Olathe East pounds BV Northwest
By David Svoboda PrepsKC staff writer
Don’t look now, but Olathe East might be getting on a roll at just the right time.
Coach Jeff Meyers’ team ran its recent win streak to three games with an impressive 33-3 win over Blue Valley Northwest in Class 6A district play Thursday night. Hayden Frazier scored three touchdowns on the ground to help lead East, now 4-4, to the victory.
After a 20-point loss to Shawnee Mission East way back on Sept. 28, the Hawks flipped the calendar to October and suddenly became a threat in a Kansas Class 6A that is seemingly more wide open than in years.
And with a team that combines a solid running game with a stout defense – typically a winning combo in late October and early-to-mid November in Kansas – Meyers is feeling good about where his team sits heading into its final district game at Shawnee Mission South.
“If it really does become Kansas football weather that should play to our strengths,” Meyers said as the wind whipped across the field following the contest. “Our defense is starting to get a lot of confidence.
“We’re coming around as a team. It’s taken a little while and we’ve had a tough schedule, but they’re coming around at the right time.”
After Bryan Gish hit an opening 28-yard field goal to give Northwest (also now 4-4) the early 3-0 edge with 6:28 left in the first quarter, it was all Olathe East – with more than a little bit of help from the Huskies.
The Hawks ripped off the first half’s final 19 points on a trio of touchdown drives, aided in a pair of instances by a Husky miscue. And the points all came in a second quarter that was just a hint of what was to come.
Olathe East’s initial scoring drive was a thing of beauty. The Hawks marched 80-yards in 17 plays, eating up the final minutes of the first quarter and the first few of the second – 8:17 in all – with all but one of those plays coming on the ground.
Frazier’s first TD run of the game ended the drive, and, as it turned out, gave East the lead for good. His 13-yard effort with 9:10 left in the first half left the Hawks with a 6-3 advantage after the PAT kick was missed.
Northwest then looked as if it might be poised to regain the lead, only to turn the ball back over to East on what was supposed to be a fake punt.
The long snapper, unaware of the fake call by Northwest Coach Mike Zegunis, instead snapped the ball to surprised punter Sam Chadick (rather than the intended upback), and Chadick was unable to move ahead for the first down, in fact fumbling at the end of the attempt.
“We called the fake punt but the snapper didn’t know it was a fake punt,” Zegunis said. “That’s on us coaches. We’ve got to make sure that when something like that is called, that we’re on the same page.
“I feel badly about that, and I think that it was a turning point. If we had gotten the first down there, we were right back in the game.”
Just under three minutes later, Frazier was in the end zone once more, capping a 6-play, 41-yard march on a 3-yard burst that was followed by a Ryan Ahlgren kick that made it 13-3 Olathe East.
The botched fake punt was a problem, to be sure, but it wasn’t a fatal blow. The second big Husky mistake, however, may have been.
It was a short-field drive of just 22 yards that ended the first-half scoring for the Hawks. Ryan Woodson’s interception of an Alec Winsor pass and his subsequent 5-yard return put Olathe East in business.
The talented Frazier capped his first half “TD hat trick” with a 15-yard dash just three plays later (with 2:13 left in the half) that gave his team the 19-3 halftime lead.
“He’s been special all year,” Meyers said of Frazier. “We run a lot of stuff inside the tackles, but he’s been able to get through to the second level. And once he’s at the second level, he’s hard to stop. He’s elusive and gets down the field pretty good.”
Olathe East piled it on in the third quarter, though it was not as bad as it might have been, as Meyers chose to keep the ball between those tackles and eat clock.
BVNW had a bit of momentum going to start the period, but it abruptly ended when tailback Reed Coda was tackled for no gain on a 4th and 1 play at the Husky 44.
A trio of runs by Frazier, including a 34-yarder on which he was pulled down at the 1 set up the fourth East TD.
John Blazevic took it in from there with 7:45 left in the third to make it 26-3 after Ahlgren converted the PAT. East tacked on another TD late in the quarter for the final margin, and traded possessions with Northwest in what turned out to be an uneventful final 12 minutes.
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