Pirates Football Falls Short at Warroad

Natalie Dillon
Crookston Times

In a matchup of top-notch rushing offenses, the Crookston Pirates football team came up short as they lost 18-42 against Warroad. 

The Pirates hung tough with the Warriors through three quarters before the Warroad offense put up 20 points in the fourth quarter alone. 

On their opening possessions, each team was unable to convert a first down.  

The Warriors got a first down from Matthew Hard but were forced to punt after a key tackle by Brady Wisk and Cade DeLeon on third and 5. 

A 41-yard punt from Brooks Butt pushed the Warriors to their own 28-yard line on their next possession. The Pirates defense forced a punt on fourth and 13, but the Warriors faked it and completed a first-down pass to Cole Spenst. 

Gaabi Boucha marched the Warriors down the field and scored on a 5-yard touchdown run. He crossed the goal line for the 2-point conversion, as the Warroad took the lead 8-0. 

The Pirates responded two possessions later as the offense took advantage of excellent field position. 

On the Warroad 43-yard line, Ethan Boll ran the ball twice to cut the Warrior’s lead to 8-6. The Pirates were unable to complete the 2-point conversion. 

Crookston’s defense forced a three and out, giving the ball back to their offense. 

On the first play of the possession, Jack Doda completed a 17-yard pass to Boll for the first down. Boll ran for 2 yards, and on the next play Doda completed a 43-yard touchdown pass to DeLeon.  

With 2:39 left in the first half, the Pirates led 12-8. 

The lead was short-lived as Warroad scored 14 seconds later on an 81-yard pass play to Spenst. Boucha ran for the 2-point conversion to regain the Warrior’s lead going into the half.  

Out of the half, the Pirates seemed to be clicking on offense as Boll had a 20-yard return and had 8 yards on 2 carries to set up a third and 2. On the next play, Doda fumbled the snap and was able to cover the ball.  

Despite the recovery, the Pirates were forced to punt. 

Warroad had three first-down conversions on their next possession before Boucha ran 25 yards for another touchdown.  

With 2:38 left in the third quarter, the Warriors increased their lead to 22-12.  

The Warroad defense and special teams came up big as they had a sack and blocked punt. The Warriors recovered the punt on the Pirates’ 26-yard line.  

Crookston’s defense set up a fourth and long for Warroad, who pulled out another trick to score. Boucha got the reverse and threw 24 yards to Kyle Kvarnlov for a touchdown, increasing their lead to 28-12. 

Boll put on a display of his own as he responded with a 62-yard touchdown run on the Pirates’ next possession. He was unable to complete the 2-point conversion, as the Pirates trailed only 18-28. 

The Pirates were unable to score again, and the defense was unable to stop the run game of Hard and Boucha. 

Warroad put up 14 unanswered points with running touchdowns from Murray Marvin-Cordes and Hard. Their defense put the game away with back-to-back sacks and ran the rest of the clock out. 

The Pirates put up 263 yards in the game, 136 of which from rushing and the other 127 passing. 

Doda was 8-12 passing for 127 yards. His top receivers were Ethan Bowman with one reception for 46 yards and DeLeon with one reception for 43 yards. Boll lead the team in rushing with 15 carries for 142 yards.  

The Pirates finished 3-6 on the season under first-year head coach Nate Lubarski.