by Brian Turrel
The Piper Pirates won their inaugural Frontier League game, 28 – 7, over the Eudora Cardinals on Friday night.
Behind the persistent running of quarterback Dalton White and running back La’James White, the Pirates were able to string together long drives and maintain control of the game.
Piper’s ability to score consistently in short-yardage situations was also due to the strength of the offensive line, led by senior linemen Cooper Beebe and Lemoses White.
The Pirates struck early in the first quarter, turning a Cardinals turnover into a touchdown on their first possession, capped by La’James White’s 2-yard run into the end zone. The Cardinals followed with a long touchdown drive of their own, twice kept alive by Pirate penalties, that evened the score at 7.
The Cardinals also got a key stop at the end of the first quarter, allowing Piper to cover the length of the field before they forced a Pirate fumble at the 1-yard line.
Piper scored twice in the second quarter. La’James White scored on another short run to make the score 14 – 7. Dalton White scored on a two-yard run to close out the first half with a 21-7 lead. Piper nearly posted a touchdown on a Hail Mary pass in the closing seconds of the half, but it was waved off due to a penalty.
Piper closed out the scoring in the third quarter on another short run, a 1-yarder by Anthony Ferguson.
Piper’s new head coach Rick Pollard has made his mark early with the team, introducing a platooning scheme that rotates players more frequently with the goal of playing at a faster pace. He also introduced in-game video technology that lets coaches and players review the previous possession while the game is still in progress.
Piper will play on the road next Friday at Baldwin.