Rogers beats Shadle Park for third win; most victories since 2000
12/28/2015 9:48 PM

Rogers football coach Ben Cochran paused to take a picture of his team singing the school fight song.

Cochran had much to celebrate after his Pirates topped the Shadle Park Highlanders 30-14 in a Greater Spokane League 3A opener Thursday at Albi Stadium.

The win, Rogers’ third, equals the most in a single season since 2000. The victory snapped a three-game losing streak.

“We’ve heard about that,” Cochran said, smiling. “We’re learning how to celebrate and how to celebrate each other.”

Pirates senior quarterback Cole Shafer was 3 years old in 2000. After bruising a knee last week, he bounced back to complete 76 percent of his passes, 19 of 25 for 149 yards and two touchdowns.

“It’s a good step forward for our team, coming off a slump of a few losses,” Shafer said. “We got our act back together and played like who we are.”

One victory in the final two weeks of the regular season would guarantee the Pirates their first postseason appearance since the GSL was established in 1976. The closest they came was in 1994 when they finished 5-4 and in a five-way tie for a playoff berth that required a Kansas tiebreaker.

“We still missed a few opportunities out there but we’re hoping to make up for it the next couple of weeks,” Shafer said.

“This is a great step but we’re not satisfied,” Shafer said. “We don’t want a low standard of three wins put on us. We’ll hold ourselves accountable for higher expectations.”

Rogers’ defense showed up early.

The Pirates (3-4) opened the scoring by tackling freshman Shadle quarterback Carson Doyle in the end zone for a safety.

Three minutes later, Spencer Lawrence got his second interception, picking the ball off in stride and returning it 20 yards for a touchdown.

Rogers opened the second quarter with a well-executed drive, going 79 yards in 12 plays. Shafer found Conrad Weeks on a 3-yard out for a TD, extending the Pirates’ lead to 16-0.

Pirates nose guard Dylan Crump recovered a fumble moments later, setting up Rogers at the Highlanders 23-yard line. Three plays later, Shafer found Khalil Winfrey on a 6-yard hook-up for a 23-0 lead with 4:31 to go before halftime.

Shadle (1-6) broke through when Hunter Angstrom recovered a fumble on a punt return.

On the first play, sophomore running back Xavier Wicks ran inside before bouncing outside for a 28-yard TD run and the final scoring play of the first half.

Wicks finished with a game-high 124 yards on 18 carries including two TDs.

Rogers is looking forward to playing 3A favorite Mt. Spokane next week.

“Our message was to hang in there, have hope and trust,” Cochran said. “Trust was our message (Thursday). It’ll be a good game next week. They’re good and we’re good, too. We’re coming to play us. We’ve got to be us.”

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