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Game 1 vs. Mesquite Poteet

Poteet Pirates Sink Bulldogs

By Bobby Summers

Mesquite, Texas- The Mesquite Poteet Pirates will not be sneaking up on anyone this year. Last season the Pirates opened up their season with a victory that was hardly noticed. That 2010 season opening win introduced a season which cumulated into a State Semi-Finalist appearance against the eventual State Champion Aledo Bearcats.

This season all eyes were on Mesquite Poteet as the Pirates hosted the Royse City Bulldogs. The Bulldogs knew a little more about their opponent this season and they knew they could very well be the best football team that they would face all season long. For sure the Pirates were not searching for their identity in this season opener.

The confidence of the Pirates was evident as they handed the Bulldogs a 61-22 loss on a blistering hot and steamy night in the concrete concaves of Memorial Stadium in Mesquite, Texas.

The Bulldogs found themselves introducing several new players in several positions following the opening kickoff, but it did not take long for Royse City to ignore the obvious intimidation factor and get down to business. New starting quarterback Wes Brookshire handed off to tailback Saul Garcia for a six yard gain, the junior signal caller then tossed an incomplete pass only to follow up with a 13 yard pass completion to junior Michael Webb for the Bulldogs first, first down of the 2011 season.

J.R. Arredondon would also kick his first punt of the season when the Bulldogs failed to convert on their second series of downs. The 43 yard punt gave the Pirates a first down at their own 16 yard line, but the Pirates first series resulted in points as Chase Graham hauled in his first pass and went on a 65 yard gallop to the goal line. Brett Rattan kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 8:21 to play in the first period.

The Pirates would score again in the first period off of a 22 yard run by tailback Patrick Harris. The Bulldogs blocked the extra point as the Poteet took a 13-0 lead with 5:28 remaining in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs responded with a drive to midfield before being stopped on fourth and inches at the Royse City 47 yard line. A crack-back blocking penalty sent the Pirates deeper into their own territory and the confident Pirates took a quick back seat as Bulldog Vince Jones picked off a Poteet Pirate pass and picked his way back 38 yards to the Pirate 20 yard line. Cooley, calmly and collectively, Wes Brookshire uncorked a cannon shot across the middle to Michael Webb for a 20 yard touchdown pass. Brookshire’s, Webb’s and the Bulldog’s first touchdown of the season was in the books and against one of the best football teams in the entire state of Texas. Bulldog placekicker Sean Pollock split the uprights for the extra point and the scoreboard read 13-7, Pirates, with thirty seconds remaining in the opening stanza of the 2011 season.

James Gilbert led an inspired Bulldog defense, but Pirate Steven Hicks appeared on the scene for the first time that evening and sprinted 61 yards for a touchdown. The kick was good by Rattan for a 20-7 Pirate lead.

The Bulldogs were getting plenty hot, under the equipment and under the collar as well. Royse City then put together a 10 play 84 yard scoring drive, highlighted by a 38 yard pass completion from Brookshire to wide-out Torrell McQueen. Sean Pollock’s foot completed the drive as he booted a 32 yard field goal with 8:05 to play in the first half. Trailing 20-10, the Bulldogs were still very much in the game, but the curse of the “Big Play” loomed on the horizon.

Pirate Chase Graham registered his second touchdown of the night as he weaved through the Bulldog kick return defense for a 90 yard touchdown. Rattan’s kick was good for a 27-10 lead at the 7:53 mark of the second quarter.

Poteet’s powerful offense began to gain strength as quarterback Tanner Ramsey found Anthony Jenkins on a 38 yard touchdown pass completion. With 5:38 to play in the first half, the Pirates had taken a 33-10 lead.

The Bulldog defense is very good defense, regardless of the scoreboard reading on this night. Big plays spelled the difference and Mesquite Poteet has all of the tools to make plenty of those plays.

And that Bulldog defense forced the ensuing safety that led to a couple of points for Royse City. Pressure on the Poteet quarterback caused a fumble resulting in the Pirates kicking the ball out of the back of the end-zone. With 2:58 to play in the second quarter the Pirates held a 33-12 lead. It was evident that all Bulldog defenders were included on the safety. Arredondo, James Gilbert, Ryan Perry, Damion Foster, Josh Martinez and Darrien McQueen helped lead the charge as the game took a slight turn toward the Bulldogs.

Two series later the Bulldog defense stepped up again as Senior J.R. Arredondo intercepted a Tanner Ramsey pass and then took it 57 yards for a Royse City touchdown. Pollock added the point after and suddenly a big play for Royse City put them right back in the ball game. With 26 seconds remaining in the half the Pirates lead was cut to 33-19.

And it takes just one big play to change that game right back in the other direction. Sometimes it is just a lucky bounce as was the case of the kickoff opening the second half. As the Pirates Weston Robinson received the kick, he dropped it and then took a couple of steps and it jumped right back into his arms as he was in full gallop toward the goal line. The 55 yard kickoff return for the touchdown and the extra point kick gave the Pirates a 40-19 lead.

The dramatic opening to the second half seemed to take the wind out of the Bulldogs, but actually it was the heat that dealt the largest blow. With temperatures around the 105 degree mark, heat exhaustion began to take its toll on several Bulldogs. Even though there were several mandatory rehydration timeouts during the game, it was that heated and high scoring first half that sent some of the Royse City starters to the sideline for remainder of the game.

Poteet would score again with 9:04 to play in the third period off of a 43 yard touchdown pass to Steven Hicks.

At the 6:37 mark the Pirates completed a 2 yard touchdown pass to Rodney Douglas. The kick was good for a 54-19 lead.

Following a Poteet pass interception that was returned to the Bulldog 3 yard line, Michael Figueroa scored on the next play and as luck would have it, the extra point kick bounced on the goal post and dribbled over for the final points for the Pirates.

Royse City would have the final points in the game though. Sean Pollock lined up 42 yards out and kicked his second field goal of the game and his second 40 plus yard field goal of the year which included a 48 yarder in the Bulldogs pre-season scrimmage.

The Bulldog’s season home opener will be this Friday night as all schools throughout Texas open the 2011 football season in what is officially week one. Royse City will host the Frisco High Raccoons this Friday night at 7:30.