Polson High School football coach Pat Danley knows his team must get off to a strong start if they are to compete against top-caliber Class A teams like Dillon.
The Pirates fell to Dillon 40-14 Friday night in Dillon, and just struggled to build momentum, according to Pirates’ coach Pat Danley.
“Our players certainly weren’t ready to go and Dillion took advantage of the fact that they were ready to go from the start,” Danley said. “We were almost competitive in the late part of the second quarter and second half but obviously we can’t put ourselves to be down that fast.”
During the Pirates’ first possession of the game, starting quarterback Boston Goode threw a pick-six, which quickly gave the Beavers the momentum, something Polson was unable to gain back in their 40-14 loss Friday night at Dillon High School.
Danley said he was “impressed” with QB Boston Goode’s ability to overcome a slow start and become a dual threat in the running game.
“On our first possession, we threw a pick-six and they returned it,” Danley said. “That was a problem and Boston still made some good plays (after that). I am most happy with his improvement from game one because he actually became more of a threat running the ball.”
Danley said he would like to see Goode demonstrate his mobility in their upcoming game against Corvallis at 7 p.m. Thursday night at Corvallis.
“He actually maybe a threat to run the ball, and he had one touchdown and a couple of good runs,” Danley said. “I was also proud of our offensive line for not giving up a sack in that game. Boston deserves some credit but our pass protection was fairly decent. I was pretty proud of the offensive line for the way they blocked.”
The Pirates struggled to establish any type of offensive flow against Dillon.
“We were on our heels and not the aggressor in the start of the game,” Danley said. “We hope to get better over the course of the games we actually have.”
One area Polson has improved is in their defensive backfield.
“I looked back to check and our defensive backs had five interceptions in the entire season, but seven in two games (this year),” Danley said. “Parker Toth had two interceptions and Wyatt Goode had an interception. The fact of the matter is that we need to be aggressive.”
One area the Pirates will need to work on is their tackling, according to Danley.
“I thought our tackling was not very good in this short week,” Danley said. “We are going to spend some time in the open field tackling and that is something that we are going to have to get better at.”
This week, the Pirates hope to rebound against Corvallis and they will have a tough week preparing for a team that likes to run out of the option on a short week.
“We are going to have to play assignment football and I know it’s cliche, but they have a quarterback that is quite fast and we don’t have a lot of film,” Danley said. “He had 200-some rushing yards against Browning. They can actually throw the ball a fair amount and they have some good speed at wide receiver. That will make them quite hard to defend against.”
Corvallis is also solid on the defensive side of the ball, according to Danley, and will play out of mostly a 4-4 defense.
“They are pretty solid defensively and they don’t necessarily have a bend-break type of a defense,” Danley said. “They are going to create a solid four-man front, try to keep everything in front of them and not give up the big plays.”
Last year, Blue Devils’ quarterback Liang Liedle suffered a season-ending injury against Polson, and this year Danley expects him to be a factor.
“He has speed and is a shifty guy,” Danley said. “He actually got hurt against us last year when we played them in the second or third game of the season. He is fast and shifty and they’ll be running some version of the option. They have a pretty decent fullback and speed at receiver, and on offense they have a lot of weapons.”
One area Danley and the coaching staff will be putting a signficant emphasis on this week is getting off to a fast start.
“The fact of the matter is that we have to get off to a better start because we have not had good starts,” Danley said. “Certainly, we haven’t had good starts through two games and can’t afford on our first possession to have a pick-six like we did on Friday.”
Danley expressed pride in his team and hopes his team improves during the week three match up with the Blue Devils.
“I am very proud of our kids, I know our kids are essentially not coming off the field and they are exhausted by the game of the game,” Danley said. “Our kids are playing through injuries and nicks and bruises.”
Dillon 40, Polson 14
NWA Polson (0-2), SWA Dillon (1-0)
Polson 0 7 7 0 – 14
Dillon 20 14 0 6 – 40
D – Jace Fitzgerald 11 pass from Justus Peterson (Fitzgerald kick)
D – Zane Johnson 42 int return (Fitzgerald kick)
D – Z.Johnson 17 pass from Peterson (kick failed)
D – Z.Johnson 19 run (Kenton Sisler PAT block)
D – Erik Westman 21 run (Trevor Schultz int)
D – Safety, Corbyn Lund tackled by Jade Morast
Trevor Schultz 36 yard pass reception, tackled 3yd ln 1 sec before half.
P – Trevor Schultz 3 pass from Boston Goode (Wyatt Goode kick)
Pirate sustained drive halted by pick inside red zone.
Wyatt Goode intercepts ball deep in Dillon territory, setting up redzone drive.
P – B.Goode 3 run (W.Goode kick)
D – Peterson 1 run (kick failed)
RUSH – P 32-69 (B.Goode 14-38, Isaie Kinsey 16-30, Corbyn Lund 2-1), D 42-271 (Z.Johnson 19-137). PASS – P (B.Good 16-34-192-3), D (Peterson 14-23-193). REC – P16-192 (Schultz 6-83, Ryker Wenderoth 3-51, Parker Toth 2-29, Dugan Davis 1-18, Kaleb Unger 1-7, Lund 3-4), D 14-193 (Jace Fitzgerald 5-98). KR (7-91) – Wenderoth 4-54, Davis 3-37. PR – Wenderoth 2-31. PUNT – B.Goode 5-233. 4INT – Toth 2, Schultz, W.Goode. PD – Kenton Sisler. HURS – Braunson Henriksen, Schultz. PNKBLK – W.Goode. TKL/ASST (24t63a) – Garrett Croft 7t5a, Toth 4t5, Lund 2t9a, W.Goode 2t9a, John Marquardt 1t8a, Unger 3t2a, Sisler 7a, Wenderoth 2t2a, Kordell Walker 5a, Henricksen 4a, Davis 4a, Hunter Pittsley 1t1a, Schultz 1t, Ethan MacCauley 1t, Caleb Pierre 1a, Abel Ki