Olathe stays on track for playoffs, tops Coal Ridge
SILT — Olathe High School’s football team hasn’t been on the outside of the playoffs looking in very often in recent years. On Friday, the defending Class 2A state champions showed they wanted a return trip.
Behind quarterback Ben Kaylor’s big night, Olathe got right back into position to return to the state playoffs with their 36-17 Class 2A Western Slope Conference victory against a banged-up Coal Ridge squad.
“We went back to being ourselves tonight,” said Olathe coach Ryan Corn, whose team lost to Roaring Fork 23-22 last week. “That game, we weren’t ourselves. But in this game right here, we looked a lot more like ourselves.”
Kaylor finished 9 for 14 passing for 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and he also ran for a pair of scores. That came because the Pirates (4-3 overall, 3-1 WSL) controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, limiting the Titans (3-4, 2-2) to only 140 yards of total offense.
Coal Ridge got within a pair of touchdowns with eight minutes left before the Pirates pulled away. The Titans weren’t 100 percent, with several key players battling injuries.
“First and foremost, we have a very courageous group of young men out there,” Coal Ridge coach Scott Parker said. “We’re pretty dinged up. We got hit by the injury bug pretty hard the past few weeks, and the guys still went out and gave a great effort.
“But we had too many missed opportunities. You have to take advantage of those in this league, of in the long run, you can’t overcome it.”
The Titans had four turnovers, two of which stopped what looked to be promising drives.
Kaylor also had a big game on defense, coming up with an interception right after a big goal-line stand in the first quarter that led to the Pirates’ first points of the game, a 2-yard run that knotted the game 7-7. There was no panic after the Pirates got down early.
“Instead of coming into the game playing not to lose like we did last week, we came out playing to win,” Kaylor said. “Last week showed we can’t overlook teams, and we didn’t do that tonight.”
Coal Ridge, down 29-9 early in the fourth quarter, got back into the game by recovering an Olathe fumble on the Pirates’ 27. The Titans pulled within 29-17 on Robby Moore’s 7-yard scoring pass to Trey Derby and Moore’s conversion run with 6:19 left.
But Olathe recovered the Titans’ ensuing onside kick, then capped it on Willy Corey’s 1-yard touchdown run with 2:48 left.
The Titans only mustered 46 yards of total offense in the first half against the Pirates. Thirty-five of those came on their second possession, when Moore found Brent Hazzard in the end zone from 11 yards out to cap the Coal Ridge scoring drive and put the Titans up 7-0 after Tyler Guettler’s point-after kick.
Olathe fought back, tying the score on the second play of the second quarter on Kaylor’s 2-yard scoring dive on a fourth down.
The Pirates recovered their own onside kick, then went ahead for good six plays later Cole Grett made a fingertip catch for an 18-yard touchdown for a 14-7 lead.
Glenwood Springs 43, Steamboat Springs 0: Henry Hill scored on runs of 4, 2 and 10 yards and quarterback Travis Lundin threw two touchdown passes and ran for another for the Demons.
Lundin hit Cam Avery with a 50-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and later connected with Mike Mills for a 27-yarder for a 21-0 lead. After Hill ran in two touchdowns in the second quarter, Lundin scored on a 28-yard run in the third quarter to put the game away.
Hotchkiss 66, Hayden 13: Jacobe Galley rushed for 153 yards and three touchdowns and returned an interception for another score to keep the second-ranked Bulldogs undefeated.
Hotchkiss (7-0, 3-0 Class 1A Western Slope Conference) rushed for 384 yards and scored 26 points in the first quarter, extending its lead to 46-7 at halftime. Braeden Horton added 134 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Hayden (3-4, 2-1 WSC) got a pair of touchdowns from Mark Doolin, one for 68 yards. Doolin rushed for 93 yards.
Paonia 37, Lake County 16: Taylor Katzer returned an interception 100 yards and Dustin Braslin had an 85-yard return for a score to lead the Eagles (4-3, 2-1 WSC). Adrian Lopez caught one touchdown pass and ran for two TDs.