Senior running back Craijon Menefee led a potent Pirates rushing attack, scoring four touchdowns. Junior running back Harris Ross added 107 yards on the ground for Pittsburg.
“I think we underestimated them,” said Deer Valley senior receiver and defensive back Frank Sturgis. “We didn’t come out with the intensity that we normally do. We didn’t play as a team and made too many mistakes.”
As difficult a first half as it was for the Wolverines, they were in the game, scoring on the opening possession of the second half to cut the lead to 28-21. But that momentum lasted only until the following kickoff.
Senior Jamal Lockett returned the kick 90 yards for the touchdown. The Wolverines would not draw closer than one possession for the remainder of the game.
Junior quarterback Nsimba Webster’s night perfectly summed up the Wolverines’ performance. He threw for more than 200 yards and rushed for more than 100 – but also threw a fourth-quarter interception deep in Pirates territory while Deer Valley was down 14.
“We made too many mistakes,” said junior receiver Nzuzi Webster, who caught one of his brother’s three TD strikes. “We need to keep our composure next week against Freedom. If we don’t keep our composure against them, they’re going to get up on us and beat us.”
The loss dropped Deer Valley to 6-2 overall with a 2-1 record in the Bay Valley Athletic League. Pittsburg is 5-3 overall with an identical 2-1 mark in the BVAL. If Freedom (6-2, 3-0) beats Deer Valley next week, the Falcons will wrap up at least a share of the league title as a result of their victories over the Pirates and Heritage. If the Wolverines beat the Falcons, it will leave the race for the league championship wide open.
Although Freedom and Pittsburg have high-scoring offenses in common, the Falcons’ offense shows more balance between the run and the pass. Wolverines head coach Rich Woods knows that beating Freedom will be no small task, but believes it’s possible.
“First of all, we’ve just got to play better,” he said. “We’ve got to block, we’ve got to tackle. Other than that, we’ve just got to play within our game frame and we’ll be alright.”