Olathe East opens with win over Garden City
By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
Olathe East had control of their season opener Friday night against Garden City.
Then, the second half began and the Buffaloes found some life, scoring to pull to within striking distance just three minutes in.
At that point, the Hawks defense stepped up, most notably senior Derek Miller.
He picked off a pass in the endzone and the Hawks were on their way to an impressive 26-14 season-opening win in the second game of a special doubleheader at College Boulevard Activity Center.
Miller had been beaten by the Buffaloes standout receiver Caleb Tramp just a couple of minutes earlier. Tramp outleaped Miller and made it look easy as the Buffaloes pulled to within 23-14.
Garden City got the ball back quickly and were marching down again, looking to completely wrestled momentum away from East.
“He really kind of made me look like a chump o that first one,” Miller said with a laugh. “If he did it again, I might not be playing that much longer.”
Miller knew it was coming his way and timed his jump much better and snatched the ball away from the 6-foot-5 receiver, ending the Buffaloes drive and essentially ending any hopes of a comeback.
“That first time I got too close to him,” Miller said. “I made sure I didn’t go up too early.”
The Hawks didn’t do much more offensively in the second half, but didn’t need to as their defense settled down after holding Garden City midway through the third quarter and eased their way to the win.
“I said that we would find out a lot about our team tonight and we wanted to see what it would be like,” said East head coach Jeff Meyers. “They really came out and played well. They really came out and executed well.”
One of those players that really executed well was quarterback Chase Miller, who wa making his first varsity start.
“He did everything we asked him to do,” Meyers said. “He really made some great plays out there and we knew that he would.”
Chasse Miller finished with 140 yards through the air and two touchdowns on 7-of-12 passing. He also had a rushing touchdown in the win.
Jalen Branson led all rushers with 104 yards on 28 rushes.
The only points of the second half for East came on an impressive 47-yard field goal by Chris Diddle, his second of the night.
Every time the Hawks touched the ball, they scored in the first half. Using a combination of run and pass, the Hawks went up 23-7 at the half.
Well, almost every time. After taking the opening kickoff, Garden City got a ricochet interception five plays in. They got the ball back one play later on a fumble and never looked back.
After getting the ball back, Chase Miller hooked up with Zac Cahill on the very next play. A 71-yard bomb down the left sideline the Hawks up 7-0 and it was on.
Five minutes later, Miller went in from one yard out to put the Hawks up 13-0.
Garden City got their only points of the first half on a Jesse Nunez to Tramp 25-yard touchdown pass with less than a minute left in the opening quarter
The Hawks answered with a 32-yard field goal by Diddle.
They added their final points of the half with 15 ticks left, as Harrison Branson grabbed a pass from Miller from 27 yards out. The extra point put them up 23-7 at the half.
The Buffaloes had two turnovers in the first half that led to 13 Olathe East points.
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