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Pittsburg’s football program entered 2017 not having won a Bay Valley Athletic League title in two seasons, a long drought for the storied program. 

But in 2017, that drought came to an end in emphatic fashion. 

The Pirates not only won the league title but also won the D1-A Norcal title and narrowly lost the state championship game to Narbonne. 

With many of that team’s top players returning, the 2018 team certainly appears more than qualified for another great run. 

Quarterback Justin Boyd had a fantastic year as a junior for the Pirates. 

He passed for nearly 2,000 yards with 26 touchdowns against only three interceptions. 

With 167 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, Boyd was also his team’s fourth leading rusher. 

Pittsburg’s leading rusher from 2017 – senior Premier Murphy – also returns. 

He averaged nearly seven yards a carry a season ago, adding six touchdowns in a crowded Pirates’ backfield. 

In the passing game, senior Willie Harts III should have a bigger role than he did a season ago. As a junior, Harts caught 19 passes for 342 yards with seven touchdowns. He is his team’s leading returning receiver. 

On the defensive side of the ball, Pittsburg should be as tough as always. 

Senior linebacker Jack Lacy III returns for Pittsburg. 

Defensive tackle Jacob Bandes figures to wreck the interior lines of the Pirates’ opponents again. As a junior, he recorded 50 tackles, eight tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks.

In addition to being one of the area’s top receivers, Harts is also one of its best defensive backs, leading a loaded secondary. 

The Pirates have nonleague games scheduled against perennial Northern California powers Clayton Valley, St. Mary’s, Serra and Vacaville with another trip to Southern California against Centennial in the middle. 

Pittsburg Pirates 2018 Schedule

Aug. 17, 7 p.m. vs. Clayton Valley

Aug. 24, 7 p.m. vs. St. Mary’s

Aug. 31, 7 p.m. at Centennial

Sept. 8, 7 p.m. vs. Serra

Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m. at Vacaville

Sept. 21, 7 p.m. at Heritage*

Sept. 28, 7 p.m. at Deer Valley*

Oct. 5, 7 p.m. vs. Freedom*

Oct. 19, 7 p.m. vs. Liberty*

Oct. 27, 1:30 p.m. at Antioch*

*BVAL games