Hotchkiss’ Smith has 4 TDs in win over Olathe

HOTCHKISS — Hotchkiss High School got 177 yards from running back Alex Smith as the Bulldogs opened their football season Friday with a 34-13 nonconference victory over Olathe.

Smith, a junior, flashed speed and toughness as he piled up his yards on 23 carries and delivered four touchdowns.

“He’s little, but he’s tough,” Hotchkiss coach Zac Lemon said. “Alex has a big heart and a great motor. He got a lot of yards after contact, he read blocks well, and he was a patient runner tonight.”

Both teams slugged through a sloppy first quarter, then Hotchkiss exploded for 20 points in the second quarter. Smith ran between the guard and tackle for his first two scores, both from 1 yard out.

His third score came after quarterback Devan Rupe made a cartwheel move to get away from several Pirates, then pitched to Smith for a 3-yard score right before halftime. 

Olathe got on the scoreboard at the 5:19 mark of the third quarter when senior Tristen Jones collected a bad Hotchkiss snap in the end zone for the Pirates’ first touchdown.

“We didn’t play like ourselves in the first half at all,” Olathe coach Ryan Corn said. “We made too many mistakes and had too many penalties. We shot ourselves in the foot on drives when we moved the ball, and turnovers just killed us.”

The Bulldogs came right back after the Pirates’ score and added to the lead on a 9-yard run by Rupe, who weaved and dodged his way into the end zone to put Hotchkiss up 26-7.

Rupe finished with 11 carries for 59 yards. He connected on 5 of 10 passes for 70 yards with one interception.

Olathe fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Smith scored his final touchdown for Hotchkiss, another 1-yard score, to up the lead to 34-7 right before the end of the third quarter.

Olathe senior Trent Piatt completed the scoring with his 9-yard scamper at the 5:49 mark of the final quarter.

Rifle 54, Coal Ridge 6: Brock Clark rushed for 158 yards and three touchdowns, and Kellin Leigh found the end zone four times as Rifle rolled to a season-opening victory.

Leigh rushed for 87 yards on four attempts, scoring touchdowns on runs of five, 55 and 22 yards. He also found the end zone on a 25-yard pass from Layton Stutsman that gave second-ranked Rifle (1-0) a 33-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Rifle’s defense limited the Titans (0-1) to minus-4 yards on the ground. Their lone score came on a 27-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Trevor Wade to senior receiver Jerome Pizelli with no time remaining on the clock.

The first of Clark’s two
11-yard touchdown runs, which came with 10 minutes, 58 seconds remaining in the first half, gave Rifle a 40-0 lead and started the running-clock mercy rule.


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