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Pirates steamroll toward playoffs after another win

Pirates steamroll toward playoffs after another win
Poth junior Zach Lyssy (9) looks for running room during the Pirates’ Oct. 28 win over the Karnes City Badgers.

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Lance Malcher
Sports Correspondent
November 2, 2011
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Karnes City 14

Poth 35

POTH -- The Poth Pirate football team continued to dominate District 14-2A opponents last Friday night with an impressive 35-14 victory over the Karnes City Badgers.

Facing a Badger team hungry for a needed win in the playoff race, Poth Head Coach Andrew King and his undefeated Pirates expected a very tough challenge from an always-strong Badger team.

While the Pirates have had no trouble putting points on the board throughout the 2011 season, the swarming defense has been the main concern of District 14-2A opponents. The tandem of junior quarterback K.D. Glenn and senior running back Kevon Shelton offered the Pirate defense its most formidable competition to date. Led by seniors Braden Lyssy, Trey Broyles, and Oscar Ramon, the home team defense proved to be well-prepared for the challenge.

Coming off a bye week, the Pirate offense, and particularly the offensive line, showed the advantages of the rest, as well. Following precision blocking by senior linemen Oscar Ramon and Skip Herber, the potent running game of junior running back Phillip Garza and senior quarterback Braden Lyssy displayed what has been a powerful rushing attack.

A familiar sight to Pirate fans came with 6:18 still left in the first quarter when Garza broke free over the right tackle and raced free of all defenders for a 33-yard touchdown run. Braden Lyssy’s point-after kick gave the Pirates an early 7-0 lead.

Garza would add to his touchdown tally again in the first quarter with 1:33 left, as he plunged into the end zone from 2 yards out. Lyssy’s kick extended the Pirates’ first-quarter lead to 14-0.

The visiting Badgers would not just stand back and be beaten, though. Following some very quick and explosive running by Glenn and Shelton, the Badgers found themselves deep in Pirate territory. Then, with 7:44 left in the second quarter, Glenn danced his way to the end zone from 5 yards out. Wally Gonzales added the point-after kick and the lead was suddenly cut to 14-7.

Ramon, Herber, Craig Kilgore, Matt Zavala, and Troy Stone would not be shown up. The offensive line continued to dominate the defense, and with 6:33 left in the second quarter, they broke Lyssy free, and 37 yards later, the Pirates had answered and again ex-tended the lead to two touchdowns.

Glenn and the Badgers would keep it interesting, though. As Glenn showed spark in the passing game by completing some timely passes to junior Philip Vaughan, he led the visiting Badgers deep into Pirate territory. Then, just before the end of the first half, with six seconds left, Glenn picked his way through the Pirate defense and found the end zone from 9 yards out. Gonzales’ kick gave Badger fans hope, as the Pirates’ halftime lead was cut to 21-14.

The second half of the contest would be an impressive display from all aspects of Pirate football. A season-long stingy defense had the Pirates unaccustomed to accepting kickoffs. With a little practice, though, the home team seemed to excel in even that aspect. Zachary Lyssy accepted the second-half kickoff, and following exceptional blocking, found himself free in the open field. Eluding and outrunning all Badger tacklers, Lyssy broke open the second half with an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The Pirates then caught the Badgers off guard, as Braden Lyssy dropped back for a 2-point conversion attempt and found Broyles open for the completion, quickly extending the Pirate lead to 29-14.

From there, the Pirate defense would take command. With constant pressure applied by Garrett Yanta, Jerrek Hosek, and Broyles, Glenn could not get free for a passing game. Ramon and Zavala took up all the running room for Shelton and Glenn, leaving the Badgers unable to gain any ground in the second half. A late interception by Blake Lyssy ended any hope the Badgers may have had.

A 43-yard touchdown run by Braden Lyssy with 6:50 left in third quarter proved to be the final score, as the Pirates improved their record to 9-0, and secured the 14-2A title with the 35-14 victory.

The Pirates will welcome Brooks Academy this Friday night, Nov. 4, as they wrap up district play and continue their quest for a perfect record heading into the playoffs for a Texas State title. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

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