The Pirates won for the second time at home on their last drive. Cade Salentine had three rushing touchdowns and the defense forced four turnovers.
The students and the community enjoyed homecoming week and were hoping the Crookston Pirates football team could pull off a win against the Breckenridge Cowboys to end the week. The Pirates answered the call and delivered a nail-biting win that once again came down to the last drive.
The Crookston defense started the game in grand fashion. Breckenridge took the opening kickoff and drove down the field to the Pirates’ end. When it seemed the Cowboys were going to take the lead, a pass slipped through a receiver’s hands and went into the hands of Jackson Seibel for the interception. Crookston could not capitalize on the turnover and punted shortly after.
The Pirates had driven deep into Breckenridge’s end, but the drive ended on an interception.
The Cowboys eventually got on the board first with a rushing touchdown on the first play of the second quarter.
On the ensuing drive, the Pirates turned the ball over once again. The Cowboys took the opportunity and scored on another rushing touchdown making all their points off turnovers.
Trailing 14-0, Crookston put together an impressive drive. The first play in a game-changing drive came on a third down attempt. Mason Wang went up for a deep pass that appeared to be intercepted by the Cowboy defender. However, as the two fell to the ground, Wang managed to strip the ball and maintained possession giving Crookston the first down.
Later in the same drive, Crookston faced two fourth downs and was able to convert on both. Cade Salentine ended the drive by diving into the endzone to make the score 14-7 with 57 seconds left in the first half.
The defense once again made a pivotal stop on the first drive of the second half. The Pirates forced a fumble deep in their own end and Tim Parr recovered.
After Crookston punted, Salentine performed on the other side of the ball with an interception of his own for the third Pirates takeaway of the game with 25 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Crookston took advantage of the turnover on a 38 yard touchdown pass from Ben Trostad to Wang. Seibel’s extra point tied the game at 14-14.
At this point, all the Cowboys’ points had come off turnovers. Breckenridge responded to the tying touchdown with a touchdown of their own with 6:37 left in the game.
The Pirates wasted no time tying the game. Cade Salentine broke loose and ran down the sideline for 38 yards to put Crookston an extra point away from tying the game again. However, the extra point sailed wide of the left upright and the Pirates still trailed 21-20 with 5:19 to play.
“We put it behind us,” Salentine said on the missed extra point. “We didn’t worry about it. We knew we could take care of business. I was not worried about it at all.”
Once again, it was the defense that kept Crookston alive forcing a punt on the following drive.
With plenty of time to put together a game winning drive, the Pirates moved down the field and gave it to their workhorse Cade Salentine who scored his third rushing touchdown of the game. Crookston went for the two point conversion, but was unsuccessful. Leading 26-21, all the Pirates needed was a stop to stay perfect at home.
The Cowboys quickly faced a fourth down with under a minute to play. The snap on the fourth down play got past the quaterback and the Pirates recovered sealing the victory.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the kids,” Head Coach Scott Butt said. “We didn’t start well, but we came back and we finished and we did what we had to do to win.”
With the win, Crookston improved to 3-1 and will earn a free win on Friday since Frazee forfeited their games prior to the start of the season.
“This is a sweet one,” Salentine said. “It’s homecoming, senior year and it just doesn’t get any better than this right now. Winning games like this is just awesome. It’s great for the city and to pull out a win like this is great.”
Crookston will earn a bye week and next play against Barnesville at home on October 6.