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Pittsburg scores in every way possible to open season

Eli Brickhandler throws a pass at a March 3, 2021 Pittsburg practice. Gregory Moreland-Tuhn / Staff Photo
Eli Brickhandler throws a pass at a March 3, 2021 Pittsburg practice. Gregory Moreland-Tuhn / Staff Photo

On Friday evening, , as the boys varsity squads of Pittsburg and Freedom High School helped start off the season in a high scoring game with the word “Pirates” written all over it. Scoring from every different direction, the Pittsburg Pirates (1-0) opened the season against the Freedom Falcons (0-2) with a 59-14 win.

Coming off a stellar season in which they accomplished an 11-2 record, the Pirates picked up where they left on from last year, as they played the game with full intensity and confidence by defeating the Falcons for the fourth time in a row. It had been nearly 15 months since their football team had stepped foot on the field, yet the Pirates were able to find many different ways to score points. 

By the end of the first quarter, the Pirates were already leading 17-0, where their offense had not even scored any points yet. After their well stacked defense prevented the Falcons from doing anything on their first three possessions, the scoring streak was off to a start as wide reciever Matthew Quesada ran in for a long touchdown on a punt return. The experienced senior added a highlight to his collection, as he returned a 46-yard touchdown against his former team in which he transferred from Freedom after his sophomore year. Senior quarterback Eli Brickhandler made the game 8-0 by running in for an easy two-point conversion. 

A few plays later, defensive end Jakobe Harmon added a safety for his side by tackling running back Charles Goines in the endzone. Soon after that in the first, the defense made yet another play, as the Pirates safety recovered a fumble in the endzone for another touchdown. Throughout the entire game, the Pirates defense had the Falcons offense on lockdown by keeping them just under 100 yards of total offense. 

Pirates head coach Victor Galli rotated both his supremely talented quarterbacks. Brickhandler was the quarterback on the first snap and used his limited time wisely, as he finished 12-for-20 for 116 yards and two touchdowns. To start the second quarter, the senior threw a dime by passing a 10-yarder to Keionte Guess. In the next quarter, he threw another 10-yard touchdown to Rick Camacho Jr. 

Quarterback Jalen Rashada also played a good game on his varsity debut, finishing 11-for-15 passing and also got himself a pair of touchdowns and an interception. The young sophomore threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Lamont Fortenberry and an easy 10-yard touchdown pass to Will Stallings Jr. 

Even though the game was mostly about Pittsburg, there were a few bright spots on Freedom’s side of the ball. The first score for the away side came after a beautiful trick play in which Les Callen threw a deep 34-yard pass to Vincent Nunley. Freedom’s defense also showed resistance, as junior Xavier Solis picked off Rashada for a 61-yard touchdown. 

With the Pirates winning their home game opener in style, they now look to continue their momentum, as they get ready to travel to Brentwood to play Heritage High School, who is currently 2-0. As for Freedom, it looks to bounce back and get its first win of the season versus Antioch.

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