Pirates #6 Josh Elinsky runs up field just out of the reach of Warriors #11 Devin Jackson in Friday's Homecoming Game. (Copyright 2018, Coastal Zephyr - A Division of Jenny Bocko Photography LLC)
ROCKAWAY BEACH, OR - It was a chilly fall evening and the stands were packed, perfect for Neah-Kah-Nie's Homecoming and final regular season home game against the Warrenton Warriors. Pre-game festivities included a quick program from the Near-Kah-Nie Junior Cheer Squad and senior recognition night.
The Pirates started the night with the ball and were able to slowly march down the field for a touchdown and 2 point conversion making the score 8-0. In the ensuing kickoff the Warriors ran the ball back for a touchdown and an extra point bring the score to 8-7. The remainder of the half had both teams battling to take charge with neither willing to back down. At halftime the score was Pirates 8, Warriors 7. Halftime was filled with more festivities, as the crowd were able to meet the future Pirates of the Neah-Kah-Nie Youth Football Teams, The festivities wrapped up with the Homecoming Coronation with the Senior Class coming in on top.
The second half started the same way as the first half ended, with both teams struggling to take command of the field. The struggle persisted through the 3rd quarter and in to 4th until the Warriors were able to put one in for a touchdown and and extra point making the score 14-8 in favor of Warrenton. The Pirates, not willing to be defeated, fought back getting within a few yards of the goal line. The crowd, mostly silent, came back to life as the Pirates punched it in for another 6 points, tying the game 14-14. The Pirates lined up for a 2 point conversion attempt and the crowd exploded into cheer as they were successful bringing the score to 16-14, silencing the traveling Warrenton fans. Warrenton's attempt at an offensive attack was shut down by the Pirate defense. The Pirates were able to hold off the Warriors the remainder of the game. With the final score 16-14, the Pirates were able to edge past the Warriors to remain undefeated in league play.
The Pirates, now 6-1 (5-0 in League) and ranked 2nd in the OSAA 2A Classification, will travel to Vernonia to take on the Loggers next Friday in their final regular season game. The Vernonia Loggers are 1-5 (1-3 in league) this season but were able to put up 30 points against a powerful Knappa team. A win next week will leave the Pirates undefeated in league and as one of the top playoffs seeds. A win will also secure the Pirates their first league title in 23 years.