Roaring Fork can’t keep up with the Pirates
CARBONDALE — In a nonleague game between a pair of 2A Western Slope League teams, Olathe High school’s football team used a punishing ground attack, led by senior quarterback Mitchell Carlson, to pound out a convincing 34-6 victory over the Roaring Fork Rams on Friday night.
Carlson, running the Olathe option attack to perfection, started off the first quarter with two quarterback keepers that helped the visitors penetrate Ram territory to just outside of the 30-yard line. Running back Mario Hightower finished the opening drive with a short burst into the end zone putting the Pirates up 6-0 after a failed point-after try.
Roaring Fork, not to be outdone, answered with a nice drive of its own. Tailback Jose Lopez got the home team a nice 10 yard gain, and then it was senior Tanner Spence who took the ball from quarterback Tyler Spence on a Statue of Liberty play that netted a big gain and put the Rams at the Olathe 19 yard line. The Pirate defense got a bit stingy at that point, though, and held Roaring Fork on fourth down at the 1-yard line to take back possession of the ball.
Hightower scored his second touchdown of the game on the first play of the second quarter as the Pirate runner scampered 64 yards to put his team up 14-0 after a Carlson pass completion on the two-point try.
Roaring Fork couldn’t muster much second-quarter offense, and when Olathe running back Chayden Harris tallied 40 yards on his touchdown run, the Rams were staring down the barrel of a 22-0 halftime margin.
With Roaring Fork hurting itself with several penalties in the third quarter, and Olathe doing the same with two drive-killing fumbles by Harris and Hightower, the mistake prone quarter came to an end the same as the first half with the score still at 22-0.
The scoreboard quickly started to flicker for the Pirates as quarterback Carlson darted 39 yards to the end zone on the first play of the final stanza to put his team up by a big margin. The point-after attempt was blocked, making the new score 28-0.
The Rams offense showed some signs of life as Tyler Spence threw a nice 30 yard spiral to receiver Roy Benge to set up the possibility of a score deep in Olathe territory. Once again though, with their backs against the wall, the Pirate eleven on defense decided to bow their necks and try to preserve the shutout. The Rams stalled a bit, unable to pick up the yardage needed for a first down, and the Pirates took possession of the ball.
Running back Alex Quintero got into the touchdown column for Olathe as he crossed the goal line on a 3 yard run with just over 2 minutes remaining in the game to put his team up 34-0.
Roaring Fork avoided the shutout when Spence found his favorite target, Benge on a 28-yard sideline touchdown route that put the final tally at 34-6 after the PAT by Adrian Chavaz was wide of the goal post.
Roaring, 1-2 overall, will try to secure their first league win next Friday, Sept. 19, when they make the long bus trek to take on the Cowboys of Gunnison.
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It may be by a technicality, but the Valley Valkyries 7s rugby club were the de facto champions of their hosted tournament Saturday.