Pirates seeing double
Olathe, Bennett are mirror images on offense
It’s like looking in a mirror for the Olathe High School football team.
Its first-round opponent in the Class 2A state playoffs, Bennett, runs a double-wing offense, seldom passes, and sports a mean defense that will pile on sacks and force fumbles.
Not exactly a game-planning challenge for Pirates coach Ryan Corn, who has built a Western Slope Conference powerhouse with many of the same characteristics.
“Yeah, I mean, we know they’re a hard-nosed, smash-mouth team that is going to run it right at us,” Corn said. “It’s going to be a good old-fashioned smash-mouth game, and we’re very excited about that. We’re going to have to control the clock because their offense will limit the amount of times we touch the ball.”
The sixth-seeded Tigers (7-2) have a brutally tough defense that has given up more than 10 points once in conference games.
Bennett runs roughly 85 percent of the time, with the majority of the carries split between senior wingback Jonathan Cretti and sophomore running back Zane Alsdorf.
Cretti has 84 carries for 697 yards, and Alsdorf 62 carries for 562 yards.
Senior quarterback Tanner Adams has thrown seven touchdowns and only one interception.
He’s averaged almost 15 yards per attempt with 446 yards on 30 completions, so when the Tigers do throw down field, they’ve had success.
What Bennett doesn’t have, however, is Pirates running back Trenton Jole, who racked up more than 700 yards in a three-game span and is averaging 216 rushing yards per game this season.
In many of those contests, he hasn’t played in the fourth quarter, but he still eclipsed 1,000 yards this year.
“He still gets the majority of our touches,” Corn said. “He’s done a great job for us, but really, when a back puts up those kind of numbers you have to look at the line. They’ve done a tremendous job blocking for us and have really grown as the season has gone along.”
The last time the teams met was during the opening round of the 2010 Class 2A playoffs, a game the Pirates won 42-21.
The wildcard for the 11th-seeded Pirates (6-3) is quarterback Mitchell Carlson, who replaced Jole as starting quarterback for the 2013 season.
Carlson has been given an increased workload as the season has gone on, and Corn said Carlson’s growth allowed him to add more passing plays as the season wore on.
Carlson has worked as a team leader in implementing a change-of-pace passing game.
“Mitchell has done a tremendous job growing at that position for us and has done everything that is expected of him,” Corn said. “He’s helped this team grow.”
Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Bennett High School.