Big rivalry win crucial for Pirates playoff hopes

Defense Wins Football Games

Brandon Clark, Sports Writer

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The Pirates football team came up with a crucial win on Friday night. They beat arch rival Ritenour by 20 points, with the final score being 34-14.

Tough Kaleb Eleby threw three first-half interceptions with Ritenour’s Demeechie Beach picking off two of those balls, both coming from inside the red zone. The offensive line had many struggles in the first half causing a handful of sacks that most likely wore Eleby down. But the offense definitely made up for their mistakes in the second half.

The Ritenour pass rush was nearly flawless the entire game with Barrion Clemmons and company causing plenty of stress for the entire Pattonville offense throughout the game. Pattonville had lots of trouble executing on the little things, like fighting for the first down, and converting their extra points.

Not only was the Ritenour defense exceptional, but so was their special teams, blocking one extra point and rushing with a great first-step and blinding pursuit on punts, field goal attempts, and kick-offs.

Mann McGruder and his Ritenour offense showed lots of potential, with their option-based offense but failed to get much generated because the Pattonville pass rush came to play. The Pirates defense caused several 3-and-out drives all night long, causing Ritenour’s offensive coordinator a lot of stress.

Now, on to Pattonville’s offense. David Ellison and Charles Shelton both shined for the fans on Senior Night. Shelton had an 80-yard wide receiver screen taken to the house while Ellison had many tough runs and showed everyone a glimpse of his superior elusiveness. Both Ellison and Shelton slipped right through the hands of Ritenour’s elite defense. This was a huge win for the Pirates, and I believe they have a shot at making a deep playoff run this year on the road to the state championship game. The Pirate’s play best when they’re under pressure, and that’s why I think they’ll do great in the playoffs. Next week is the homecoming game against Parkway North, the game that has been circled in red on the calendar since the start of the season.

These two teams don’t like each other one bit, this will be a shootout and whoever is more fired-up will win this one. If the Pirates win next Friday, they will have a playoff home game which would be crucial to their road to state. The offensive line has to step it up against Parkway North or else Eleby will have to make decisions a lot quicker than usual. Ever since the heartbreaking Hazelwood Central loss, the team is amped up and ready to take their anger out on the field. Pirate Nation should be very excited about the playoff run these guys are capable of watching but for now, we’ll sit back, eat our popcorn, and enjoy the show.