The Olathe High School football team showed signs of brilliant play during Friday’s home opener, but the Pirates’ “little mistakes” came back to haunt them at home, said coach Ryan Corn.
A few turnovers and offensive and defensive penalties from Olathe (0-2) allowed Basalt to come away with a 29-7 win in a game where the Longhorns never trailed.
“We’ve got to take care of those mistakes. We’re a good team. We just have to believe in it,” Corn said.
The Pirates’ only score came in the final two minutes of the ballgame. Quarterback Dedrix Waterman launched a pass around midfield to wide receiver Jerrel Vigil, who went untouched into the endzone.
Despite trailing late, Corn said he was pleased that his players kept battling into the final whistle.
“They’ve got fight in them,” he said. “It’s just a matter of getting all cylinders firing. Once we get (that going), we’re going to be a very good football team.”
Olathe struggled on offense all night. The home squad started the game turning the ball over on downs after facing 4th-and-1.
Although the Pirates gave the Longhorns good field position, the Olathe defense was able to force a fumble, which was recovered by senior Dayton Sofka.
But OHS went three and out on its next drive and was forced to punt. Basalt then marched down the field for its first score of the game.
And the Longhorns’ offense continued to click on its next possession. To start the second quarter, the visitors got huge play with a 50-yard pass, which was spotted down at the Olathe 1-yard line.
On the next play, Basalt punched it in to take a 13-0 lead — the extra point was no good.
That was the final score before halftime, as neither team could gain any traction on offense.
During Basalt’s first offensive drive of the second half, the Longhorns managed to add to their lead. The score came from a 25-yard passing touchdown, and the visiting team converted on a 2-point attempt to make the score, 21-0.
Following the touchdown, Olathe looked like it was beginning to click on offense, but an interception at midfield killed the drive late in the third quarter.
Neither team could put up a successful drive into midway through the fourth quarter.
After Basalt forced an Olathe punt, the long snapper’s snap went over the punter’s head and into the home team’s end zone, where the kicker was tackled for a safety.
The Longhorns capitalized on the short field with a 6-yard touchdown pass, but once again, the extra point was no good.
Olathe avoided a total shutout with a score that came with 1:22 left to play in the game.
“We’ve got to keep working hard,” Corn said. “We’re just making a lot of little mistakes that unfortunately are catching us. We’ve seen that the last two games.”
The Pirates hope for a better result when they battle Center at 7 p.m. Friday, on the road.
Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress.