The Hart Pirates opened the season with an offensive outburst and a big lift for first-year Coach Joe Tannis on Friday night.

The Pirates defeated the Holton Red Devils 44-20 and gave Coach Tannis a lot to be thankful for after the win.

“It feels really good,” Hart coach Joe Tanis said about his team getting his first win as leader of the Pirates. “We have some really good kids and good players. We knew what we had and it was fun to see our guys come out and make plays.”

After Holton scored early on, the Pirates’ offense came to life with a 45-yard touchdown pass from Kellen Kimes to Chris Clark-Smith.

First-year Hart Coach Joe Tannis (left) stands with MHSAA sports historian and LocalSportsJournal.com contributor, Ron Pesch, at an LSJ high school football kickoff party in 2015. Photo/Marc Hoeksema

After Holton took the lead again, Hart evened the score and took the lead by scoring three unanswered touchdowns. Kimes had two more touchdown passes and ran for another and the Pirates were on their way to the opening-night victory.

Trayce Tate and Chance Alvesteffer each had rushing touchdowns for Hart. Tight end Revin Gale pulled in two touchdown passes.

The Pirates had a long list of players who made significant contributions on Friday night.

 “We rotated a bunch of guys,” Tanis said. “It was a total team effort.”

Tanis lauded the efforts of Austin Martinez, Clark-Smith and Kimes on defense.

Kimes finished with seven completions on nine attempts for 149 yards and three touchdowns. He also had a pair of completions on 2-point conversions. Clark-Smith had three catches for 86 yards.

“The best part was seeing them have fun on the bus ride home,” Tanis said. “It gets us off in the right direction. We know we have a long ways to go, but this gives us something to build on.

Check out photos from the action shot by Beth Olson.