Jackson Heights Football vs. Olpe
In previous weeks, Jackson Heights High School head football coach Caleb Wick said he was looking for a challenging team for his Cobra boys, and on a recent Friday night, they got a challenge in a top-rated Olpe team, undefeated, as the Cobras were, going into the night’s game.
And while Olpe proved to be a good challenge for the Cobras, the Eagles grabbed the edge on two point-after field goals from Eagle kicker Gabe Castillo and took the 20-18 win over the Cobras on homecoming night.
“A big game like that, I really think that the self-inflicted errors are what really hurt us,” Wick said. “But other than that, I think our guys were up to the challenge. It was one of those games where our defense played well enough to win. But they just made more plays than us. It’s just the little things.”
The Eagles took advantage of a bad Cobra punt snap early in the first frame, recovering the ball at the Cobra 20 and getting on the board first with a two-yard run from quarterback Colby Hoelting less than halfway through the quarter. A successful kick from Castillo put the Eagles up 7-0.
But with less than two minutes to go in the opening frame, Cobra junior Cooper Williams rushed for a three-yard touchdown to bring the score to 7-6. Olpe responded quickly in the second quarter with a 20-yard pass from Colby Hoelting to Camden Hoelting, taking the score to 13-6, where it would stay at halftime.
“Our guys showed a lot of grit going into the second half,” Wick said.
WIth 4:35 to go in the third, Cobra junior quarterback Cable Wareham rushed for five yards into the end zone to make the score 13-12, but Olpe struck again before the quarter ended on a Cameron Hoeltin one-yard run and another successful Castillo PAT kick to end the quarter 20-12.
The Cobras got another opportunity to tie the game in the fourth after Heights senior and homecoming king Kolby Rethman, surrounded by Eagle defenders, made a desperate, 79-yard pass to Williams, who made the catch and ran it for a touchdown, bringing the score to 20-18.
Unfortunately, the Cobras’ attempt to tie the game on a two-point PAT was spoiled by a holding penalty, and one final possession at the two-minute warning failed to produce any results.
“Our kids have to learn how important those two-point conversions are,” said Wick, noting the Cobras went 0-for-3 on the PATs.
Williams ended the night with 81 yards on 17 carries, as well as 96 yards on two pass receptions.
“He was definitely a gamer,” Wick said of Williams. “I thought our offensive line played well at times. They definitely played better than they have all year.”
Senior Conlan Bruggeman picked up 59 yards on 17 carries and Rethman went 33 yards on 11 carries.
Defensively, sophomore Dylan Thompson did well, spoiling a third-quarter Olpe scoring attempt by smacking down a pass and intercepting another within 15 yards of an Eagle touchdown. Bruggeman and junior Carson Williams also did well to hold up Cobra defense.
In the end, however, the win went to Olpe head coach Chris Schmidt, picking up his 100th career win.
“I just checked the rankings and they’re number two in the state right now,” Wick said. “They’re one of the tougher teams we’ll see this year, and hopefully, we’ll get a chance to play them again in the future.”
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