Olathe rallies past Aspen in prep football
When the Aspen Skiers scored two third-quarter touchdown, they had a 17-6 lead and visions of a homecoming victory over Olathe on Friday night.
But the visiting Panthers had other ideas on a snowy night in Aspen.
Olathe scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, rushing from behind for a 28-17 victory over the Skiers.
Aspen junior quarterback Tyler Tick extended Aspen’s lead to 17-6 late in the third quarter when he rolled left and passed to Henry Woodrow for a 27-yard touchdown.
The Skiers, after Nicky Cottrell recovered an Olathe fumble, had driven 60 yards in five plays, boosted by Ryan Fitzgerald’s 16-yard run.
Earlier in the third quarter, the Skiers scored after Harry Ferguson recovered a muffed punt at the Olathe 24-yard line.
Tick scored on a keeper around the left side from 7 yards out, diving into the pylon.
Olathe, however, found an answer in a power running game.
The Pirates started their comeback when tailback Trenton Joel broke free on a 38-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, ending an 80-yard, seven-play drive. The score and a failed two-point conversion put Aspen’s lead at 17-12 with 10:57 on the game clock.
The Skiers were stopped on their next possession, but Woodrow punted the ball dead at the Olathe 4-yard line.
The Panthers promptly took the lead when they marched 96 yards, ending the drive with a 62-yard touchdown keeper by Olathe quarterback Mitchell Carlson.
Joel bulled across for a two-point conversion and an Olathe lead of 20-17 with 5:12 to play. The fired-up Pirates forced a three-and-out on Aspen’s next series.
Joel started Olathe’s final scoring drive with a 47-yard run.
He finished it with a 1-yard touchdown run. Carlson’s keeper added two more points: 28-17.
The tall and powerful Joel finished with 222 yards on 29 workmanlike carries and three touchdowns.
Carlson added 128 yards rushing and one touchdown for the Pirates, who improved to 3-0 in league play, 3-2 overall.
Fitzgerald, who rushed for more than 200 yards last week in a win over Bayfield, totaled 52 yards on 15 carries against Olathe.
Tick, who rushed for 40 yards, completed 9 of 19 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown for the Skiers, 2-1 in conference, 3-2 overall.
The Pirates will return home to host Basalt next Friday night.
Olathe will host Pagosa Springs on Oct. 11 before two road games to end the regular season — at Bayfield on Oct. 18 and at Gunnison on Oct. 25.
Aspen will hit the road for a game at Gunnison next Friday night.
The Skiers will host Coal Ridge on oct. 11.
Aspen will play at Grand Valley on Oct. 18.
The Skiers will close the season at home against Basalt on Oct. 25.
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