There are many ways to look at the Pioneer football team – 2019 version.
They could be 4-0. They should be 3-1.
They could be 0-4. They should be 1-3.
They are – somehow – 2-2.
While the math does sound about right, how the Pioneers got to 2-2 is not only bizarre but difficult to follow. It’s one of those scripts that would be tossed in the garbage if presented to a Hollywood producer – The Miracle On Ice has a better chance of happening and that required a miracle.
So, how do we get here? To 2-2, I mean.
The Pioneers opened the year with a 13-7 win over Anchor Bay, a team that beat them last season in the final seconds. In late August of this year, the Pioneers rallied to win the game on the final play – snapping the ball with just 11 seconds on the clock. Conor Easthope ran the ball in for the winning score to move the Pioneers to 1-0 on the season – instead of 0-1 on the season.
The following week, the Pioneers led Saint Johns at halftime only to be run over in the second half. They were still in the game in the fourth quarter but turnovers eventually proved too costly in a 46-33 setback.
Week three took the Pioneers to Chelsea. Ah, yes, Chelsea.
Easthope led another incredible comeback, throwing what appeared to be the winning TD pass with 14 seconds left to take a 17-14 lead over the Bulldogs. But Chelsea had one more play and turned their one chance into a 66-yard TD pass to knock off the visiting Pioneers 21-17.
They were 11 seconds from 0-1 yet 14 seconds from 2-1 – if that makes sense.
Last week against Monroe, the Pioneers again had to come from behind – they certainly don’t make things easy on themselves or their coaches. The Trojans were going in for the dagger with 4 minutes to play in the game, adding a late touchdown to go up two scores and put the Pioneers out of their misery – on Homecoming, no less.
Instead, Pioneer’s Owen Aldridge intercepted a pass at the goal line and ran 100 yards the other way to make it a one-point game with 3:44 to play. Of course, Monroe scored again to go ahead eight points. It’s a lot more dramatic to rally from eight points than from one point.
Easthope and the offense – the Pioneers have a very talented group of wide receivers and a solid offensive line – marched right down the field. Well, you know the rest – score the TD, convert the two points and win in overtime. Done!
So, what does this all add up to? It adds up to 2-2 – as Bill Parcells once famously said, “you are what your record says you are.” No matter how you get there.
The Pioneers host Skyline on Friday to face an 0-4 Eagles team. But when rivals play, the records go out the window. This won’t be easy. Skyline won’t make it easy on Pioneer and Pioneer won’t make it easy on Pioneer.
In the big picture, Pioneer needs to win the winnable games on the schedule to make the playoffs. Skyline and Huron are back-to-back. Two wins gets them to four on the season with three to play with six being the magic number. Bedford is 3-1 with a powerhouse offense and Saline is, well, Saline.
The Pioneers finish with currently winless Ypsilanti.
So, yeah, Pioneer will need to beat Bedford – if they can first take care of business against their city rivals. Nothing is for certain with Pioneer – the 2019 version. But they sure are entertaining.