\MEEKER — The No. 9-ranked 2A Olathe Pirates used back-to-back first period scores to even the 1A Meeker Cowboys record at 1-1 with an 18-2 victory at Starbuck Field Friday night.
Olathe turned the first play from scrimmage into a 58-yard touchdown run by Marvin Rivera to open a quick 6-0 lead for the visiting Pirates. Rivera took the handoff from quarterback Garhett Jurgens off the left side of the Pirate line and after breaking a couple of Cowboy tackles raced to pay dirt for Olathe.
Meeker’s opening series found quarterback Colton Brown connecting with Trenton Schindler for 13 yards for the Cowboy’s initial first down. However a run by Mitch Jacob netted no gain and two consecutive incomplete passes had Meeker punting the ball back to the Pirates.
Hard runs by Pirate David Rhodes produced another score for Olathe when Jurgens connected with receiver Markley to give the visitors a 12-0 lead before the Meeker defense determined that they could stop the Olathe offense.
Meeker, plagued by injuries in the backfield, was forced to try and move the ball through the air as the Cowboys only ran the ball ten times in the first half for a net ground gain of 49 yards.
Fifty-five yards came when Brown was able to slip off tackle before was brought down from behind.
Two sacks and a couple of losses brought the Cowboys to their net positive gain. Brown was able to connect on only five of 14 first half passes for 90 yards as he faced a steady rush of Pirates in the first half.
One of those completions came on a 57-yard catch and run by sophomore Cole Steiner.
However the big play did not produce any points for the Cowboys as they later turned the ball over on downs. Meeker’s defense dug in and did not allow any more Pirate points as the half ended in a 12-0 Pirate lead.
The third quarter the Cowboy offense didn’t fare much better as they were only able to net 9 yards in the quarter. However the defense did their part and only allowed the Pirates 55 yards in two possessions as they shut down Olathe’s first possession on the Cowboy 15-yard line.
Olathe’s final score of the game came on the opening drive of the fourth quarter as Rivera found the end zone from 5 yards out. Meeker may have been shut out on the scoreboard if Olathe hadn’t snapped the ball over their punter’s head and out of the end zone for a safety with 6:41 left in the fourth quarter. Meeker’s offense could not find the rhythm they had the week before as the Cowboys could only muster 5 yards on the ground in the quarter and were six for 13 passing for 56 yards.
For the game, Brown led all Cowboy rushers with 46 yards and was 12 for 30 passing for 149 yards. The receivers were led by Steiner’s single 57 yard reception while Schindler gathered in five catches for 43 yards and Brock Campbell caught another four passes for 44 yards. Defensively Schindler led the Cowboys with six solo tackles and seven assists followed by Ryan Wix with four solos and seven assists.
Meeker will host Roaring Fork at Starbuck Stadium on Friday night. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. kickoff.
Around the league
In Western Slope League action, Paonia, ranked No. 8 in 1A, succumbed to ex-league foe and now 2A Grand Valley 44-13, West Grand defeated Nederland 34-14, Hayden evened its record at 1-1 with a 34-13 drubbing of Roaring Fork, Rangely fell to Aspen 48-6, and Hotchkiss thumped Cedaredge 49-7.
Basalt 12 0 0 6 – 18
Meeker 0 0 0 2 – 02