They'll open the Section 8AA playoffs Oct. 22 at Warroad.

The Pirates went out on a high note for their regular season, defeating the visiting Ottertail Central Bulldogs 16-6 Wednesday night. With this, Crookston improves to 3-5.


    The game kicked off rough for the Pirates, beginning with the ball but throwing two incomplete passes, making a run with no gain, and a punt taken by the Bulldogs. Starting at their own 25-yard line, the Bulldogs threw a one-yard pass as they made a drive, soon making a 74 yard run for a touchdown two minutes in. Their two-point conversion was halted, the Bulldogs still leading 6-0.


     The Pirates responded with an 11-yard drive, pushing 50-yards before fumbling on the fourth down at the Bulldog 15-yard line. The Bulldogs ran two plays before Leyton Salentine intercepted a pass at the 26-yard line, rushing it to the 16-yard line. An apparent touchdown was made by Salentine as he crossed into the endzone; however, a holding penalty was called and the drive stalled. An attempted drive losing 14 yards, they made a 13-yard punt from their 30-yard line just before the end of the first quarter.


    Ottertail began the second quarter with the ball at their 17-yard line, running the ball for seven yards and carrying another two. On the next play, the Pirate defensive line came in to halt a Bulldog running back for no gain to force a fourth down and one play. The Bulldogs went deep in their own territory, Pirate defense sweeping in again for another stop with no gain, Pirates with the ball at the Bulldog 27. Their first play was a 15-yard pass, Salentine to Ty Hamre for another first down. After another three plays, Ethan Boll made a three-yard run into the endzone just past the nine minute mark. Salentine converted the two-point conversion, the Pirates taking the lead 8-6. The remainder of the quarter consisted of the Bulldogs struggling to make an offensive push, the Pirates countering every run with a strong defense.


    Ottertail started with the ball in the third quarter, three plays passing before being forced to punt. Crookston began their first drive in Bulldog territory with a penalty, Boll making two carries 12 yards and a first down. Another carry later, Salentine dropped back for a pass to Hamre for 10-yards and another first down. A few minutes later, Salentine made a dive into the endzone for a six-yard touchdown. The Pirates made a two-point conversion from Salentine to Walker Winjum, completing the pass for a 16-6 Pirate lead. The rest of the quarter followed suit with the last, both teams struggling to make progress.


    This standstill continued into the fourth quarter, neither team able to make an offensive push. Ottertail began their first drive at the Pirate 40-yard line, making two incomplete passes and turning the ball over on downs. A few plays later, the Pirates were forced to punt on their own first. Under five minutes left, the Bulldogs went in the air after an incomplete pass, making two complete passes for 43 yards before the Pirates’ Quinn Westlake intercepting a pass, ending out the game 16-6 for the Pirates.


    The Pirates begin their first round of the Section 8AA playoffs at and against Warroad on October 22nd, beginning at 6 pm.