Matanzas continues to add to their historic run.
For the first time in the Pirates’ history, homecoming night means a lot more than crowning princes, princesses and the king and queen. Matanzas (6-0, 2-0) remains undefeated after beating New Smyrna Beach 14-7 Friday, Oct. 2, at Matanzas.
“That’s big time, man,” an emotional coach Robert Ripley said. “These guys deserve every bit of this. You take a job, knowing the issues that you’re running into, and this place hasn’t had a lot of luck or success in the things that you would hope for in a football program, but to get it all here in one shot is a little overwhelming. I wouldn’t mind saving a couple of these later in the season.”
There isn’t enough that could be said about the Pirates’ current historic run. They’ve beaten their crosstown rivals, won a district game for the first time in three years, won their homecoming game and now own the first winning season in the program’s history.
“We’re going to have to make a T-shirt around here that says, “All the firsts are now done; let’s move on to the second,” Ripley joked.
Although it was another historic win the Matanzas, the Pirates had to fight all of the way to the end to secure the victory over the Barracudas.
Matanzas opened the scoring in the first quarter, when quarterback Mackenzy Wagner threw the ball up to 6-foot 4-inch Andre Bodison, who jumped over his defender for a four-yard touchdown connection. After capitalizing on a fourth-and-six, midway through the second quarter, Daniel Dillard scored on a run from four yards out to put the Pirates up 14-0 at halftime.
Coming out of the break, Matanzas fumbled on its opening play, and NSB turned it into a 16-yard touchdown pass to pull within a score. The Pirates struggled throughout the quarter, but their defense kept the Barracudas in check. Just as they got deep into Matanzas’ territory, Bodison intercepted New Smyrna’s pass to thwart the Barracudas’ momentum.
Up by a score and not allowing any big plays, Ripley decided to run the clock throughout the fourth quarter, but a fourth down led to NSB getting the ball back with a little over two minutes remaining in the game. On the first play of the drive, Bodison caught his second interception of the game to give the Pirates the ball back.
Matanzas fumbled and gave the Cudas’ a last chance, but the defense sacked the quarterback on second and third down to make it fourth and long, which NSB was unable to convert. Bodison’s three big catches, two on defense, were the game changers for the Pirates.
“The offense wasn’t moving the ball at all this game, so Coach told us this was going to be a defensive game, so we had to come out and play,” Bodison said. “I’m happy I was able to make some big plays that helped seal the game for us. I didn’t think I was going to play a lot of defense because we had a lot of our players return.”
The Pirates will get a week of rest, but their next game will be against the Mainland Buccaneers Friday, Oct. 16, in Daytona, which can potentially be a battle of undefeated district teams.