Olathe takes to the air to open season with victory
OLATHE — The Olathe High School football team has traditionally been a running team.
That’s what’s most comfortable to coach Ryan Corn, but since Tyler Vincent joined the coaching staff two years ago and took over offensive coordinator duties, the Pirates have opened up the playbook more.
The defending Class 2A state champions proved they don’t have to rely on the running game like they did with Kyle Piatt last season.
Olathe, ranked third in the Denver Post media poll, opened the 2011 season Friday night throwing the ball to defeat Steamboat Springs 43-13 at Wilson Field.
“I think there’s some excitement, but we tell the kids this team didn’t win a state championship, that was last year’s team,” Corn said. “We’re focused on this year. If they want to win a state championship, they have to step up every week and improve.”
Olathe senior quarterback Ben Kaylor completed 6 of 8 passes for 178 yards and three touchdowns. Senior receiver Taylor Carlson caught four passes for 144 yards and the three touchdowns.
“That’s an excellent first game,” Corn said. “My O-coordinator, Tyler Vincent, was a quarterback in high school, so he’s going to air it out more than me. I was a just a lineman/tight end, so I always perceived it as only three things can happen when you pass it and two of them are bad.
“I’m glad he’s calling the O and I’m calling the D.”
Kaylor and Carlson got the Pirates’ offense going on their second possession, hooking up on a play-action pass for 26 yards on third down. Eleven plays later, Kaylor found Carlson in the corner of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown. Kaylor converted the point-after attempt for a 7-0 lead.
“I’ve been with Taylor for many years working with him every day after practice,” Kaylor said. “We have a great line giving us blocks, helping us out to make our plays.”
Kaylor put the Pirates in scoring territory on their next possession, connecting Jason Armendariz for 25 yards, leading to a Willy Corey 3-yard touchdown run. Corey had 10 carries for 100 yards.
The Pirates couldn’t find their kicking tee, so they went for two on the PAT and Kaylor found Armendariz again.
Olathe had another opportunity on offense before the half and didn’t waste much time.
Kaylor completed a 65-yard pass to the 6-foot Carlson for their second touchdown connection and a 22-0 halftime lead.
“We run the ball a lot; that’s what we do,” Carlson said. “The line gets blocks, Ben makes great throws. If we keep putting in the work, we can pass the ball a lot more, just as long as we keep working hard.”
The two continued to attack the Steamboat pass defense on the first possession of the third quarter. They hooked up for a 17-yard gain on Olathe’s first play of the second half and again for 36 yards and a touchdown down the east sideline late in the third quarter.
“When you have a tall, athletic receiver like Taylor that can jump around and do those things, it’s impressive to watch,” Corn said. “I haven’t had a receiver that tall and athletic in a long time.”
Kaylor and Carlson rested for the remainder of the game, giving several other players an opportunity to play, and they hardly missed a beat.
With Jacob Solseth taking over at quarterback , the Pirates went on an eight-play, 45-yard drive resulting in a Rio Green 4-yard touchdown run and a 36-0 lead.
The Pirates defense kept the shutout intact until Olathe fumbled a punt return, setting up the Sailors’ first score.
After Troy Rose scored on a 6-yard run for the Pirates, Steamboat added another touchdown with 10 seconds left when Skyler Kauf scored on a 65-yard run.