Olathe North rolls past Olath Northwest
By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
There wasn’t much that Olathe North could do wrong defensively Friday night in their district opener against Olathe Northwest.
The Eagles held the Ravens to just 143 yards of offense on their way to a convincing 33-7 win.
The Eagles defense was so dominant that it caught the Ravens behind the line of scrimmage 12 times for losses and held them to no gain on seven more carries. They even threw the Ravens for a loss on one of their completions. Olathe North held the Ravens to zero or negative yardage on 20 of their 65 plays
But it was a good news/bad news sort of night for the 5-2 Eagles.
The Eagles were called for 11 penalties for 130 yards in the win, nearly handing the Ravens as many yards through penalties as they did all night on defense. Seven of the penalties were personal fouls or pass interference calls.
“We can’t have all of those penalties,” North head coach Gene Wier said. “If we are going to be a good football team, we have to get rid of them. That’s all there is to it.”
That was the bad.
More of the good? That came courtesy of the Eagles opportunistic ways. They turned three Ravens’ turnovers into touchdowns. One came on a fumble recovery and two came off of interceptions — both by Marcel Spears.
“We just want to come out and play hard and we don’t want to let up,” Spears said. “We just want to keep that tenacity going. Coach wants us to keep working hard and so do we. That’s what we did and want to keep doing.”
The Eagles grabbed an early 7-0 lead two plays after Spears’ first interception on Venus Triplett’s first of four touchdowns on the night. Spear saw the Ravens plan to try and execute a screen to the left the whole way and jumped the route, catching the ball intended for the back out of the backfield. He picked it off and slipped to the ground at the Ravens’ 8-yard line
“I saw it coming and I just followed my instinct,” he said.
The Ravens tied the score on a nifty play about four minutes later when quarterback Cole Dahlquist was flushed form the pocket to the right then rolled back to his left, got his footing and heaved a nice pass to Cody Sestrich in the end zone from 18 yards out to tie the score.
The Eagles didn’t waste any time regaining the lead as Triplett popped through the line and went uncontested 75 yard up the seam on the Eagles first play from scrimmage for his second touchdown of the night, putting the Eagles up 14-7. That’s how the lead would stay through halftime.
The Eagles were set up at the Ravens’ 33-yard line after Spears’ second interception just a minute into the second half. Triplett would score three plays later to put the Eagles up 21-7 and seemingly deflate any chance the Ravens had at a comeback.
“We really never got into a rhythm, offensively,” Wier said. “You just have to win and advance and that’s what we did.”
The Eagles added another touchdown three minutes later when Cole Murphy hooked up with Mauricio Chio from 30 yards out to put North up 27-7.
Triplett added his second long touchdown run and fourth overall with 8:07 to play when he went up he gut, bounced off of a couple of tacklers and ran 74 yards for the score to put North up 33-7.
Triplett finished with 168 yards on 16 carries and Murphy added 44 yards on eight carries. The Eagles only ran 32 offensive plays on the night and finished with 286 yards of total offense.
The win helped the Eagles guarantee themselves a winning regular season record for the 30th time in the last 32 years. The Eagles have finished the season under .500 just two times since Olathe High School split in 1981.
The Ravens are now 3-4 and 0-1 in district play.
North travels to Gardner-Edgerton next week for what could be the district title. The Blazers handled Olathe South 52-7 on Friday.
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