Pirates Football defeats Pillager 28-6 on Senior Night

Natalie Dillon
Crookston Times

The Crookston Pirates Football team defeated the Pillager Huskies 28-6 on senior night. The Pirates offense exploded for 208 rushing yards on 35 carries, led by junior Ethan Boll who had 174 yards on 20 carries.  

Coach Nate Lubarski was proud of his team, especially the seniors for what they contributed to the night’s game as well as the program. 

“What a way to go out,” Lubarski said. “We still have an opportunity to possibly play another home game, but knowing that it’s senior night and it’s possibly their last time on the field, for them to get a win, it’s very deserving of this group.” 

On their opening drive, the Pirates scored on a rushing touchdown from Boll, who also completed the 2-point conversion, to go up 8-0. 

Defense led to offense as Boll blocked the punt from the Huskies, and senior Jacob Hesby recovered the ball inside the 20-yard line. Hesby, who had 26 rushing yards on 8 carries, ran for the second touchdown of the game. With a failed 2-point conversion, the Pirates increased their lead to 14-0.  

In the second quarter, Pillager scored a rushing touchdown followed by a failed 2-point conversion to cut the Pirates’ lead to 14-6. Despite the score, the Pirates went on to dominate the second half, not allowing the Huskies in the end zone again. 

Late in the third quarter, Boll ran 55 yards to score his second touchdown of the night, putting the Pirates up 20-6. 

Crookston had another scoring opportunity in the third, as senior Cade DeLeon recovered a Pillager fumble on the 33-yard line, but the Huskies’ defense held the Pirates, aided by some penalties. 

The Pirates totaled seven penalties for 65 yards, including two unsportsmanlike conducts for 15 yards. 

Although Lubarski said he could do without the holding calls, he liked the way his team played otherwise. 

“Some of those penalties we weren’t using our heads,” Lubarski said. “They were not smart penalties. Others were maybe a little aggressive penalties. For us, for a young team, to have an aggressive penalty here and there, I’ll take it.” 

Crookston scored for the last time in the fourth quarter after Pillager turned the ball over on downs within 20-yard line, giving the Pirates great field position. 

The quarterback sneak for a touchdown was called back due to illegal formation, but Boll ensured his team would score with another rushing touchdown. He also scored the 2-point conversion to make it a decisive 28-6 lead. 

To secure the win, junior Ethan Bowman intercepted a pass with mere seconds left in the game. 

As the last regular-season home game, senior Brooks Butt will remember this game for a long time. 

“Getting the win on senior night is really special,” Butt said. “I’ve played five years on this field, and I’ve been part of this field for 17 years, since I was one year old. This was the first place I went when my dad [Scott Butt] got the job at UMC, so this is a special place in my heart. I’m really glad we ended it like this.” 

The Pirates Football team closes out the regular season with an away game against Staples-Motley on Wednesday, October 20 at 6 p.m. 

Ethan Boll runs to the end zone
Ethan Bowman wraps up opponent
Brooks Butt punts the ball
Ethan Boll is tackled after gain
Hunter Knutson covers a loose ball