Top-ranked Hotchkiss wins sloppy game vs. Olathe
OLATHE — More often than not, when Hotchkiss High School running back Jacobe Galley rumbled outside Friday night, the play ended with a holding penalty.
But despite two touchdowns being called back, the top-ranked Class 1A Bulldogs did just enough to top Class 2A Olathe 20-14 in the season opener for both squads.
“We made a lot of mistakes, and Olathe forced a lot of our mistakes,” Hotchkiss coach Zac Lemon said. “They’re so well-coached and such a disciplined group. They’re tougher than heck, and we were able to make some things happen in the second half.”
The two squads combined for eight fumbles and 12 presnap penalties. Olathe quarterback Jacob Solseth went 3 for 12 with three interceptions as Olathe uncharacteristically went to the air in its wishbone offense after struggling on the ground.
“When we got into our groove defensively, and when we weren’t just taking the ball back and forth, that’s when we got going,” Lemon said. “We needed the momentum on defense to string some drives together on offense. It’s when we go three and out that neither side of the ball got going.”
Galley ran for 150 yards and one touchdown. He broke off three runs of more than 20 yards and would have rushed for more than 250 yards had it not been for all of the penalties.
Josh Hardin threw a 95-yard touchdown pass to Conner Beard to end the first half with Hotchkiss trailing 14-12. Fullback Trenton Tamayo bowled into the end zone late in the third to seal the win for Hotchkiss.
“Ball security, shoulder pads and knees,” Galley said of his team’s running success. “Our offensive line did great, but we do have a lot to work on. We aren’t used to these four-quarter battles this early in the season.”
Trent Piatt emerged as a defensive leader for Olathe. He had one interception when Bryan Leu drilled a Hotchkiss receiver as he was trying to make a catch, sending the ball right into Piatt’s hands.
“Trent Piatt was a standout,” Olathe coach Ryan Corn said. “He had the pick and saved the game with a couple of his tackles. Our whole defense did an excellent job except for that one series where we kind of relaxed, and that hurt us.”
Olathe will see similar team speed in its conference opener against Cedaredge, Corn said.
“They’ve got great athletes over there,” Corn said. “They have three or four running backs over there and wide receivers that are just as fast.
“We really had a problem with that tonight, and we really need to focus in on our technique and tackling so we can come in against Cedaredge and play at that level.”