Second ranked Olpe cools off Hillsboro
Eagles snap Trojans’ six-game winning streak, 28-6
Off to its best start in six years at 6-1 prior to Friday night’s regular season finale, the Trojan football team’s drop from Class 3A to 1A has meant more success.
Behind a fearsome foursome of Jorge Hanschu, Brooks Gardner, Darian Ratzlaff, and Caleb Potucek, the Trojans’ offense has been more powerful this year than it has since 2012.
But Hillsboro had yet to see a monster quite the caliber of Friday’s opponent for the regular season finale, the second-ranked Olpe Eagles.
The Eagles left no doubt they’ll be a force to be reckoned with during the postseason, easily snapping Hillsboro’s six-game winning streak, 28-6.
The loss knocked the Trojans down to 6-2 and 2-1 in district play while Olpe stayed unbeaten on the year at 8-0 and 3-0 in district.
“We knew they were very athletic, they’ve got a winning tradition there,” a humbled Trojan coach Devin Metzinger said. “You don’t get that without athletes and they’re physical.
“That makes them hard to defend and move the ball against.”
That speedy, athletic Olpe defense smothered the Trojan offense, limiting it to just 149 total yards and 8 first downs.
The Eagles shut down the Trojans’ potent ground attack, yielding just 46 yards and Gardner to 8 yards off nine carries.
Hanshu was ineffective also, carrying 14 times for 22 yards despite passing for 103.
Hillsboro had its chances, though, forcing three Eagle turnovers, all by Ratzlaff, who recovered a fumble and picked two passes to thwart scoring chances.
The Trojans got nothing off the takeaways as the Eagle defense mainly kept them pinned in their own territory until the game was out of reach and against Olpe’s reserves.
Perhaps the best chance Hillsboro had on the night with Ratzlaff’s last interception, coming at the Olpe 12, time ran out in the first half.
Slowing down the Eagle offense requires keeping the vaunted backfield, led by all-state running back Blaine Hinrichs under control.
Do that, there’s still the onslaught of Kynden Robert, and Colby and Camden Hoelting to deal with.
Even with Hinrichs leaving the game in the third quarter with a foot injury, all paid dividends, with the Eagles pounding the Trojans for 309 yards rushing and 433 total.
The game got off to a bad start for the Trojans and didn’t get any better, giving Olpe a short field on its opening possession.
Eight plays later, Hinrichs had Olpe ahead for good with his first of three touchdowns, which built a 21-0 lead by halftime.
The Trojans got a taste of Robert early in the second quarter, surrendering a 47-yard run that had the Eagles at the Hillsboro 25.
Three plays later, Hinrichs was in for his second score, plowing in from 2, stretching the lead to 14-0.
Olpe tacked on its final touchdown nearly 5:00 into the second half, capping a grueling 80-yard drive with Colby hitting Camden for a 17-yard touchdown and a 28-0 lead.
All four of the Trojans’ plays that went for more than 10 yards came on the scoring drive with 4:39 left in the game.
Facing a third-and-6 at the Eagle 49, Hanschu went deep for Potucek to break up the shutout.
Gardner’s PAT kick was blocked for the 28-6 final.
“There are things that we definitely can be proud of tonight and there are things we need to improve on,” Metzinger said. “As much as you don’t want to suffer a loss, it’s one where we get a lot of chances to fix things and get it figured out.
“Next week is when it really starts to matter more and more week-in and week-out.”
With all teams advancing to postseason play, the Trojans’ second-place in districts sets up a first-round meeting Friday in Hillsboro with Yates Center.
Last modified Oct. 25, 2018