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The Pagosa Pirates made the trip to Olathe last week, and while the corn may be sweet up there this time of year, the football is definitely ferocious — with Pagosa returning home on the losing end of a 28-6 score.
“We knew coming into this game that Olathe was good,” Coach Scott Spoede admitted, “and was playing some good ball.”
The Olathe Pirates came into the conference game with a 4-2 record overall and a 2-1 record on their home field, while the Pagosa Pirates were exactly opposite, with an overall record of 2-4 and 1-2 for away games.
“After going back and looking at the tape, it was obvious that we have gotten away from some of our basic fundamentals,” the coach explained. “On offense our blocking scheme was not being executed the way it should be and not all of our passing routes were being followed either.”
Jeremiah Miller ran for 44 yards on 12 carries, scored the team’s only touchdown and was named the player of the game for offense, while Keenan Early earned 82 yards on 17 carries.
Tate Drane caught three passes for 45 yards, while Connor Brown caught one for 42 and David McRee caught one for 10.
“Last week we decided to rotate our quarterbacks every series,” Spoede continued. “For some reason, our passing game has not developed to the level I had hoped. By rotating quarterbacks, my hope is to spark something in the passing game. I felt that it went well with our two quarterbacks last week and I will continue to rotate them. They both bring something unique and critical to the game.”
Dean Scott completed three of eight pass attempts for a total of 64 yards, giving him a 37.5 percent completion rate and an average of 21.3 yards per passing play. He also carried the ball eight times for 18 yards.
Marcos Quezada completed two of five for 33 yards, giving him a 40 percent completion rate and an average of 16.5 yards per passing play. He carried the ball 10 times and earned 52 yards.
On the other side of the line of scrimmage, the Pirate defense, which has been the team’s most formidable asset this year, started out strong, holding Olathe scoreless through the first quarter, but then things began to fall apart.
“Our defense did a great job the first half,” Spoede said. “They only allowed them to drive the ball once and score and the field goal that they made at the end of the half was due to bad field position. In the second half we simply allowed them to make the big plays.”
Alonzo Hernandez, the defensive player of the game, earned credit for 12 tackles total, including eight solo takedowns and four assists, while Creede Wylie made eight solo tackles and was in on two more. McRee made six solo and three assists. Miller recovered one fumble.
“We are going to concentrate on our assignments this week and doing only that to the best of our ability,” the coach confirmed. “On defense we missed a lot of open field tackles, so we will go back and work on that this week.”
Looking forward to tomorrow’s game, the coach explained, “Gunnison in some ways is very similar to Olathe. They are on a roll and doing some things well. They have a physical line on both sides that will challenge our big guys.”
Gunnison has a 5-2 record overall and is undefeated in league action. After hosting the Cowboys tomorrow night at 7 p.m. in Golden Peaks Stadium, the Pirates travel to Bayfield on Oct. 25 to take on the Wolverines at 6 p.m. in the final game of regular season play.
“One thing I talked about with the boys this week,” Spoede summed up, “is how we want to end this season. With two games remaining and the odds of us making the playoffs being extremely thin at this point, it comes down to pride. For our seniors I posed the question, what type of legacy do you want to leave behind? For our juniors I asked, what kind of momentum do you want going into next season?”