Coal Ridge no match for Olathe
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
SPRING VALLEY, Colorado ” Coal Ridge prepared as intensely as possible all week for their Friday night opponent, undefeated Olathe.
It still wasn’t enough.
The Pirates spotted Coal Ridge (3-2, 0-2)14 points and a whole quarter before reeling off 50 unanswered points across the second and third quarters, finishing with a 50-21 dismantling of the Titans. It was a dominating effort led by a stifling defense that limited the Titans to -48 yards of offense in the second quarter alone.
During that stretch, the Pirates forced the Titans into seven punts and recovered three fumbles. With a powerful running game led by David Rhodes who ran for 165 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, Olathe just ran right down the throat of the Titans defense.
“My line was blocking real good,” Rhodes said afterwards. “They did an awesome job of opening up holes. We just wanted to run it down their throats. We had a little bit of a slow start but we picked it up.”
The Olathe (5-0, 2-0) running game was boosted by Dylan Markley (four carries, 87 yards and two TDs) and Marvin Rivera (six carries, 29 yards and two TDs) among a host of others. In total, the Pirates gained 311 yards on 37 carries against the Coal Ridge defense.
The outcome was vastly different from how it began. Coal Ridge got off to about as positive of a start as it could’ve asked for when they scored 14 straight points in the first quarter.
It all started with an Olathe fumble on a punt return after the Titans’ first possession. After coming up with the recovery, the Titans were sitting pretty with the ball on their opponents’ 35-yard line. One play later, with a Keenen Grumley-Alex Klein connection, it was 7-0 Titans. Another touchback led to a three-and-out stand by the Coal Ridge defense and a short punt plus a nice return and penalty gave the Titans the ball at the 3-yard line. Four plays later, Josh Alsop punched it in from a yard out to stretch out the Titans’ lead to 14-0.
Mistakes were the story of the early play of Olathe. Penalties prolonging their opponents’ drives and fumbles giving the Titans extra chances resulted in the Pirates falling behind by two TDs for the first time all season. A team that came into the game giving up an average of just 4.5 points per game to their opponent, was off to a slow start.
But just as those first 12 minutes melted away, so too did the Pirates lethargy. As the second quarter began, an unrelenting defense blitzed the Titans to death, giving them absolutely no space to run the football or time to throw it. They suffocated their prey like an angry python would a rabbit, it was devastating.
By halftime, Olathe had pulled ahead 29-14 and the Titans coaching staff was looking for answers on how to crack the pressure defense they were being throttled by.
They found none.
Before many of the Titans faithful even found their respective seats, Olathe stretched it out to 50-14 and the game was over.
“We knew we had to get some pressure on them because they have that big kid [Klein] on the outside,” Rhodes added. “So that was our gameplan and we were successful getting after [Grumley] all night.”
Grumley finished 4-of-13 passing for 60 yards and a TD while gaining just seven yards on 15 carries after being sacked nine times. Grumley scored the Titans only TD after the first quarter when he picked up an Alsop fumble and scrambled 33 yards down the right sideline for the unlikely score.
Further disappointment came in the form of star running back Bradey Gasaway’s first quarter injury which caused him to exit the game and not return after just eight carries for eight yards.
Alsop led the Titans on the ground with 29 yards.
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After losing the 3A Western Slope League race in a tough, five-set loss to Basalt on April 15, the Coal Ridge High volleyball team finds its playoff fate partly out of its own hands.