A united Harbor High was rocking and partying on homecoming night as the Pirates rolled over the Santa Cruz Cardinals 20-6.
The Pirates rose to the occasion and brought home the shell on their only Friday night football game of the year as the stands were packed and overflowing with Harbor and Santa Cruz high faithful.
“Big win.” said Harbor High head coach Jeff Cox, now in his third year. “Bringing the shell back that’s a big deal.”
Every year the Pirates parents and fans come together to bring the shiny Friday night lights to the Harbor High campus that normally hosts their football games on Saturday evenings.
“It’s big to the players, it’s big to the fans and parents they put this together and they want it to happen, they want it to be a big thing for everyone so we can go ahead and have a fun time and bring the school together," said Cox.
From the beginning it felt like a massive party with the crowd yelling, singing and dancing to music flooding through the speakers and over the bleachers. The Pirates were the first to the party as senior running back Garret Fonseca ran in from the one yard line to put them up by six early in the first quarter.
It was a defensive battle through the rest of the first quarter and early second until a ruffing the kicker penalty on 4th down was called on the Cardinals and kept the Pirates drive alive. On the ensuing play Fonseca ran for a 42 yard gain off the right side to set up the Pirates in the red zone.
Then with 1:38 remaining in the first half, quarterback Milo Small dropped a dime in the corner of the end zone to junior wide receiver Cody Sullivan for a touchdown that would put them up 12-0. The Pirates would also convert the two-point attempt as Small gunned a pass into Jake Patenaude and extend the lead to 14-0.
The second half was more of the same for the Pirates as they drove down the field on the legs of Fonseca who would cap off the drive with his second touchdown of the night with 7:01 remaining in the third quarter.
“I thought I did pretty good,” said Fonseca. “Our line did great, but there’s always room for improvement.”
The Cardinals saw a steady dose of the 6-foot 1-inch, 190-pound running back as he ran for 163 yards on 22 carries, but he left the game with a shoulder injury late in the fourth quarter.
On the other side of the field it was a hard night for the Cardinals on both sides of the football and 10 penalties would go on to haunt them. On the bright side the Cardinals were not held scoreless thanks to a 38-yard run by running back Riley Cameron with 4:24 left in the game to make it 20-6.
“It hurt inside really bad(to give up a touchdown), but we got pissed off and we stopped them the next time.” said Fonseca.
After the game was over and the handshakes were exchanged, the Pirates and their crowd erupted as they hoisted the shell while the Cardinals packed into the bus and were gone faster than you can say poof.
“It’s amazing, it’s awesome, it’s a huge win.” said Fonseca.