Pirates can’t contain pass game, fall 48-14 to Gladiators

by Staff Writer

DUNEDIN- For all the things Dunedin was able to do right in its home opener a couple weeks ago, the team regressed a bit when they faced the defending FFA champion Southwest Florida Gladiators this past weekend.

Turnovers and miscues hindered any opportunity the Pirates may have had in regards to an upset bid, as Dunedin turned over the ball three times and couldn’t stop the passing attack of the Gladiators in a 48-14 loss at Dunedin Memorial Stadium.

The return of a familiar face came back to bite the Pirates, as Brian Koesling made his debut with the Gladiators and hadn’t missed a beat since he last played with the Tampa Bay Patriots in 2017. Koesling threw for 200 yards and five touchdowns against the Pirates.

Dunedin (1-2) struggled to get much started on the offensive end, but tried to stay in the game early. After falling behind 14-0, rookie quarterback Tim Dallaire hit wide receiver Andy Villamarzo on a short 7-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 14-6.

Southwest Florida (3-0) built up their lead to 28-6 before Dunedin answered again, which the team’s second touchdown was scored on a 1-yard sneak by quarterback Eric Vitale. A successful 2-point conversion made the game 28-14, but the Pirates wouldn’t score again after that.

Two more touchdown passes from Koesling sealed the game up, along with a host of mistakes made. The Pirates won’t take the field again until February 29th when they travel to Cocoa High School to face the Space Coast Tar Heels (0-3).