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Potent ground game gives Bulldogs win over Olathe

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Photo by Randy Sunderland Nolan Egging stuffed this run during Friday night's game against the Olathe Pirates. He led the team with eight tackles.

It was a grinding, methodical 21-14 win for the Hotchkiss Bulldogs as they hosted the Olathe Pirates on Friday, Oct. 20. The Bulldogs now have a 5-3 season record, and are 2-2 in league play. They will close out the season this Friday on the road, traveling to Cedaredge.

The Bulldogs established their running game early against Olathe. Rushing touchdowns by Devin Curtis and Colton Peebles put the Bulldogs up 14-0 over the Pirates at half. On the other hand, the Pirates were ineffective against a stingy Bulldog defense.

However, the Pirates showed signs of life in the waning seconds of the half. The Bulldogs, facing a fourth and one at their own 32, decided to go for it. Olathe's defense stiffened and stopped a quarterback sneak, giving the Pirates the ball with around 20 seconds. A penalty and a quick pass to the flat moved them inside the five with a handful of ticks on the clock and a lot of worried Bulldog fans on their feet in the stands. Olathe could not force the ball in for a score as the half ended.

However, the Pirates carried that momentum into the third quarter. On their first possession of the second half, the Pirates drove toward the goal line with a mix of runs and passes. It appeared the Hotchkiss defense had stopped the Pirates on a fourth and five at the 20 yard line, but a penalty gave Olathe a fresh set of downs, which it quickly turned into a touchdown.

Hotchkiss responded with a long drive of its own, methodically moving the ball and eating the clock. It extended the lead just seconds into the fourth quarter when Colton Peebles scored his second touchdown of the night. Kaiya Firor added the extra point, one of her three PATs in the game.

Olathe responded with another quick score, but the Bulldogs again turned to their ground game to grind out the clock and secure a 21-14 win.

The big Bulldog offensive line played well, opening gaps in the Olathe defense which Hotchkiss turned into 283 rushing yards. Colton Peebles carrying the ball 32 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow senior Devin Curtis was also busy, carrying the ball 17 times for 73 yards, and a touchdown.

Chase Hiatt picked up 43 yards on seven carries for the Bulldogs, and Jace Peebles rounded out the ground attack with 12 yards.

On the defensive side Nolan Egging led the team with eight tackles, followed by Devin Curtis with seven. George Arroyo and Colton Peebles each had five tackles. Kevin Chavez had a defensive highlight when he recovered a fumble to stall an Olathe drive.

Hotchkiss travels to Cedaredge Friday to face the 3-5 Bruins at 7 p.m.

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