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Team of the week: September 19th, 2013: Petrolia Pirates Football
For the past three years the Collinsville Pirates had Petrolia's number. Winning the three matchups between the two teams by a combined score of 131-to-14. This year though Petrolia flipped the script. Taking down collinsville 19-to-7, and moving to 2-and-0 on the season
With their win against Collinsville in a physical game on friday night, the Petrolia Pirates made a statement. This is a different team than years past. Quarterback Dustin Hanusch says he can feel the change, "it's huge for us i feel like we're really changing our program around. We're just doing things in practice, we've never worked this hard. We're just flying around in practice and working as a team and it's really showing on friday nights."
Head coach Byron Gravitt agrees that this is a great group, "it started with the last game last year against Perrin Whitt. It's just continued from there. I think every team has a different attitude about them. Every team has a personality every year. The thing that i'm noticing about this team is they really love playing football and they really do want to win. And they feel like every week that we go in we do have a chance to win."
With the momentum on Collinsville's side after a score in the third quarter, Pirates receiver and runningback Bandy Mataska put the game back in Petrolia's hands with a 71 yard touchdown, giving them the lead for good. Mataska, just a sophomore, finished the game with over 200 all purpose yards. Coach Gravitt says he's only started to tap his potential, "he's just an agressive kid. Some kids have a football sense. Things just make a litte more sense to them than to others and he's just one of those kids. He understands the game better than some other kids esepecially at his age. He's doing a great job for us."
Mataska credits his teammates for his performance, "our lineman just did an excellent job of making holes and allowing me to get loose in there and when i find that gap i'm going to hit it. I'm going to hit it hard."
Along with his 71 yard game sealing touchdown, Mataska and Hanusch linked up for two more touchdowns through the air. The Pirates also getting strong play all around from the defense. Including a crucial interception made by Tanner Welch. Giving the ball back to the pirates and giving them a chance to score. Next up for the Pirates is a trip to Archer City to face the Wildcats.