Yes, the Pirates were able to defeat host Fairfax of Los Angeles, 21-14 in a nonleague game, but they were able to do it despite yet another stagnant fourth quarter effort that cost them the previous week in a one-point loss to Redondo Union. It was the third time in 12 months San Pedro defeated the Lions after beating them twice last season, but this time, Fairfax made the Pirates work for it.
Defense was the call on the night, as San Pedro's three forced turnovers offset sophomore quarterback Jacob Miller being intercepted three times. It also helped that San Pedro (4-1) would go back to their vintage 'Pound-N-Ground' rushing attack to eventually wear Fairfax (1-4) down when it counted.
San Pedro would jump to a 14-0 halftime lead on the strength of sophomore RB/DB Antonio Frazier's 10-yard touchdown run with 2:33 left in the first quarter, and senior running back Pete Palacios' 22-yard touchdown run which came off a fourth down-and-1 situation with 6:34 left in the second quarter. San Pedro's defense forced two turnovers off an interception from senior QB/LB Mike Hannifin, and a recovered fumble by sophomore DB Vincent Wood.
Despite that, the Pirates had a great opportunity to really close the door, driving to the Fairfax 8-yard line in the waning seconds of the half, but Miller was picked off at the goal line by Fairfax senior QB/DB Myles Bowen with 15 seconds to play,
Bowen threw a 61-yard touchdown strike to Kenny Allen with 8:02 remaining in the third quarter, and the Lions seemingly had all the momentum going their way when Miller was intercepted for the second time off a tipped pass.
Two plays later, Palacios took the momentum right back for San Pedro when he stripped the ball from Fairfax senior wide receiver Rhaji Hicks and recovered the fumble in one fell swoop. The Pirates would promptly drive down field and score with junior running back Chris Alvidrez's 8-yard touchdown run for a 21-7 lead with 45 seconds left in the third quarter.
Then the unthinkable almost happened.
Fairfax would drive to the San Pedro 11-yard line, but Bowen's pass for Hicks fell incomplete on fourth down. Miller was intercepted a third time by senior WR/DB Jason Lewis, but San Pedro would once again stop the Lions on downs with a sack of Bowen by senior defensive end Mario Roberson.
San Pedro was held to three-and-out, and the Lions would finally score on their final drive with Bowen's 36-yard touchdown pass to Allen with 2:46 left for the game's final score, but the Pirates got two first-down runs by Alvidrez (96 yards rushing) which allowed them to safely run out the clock and survive.
Despite yet another shaky outing, the Pirates ran for 285 yards, paced by Alvidrez and Hannifin, who ran for 92 yards, 62 of them came on a critical run off a quarterback draw in the first quarter that set up Frazier's touchdown.
Bowen completed 15-of-27 passes for 237 yards, two touchdowns (both to Allen) and an interception for Fairfax.
With this crazy win, San Pedro knows they more than have their hands full for the next three weeks to begin their Marine League gauntlet, starting with a road game at always dangerous Carson next Friday.