The Golden Pirate Regiment band wasn't around, nor was the Drill Team, not to mention both sides of fans were smaller than usual. Yet, Pirate Pride was still very much alive and well as the Pirates hosted Garfield of Los Angeles in the second and final game of a pandemic-shortened 2021 spring season.
San Pedro was primed and ready for a four-game spring sprint, but COVID-19 protocols wiped out their planned April 9 showdown at Dorsey of Los Angeles, and their April 16 Marine League opener with Narbonne of Harbor City.
The pandemic once again threw one more curveball at the Pirates when originally scheduled opponent, Marine League foe Carson, also pulled out due to COVID-19 protocols, and Garfield was a last-minute replacement agreeing to face the Pirates in the late hours this past Thursday.
Scoring on all six first half offensive possessions, San Pedro steamrolled their way to an impressive 55-0 victory over the traditionally strong Bulldogs program to cap off a dominant two-game spring run. In the two victories over both Garfield and Harbor Area neighbor Banning of Wilmington, the Pirates won both games by a combined 119-19 margin, showing eye-popping offensive production that had to be seen to be believed.
It was also an awesome sendoff for the seven seniors of the Pirates who closed their prep careers winning 17 out of their last 19 games, starting with their five-game run to close out the 2018 season as sophomores to become CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division 1 champions.
San Pedro (2-0 in spring) took the game's opening possession in stride, a seven-play, 62-yard drive that culminated with a four-yard touchdown run by junior running back Christian Phillips for a 7-0 lead with 8:46 remaining in the first quarter. The defense quickly forced a takeaway on the Bulldogs' (1-3) third play, when junior WR/DB Chris Nixon picked off a pass. On the very first play after the interception, junior quarterback Aidan Jackson tossed a dart over the middle to junior wide receiver Kejuan Bullard, and it was 13-0 Pirates with the extra point attempt kick being blocked.
Jackson was simply sensational for the second week in a row, completing 9-of-11 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns, including a 72-yard bomb on third and long to Nixon with 2:59 left in the first quarter, followed by a 28-yard touchdown pass to sophomore tight end Nicholas Fernandez with 1:50 to play in the first half, which gave the Pirates an insurmountable 40-0 halftime advantage. He also threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Eastern Washington-bound WR/DB Joshua Johnson early in the second quarter... but a false start penalty negated the score.
Senior RB/LB Isaiah Howard's 21-yard run and junior WR/DB Robert Sarmiento's 31-yard wildcat run were the other two touchdowns in the second quarter.
Once the third quarter began, San Pedro established their more familiar methodical attack to chew up time with the score out of reach, getting two third quarter visits to the end zone from Phillips on a 35-yard run, and a six-yard run from Howard, which was the second touchdown each for both, for the final two scores of the night, also including a broken play on a PAT attempt that ended up with Nixon running in for a two-point conversion after Phillips' second score.
The entire fourth quarter was played with a running clock.
With this awesome display, San Pedro established themselves as one of the prime favorites to challenge for the CIF-LACS Open Division championship in the Fall.
For the final feel-good moment of this Friday night, all the Pirate underclassmen got together in two lines in front of the Victory Arch as the seven seniors: Johnson, Howard (bound for Midland University), Drake-bound offensive lineman Kyle Keller, defensive back Richie Sanchez, offensive tackle Dwayne Palacio, Monson Tauala and Donny Low all marched through the Arch one last time.
A perfect finish to a perfect Spring uprising of Pirate football.