wilson.

Finding himself within striking distance, Davis completed a touchdown pass to Zhang from Polson’s 14-yard line. Williamson’s kick was good, bringing up a score of 27-14 for the Pirates.

Polson fired back in the final seconds of the quarter, securing a 35-14 lead going into the second half.

Intermixing passes with handoffs to Trent Dwelle, Wilson landed another touchdown for the Pirates with just over seven minutes left in the third quarter. The Pirates brought up the final score with a touchdown around two minutes left in the third quarter.

Going to their next game, Folk said the Loggers could make some improvements in communication and discipline.

“Just being locked in 100 percent,” he said.

The Loggers will hit the road to play Browning on Oct. 1.