Going into the locker room down by 10 points at halftime, Neah-Kah-Nie reversed the momentum in their last game to overcome Gervais 20-10.

The Pirates offense started out moving the ball pretty well against the Cougars but shot themselves in the foot with their first two offensive drives of the game. A pair of red zone turnovers put further hurt on the Pirates, and the Cougars capitalized on mistakes to score twice on broken plays and blown containment.

Neah-Kah-Nie Head Coach Chris Bennett said after Gervais scored a second time he changed up his defensive alignment, shutting down the Cougars’ offense for the rest of the night. Defensively, the Pirates whole unit played very well with the exception of the two scores, flying to the ball and tackling well.

“We were able to get some offense going late in the first half of the game and went into the locker room down 6-16,” Bennett said. “In the second half, we put some good drives together and were able to put some points on the board.”

Bennett said senior quarterback Mychal Kelly did a great job leading the offense, as he has done the past couple years. He said Kelly is truly the leader of the offensive unit and will be very hard to replace. Neah-Kah-Nie graduates eight seniors this year who Bennett said will certainly be missed.

“I started coaching several of these young men when they were in the fourth grade and they have had a great high school career, making the state playoffs twice and winning a league title last year,” Bennett said. “We certainly have some holes to fill as we move forward.”

The Pirates finish the season 5-3 overall with a 4-2 record in the conference, taking down Gaston, Nestucca, Portland Christian, and Vernonia in the 2019 push. Neah-Kah-Nie stumbled against Reedsport, Knappa and Warrenton. Oregon School Activities Association ranked the team No. 17 in its division.

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