Pirates steal narrow win over Lions

Cottage Grove junior lineman Hemi Scott closes in on Marshfield quarterback Canyon Niblet. The Pirates managed a narrow 16-13 win late in the fourth quarter on Monday. (photo by Ned Hickson/The Sentinel)

Cottage Grove’s football team took on Marshfield last Monday, playing away for their second game of the season.

In the first quarter, both teams struggled to gain enough yards for first downs, with each being forced to punt twice. Toward the end of the quarter, with the Pirates within striking distance of the end zone, the Lions got a fumble recovery on their own 11-yard line. From there, Cottage Grove went on a seven-play drive to end the quarter in possession of the ball at first-and-goal in Pirates territory as the quarter ended in a 0-0 tie.

However, just seven seconds into the second quarter, Brayden Crump scored on a quarterback keeper. The point after touchdown was blocked, but the Lions were the first on the scoreboard, 6-0.

Then, at 6:54, the Lions got a 43-yard carry by JJ Thornton. Unfortunately, Thornton was injured on the play and sidelined for the remainder of the game — but not for nothing: the carry put the Lions on Pirates’ 30-yard line. Jason Travis next brought the ball to the 11-yard line for the Lions’ third consecutive first-down of the possession, putting Cottage Grove within touchdown territory once again.

On the next carry, Crump scored from 11 yards out and kicked the PAT, putting the Lions ahead 13-0.

With 35 seconds left in first half, the Pirates strung together their own seven-play drive, bringing them within the Lions’ 10-yard line. However, the Lions were able to hold the line, with Hayden Petersen deflecting a Pirates pass and the Lions’ defense pressuring Marshfield into an incomplete.

The Lions successfully ended the threat, taking over on downs on their own six-yard line as time expired in the first half — with the Lions leading 13-0.

Unfortunately, the Lions would not breach the end zone for the rest of the game.

The Pirates received the kickoff to start the second half, getting the ball on their own 20-yard line. They fumbled but were able to come up with the recovery.

With 7:24 remaining in the quarter, the Pirates picked up their first touchdown on a third-and-goal during a six-play drive. Marshfield also nabbed the conversion on a quarterback keeper, closing the gap to within 5 points, 13-8.

Receiving the Pirates’ kick-off, Matthew Binder was able to bring the Lions to their own 45-yard line. Jason Travis then carried the ball 15 yards to the Pirates’ 40-yard line for a first down in Marshfield territory.

With 4:14 left in the third quarter, the Lions were are unable to breach the Pirates defense beyond the 15-yard line, turning the ball over on downs.

After three attempts, the Pirates still found themselves on their own 15-yard line at fourth-and-three. Deciding not to risk it, Marshfield punted, with the Lions receiving the ball on the 50-yard line.

On the first play of the Lions possession, Crump brought the ball to the Pirates’ 37-yard line, then connected with Petersen on the next play for an eight-yard reception to put them at second-and-two on the Pirates’ 26-yard line. Petersen was then able to get a first down on the next play on the Pirates’ 20-yard line.

Once again, the Lions were knocking on the Pirates’ door.

But Crump was tackled in the back field, pushing the Lions back 13 yards to the 33-yard line. The Lions next lost 10 yards on a holding call, then were tackled in the backfield on the next play to make it third-and-long for the Lions as the game entered the final quarter.

At the start of the fourth, the Lions were still ahead 13-8, beginning from third-and-long. A Lions fumble was recovered by the Pirates on their own 47-yard line.

Marshfield quickly began moving the ball on back-to-back first downs as they stormed to the Lions’ 24-yard line.

At this point, Cottage Grove called a time out.

Two plays later, the Pirates were at second-and-goal.

Porter Snyder was able to stop the first attempt, giving the Pirates a three-yard loss. On the next play, Travis made the stop at the goal line and, on fourth-and-goal, the Pirates went for it and overthrew the pass into the end zone.

The Lions took over again on downs at their own goal line with 8:17 left in the game. After making three attempts to get past the goal line, the Lions kept coming up short, finding themselves at fourth-and-six. The Lions were then tackled just outside of the end zone, and the Pirates took over at the Lions’ goal line.

Snyder got the first stop once again as Lions tried to repeat their earlier stellar stand at the end zone. But on the next play, the Pirates scored, taking their first lead of the game with 6:08 remaining on the clock.

The conversion was completed, bringing the score to 16-13 in favor of the Pirates.

Isaac Stere received the kickoff from the Pirates and brought the Lions back to their own 34-yard line. On the next play, Travis carried the ball for seven yards, and a quarterback keeper by Crump earned a few yards to bring the Lions to fourth-and-one at the Pirates’ 23-yard line. 

With 4:10 left in the game, Crump attempted another QB keeper, coming up short as the Pirates took over on downs.

Marshfield was able to get within 20 yards on the next three plays, garnering a first down with a little over a minute remaining. From there they managed to run the clock out and secure the win, with the final score being 16-13 heartbreaker for Cottage Grove.

The Lions plays again Monday (March 29), when they host the Warriors of Philomath at 5:30 p.m.

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