High school football returned to Wilson Field in Olathe Friday evening as the Center Vikings and the Pirates battled for 48 minutes. The final result was a 28-22 road win for the Vikings.
Olathe opened the game running the ball but fumbled at the Center 38 yard line. Center returned the favor by throwing an interception to the Pirates Leium Fairclough deep in Pirate territory.
Center scored the first points of the contest at the 11:33 mark of the second period when Grant Wilks took a pitchout, ran right and threw a halfback pass to Daniel Gutierrez for a 23-yard touchdown. The two-point try made the score 8-0.
Olathe stormed back at the 5:21 mark of the second quarter when Jerrel Vigil scored on a weaving 48-yard run through the Viking’s defense. The two-point conversion failed, keeping the score 8-6 in favor of the Vikings.
The Pirates drove the ball into Center territory on the running of Xzavier Waterman and Silvano Alejandro. The drive stalled on a bad snap on 4th down. The Vikings put together a 37-yard drive capped off by an 7-yard touchdown run by Ricardo Maldonado. The conversion try was no good, making the score 14-6 in favor of Center.
The Vikings started a late first-half drive at the Olathe 44 yard line with 51 seconds on the clock. Quarterback Jesus Valadez threw a pass into coverage and Waterman intercepted the errant toss and returned it 60 yards for a Pirates touchdown. Silvano Alejandro bulled his way into the end zone for the two-point conversion making the halftime score 14-14.
Center took the second half kickoff and marched down the field with Abraham Echauri scoring the touchdown from 16 yards out. The two-point conversion was good, giving the Vikings a 22-14 lead.
The two teams battled throughout the third quarter. Olathe then put together a long drive that resulted in a Vigil 1-yard rushing touchdown. Trenton Fletcher tied things up with a bruising two-point conversion run, tying the score at 22-22.
The Vikings took over at their own 47 yard line and quickly scored the tie-breaking touchdown on a 53-yard run through the Pirate defense. The Vikings took a 28-22 lead.
The game ended with Vigil being sacked by the Viking defenders as he attempted to throw a Hail Mary pass.
“We just had too many mistakes early, big mistakes,” said Pirates head coach Tyler Vincent, who wondered if perhaps his team was a bit too anxious right out of the gate. “We fought back but we’ve just got to make more plays coming down to the end of the game. We’ll keep working, keep stressing that we’ve got to live like champions to play like champions. We’ve got to put the work in all week in order to have a good result on Friday night.
“We ran the ball well. We took care of the ball up front. Our line is starting to jell. We hit holes, put things together but mistakes count and you don’t get the result you desire on Friday night.”
Unofficial statistics had Vigil running for 122 yards, Waterman 57 yards and Silvano Alejandro contributing 43 yards.
Vincent said he knew very little about the Wiggins Tigers, next Saturday’s opponent on the road.
“We scrimmaged Wiggins a couple of years ago so we’ll just have to break down the film, and be ready to go next Saturday.”