Update: Olathe will play Monte Vista on Thursday at 6 p.m. for the seventh eligible game for non-playoff teams.
Olathe, looking to snap their two-game skid on Saturday, came up short in those efforts, losing 35-0 to Gunnison at Western Colorado University.
The Pirates were 2-0 in away games this season, outscoring opponents 88-8, but were unable to find similar success against the Cowboys as they were shutout for the second time this season.
Olathe kept it close in the first half. Gunnison scored seven points in the first quarter and were held scoreless in the second. But coming out of the half, things finally clicked.
The Cowboys scored 28 second-half points (14 in each quarter) en route to victory.
Senior quarterback Nico Marchitelli was a two-way threat against the Pirates as he completed nine passes for 91 yards and added a season-high 177 rushing yards, his second 100+ rushing effort of the season. He added four scores (three rushing, one passing) in the onslaught.
He averaged 13.6 yards per carry, also a season-high.
Following a 2-1 start, the Pirates were a few votes away from cracking the top 10 among 1A teams in the coaches poll, garnering seven votes, enough for 11th place. But a pair of home losses sent them tumbling down the list and eliminated their playoff aspirations.
The Pirates seemed well on their way to a season over .500 through the first three games. The running game got off to a thunderous start in the season opener, a win against Trinidad, and followed that performance with a similar one two weeks later, a 40-8 win at Paonia.
Despite the dominant away victories, Olathe was unable to capitalize at home, though two of the Pirates home games were against top 1A teams — Hotchkiss and Meeker, seeded No. 5 and No. 7 in the 1A state playoff bracket.
Olathe finished fifth in the 1A Western Slope conference at 1-4 (2-4 overall), ahead of Paonia at 0-5, and were outscored 65-142 in league play.
Teams that miss the playoffs are able to schedule a seventh game against another non-qualifying opponent, so Olathe has a chance to play one more game before the seniors complete their careers, if the school is willing and can find an opponent.
That game would be played this week.