Making a statement: Olathe piles on 30 points during second quarter in rout of Salida
OLATHE — As the undefeated Class 2A state champions riding a 24-game winning streak, the Olathe High School football team was a little taken aback when it didn’t get the No. 1 seed in this season’s state playoffs.
“We’ve got something to prove,” Pirates senior quarterback Garhett Jurgens said.
Olathe (11-0) made a statement Saturday, piling up 30 points in the second quarter en route to a 52-7 victory over Salida in the first round.
The statement could have been even bolder.
Olathe’s offense got the ball for only three possessions in the second half. That’s only because the Pirates were so efficient in the first half.
After their first two possessions stalled, the Pirates made the necessary adjustments prior to their third possession, then let the offense do its thing.
“We’ve got to figure out how you’re going to line up against us,” Olathe coach Ryan Corn said.
The Pirates’ adjustments were made by the end of the first quarter, when Olathe mounted its first scoring drive. Salida punter James Bove shanked a kick off the side of his foot. The ball traveled only 22 yards, giving Olathe possession at the Salida 33.
Six plays later, Kyle Piatt bulled over from the 1.
Four different Olathe players scored in the second quarter, allowing the Pirates to build a 38-0 halftime lead.
As strong as the offense was, particularly in the second quarter, the defense also had its hand in the victory.
Olathe held Salida to 12 total yards in the first half, 25 coming on one pass play late in the half. The Spartans, who won their last five regular season games to reach the playoffs, had minus 16 yards rushing through the first two quarters.
“They work hard at it,” Corn said “They’re very responsible and do their assignments.”
The Pirates recovered a fumble at the Salida 5-yard line on the third play of the third quarter. Piatt’s bolt up the middle for the score on the next play put Olathe ahead 46-0 and the running clock was in effect for the remainder of the game.
Typical of Olathe’s efficiency on offense was Jurgens. He rushed only five times but gained 73 yards and scored the Pirates’ third touchdown on an 11-yard keeper.
He only passed twice but completed both, including a 22-yard touchdown to Zach Cosper.
“It’s all execution,” Jurgens said. “It’s capitalizing on what you get. With our line, I think anybody can run the ball.”
Jurgens said the Pirates took the slight of the No. 2 seed to heart.
“Our attitude was, we’re coming out with a chip on our shoulders,” he said.
“We talked about the seed,” said running back and defensive back Dylan Markley, who scored once on offense, returned a punt 39 yards to set up another touchdown and returned an interception 60 yards for a second-half score. “It makes us want to work hard.”
In the end, said Corn, “You’ve got to beat them all anyway. We’re OK. We’ve got that chip on our shoulder.”