This year's Trojans will be more than a passing fancy

"Playing the Olympic High School football team last year was scary. Predictable, but scary.Opponents knew that Ryan Donaldson passes would rain down on their secondaries, sometimes as often as 50 times in a game. They knew that, if enough of those passes connected with fleet, shifty receivers like Eric McCoy, Lars Thorsen and Rob Capogna, there was simply no way their own offenses would be able to keep up.This year, Donaldson and all those pesky receivers are gone. And the Trojans are, quite possibly, scarier than ever in spite of it.“We hope we can be more multiple on offense this year,” says third-year Oly head coach Dave Rastovski, whose team rode the lightning-rod arm of Donaldson to a 3-3 league record and a 4-5 overall mark last year. “This year we’ll run more and run some play-action passes. We hope to make people defend the run.”In other words, there goes that predictability. The Trojans in 1998 were too small and light up front to mount a consistent ground game, which made them dependent on the aerial attack.Not so this year.“We’ll field the quickest team we’ve had in the three years I’ve been here, but it’ll also be the strongest, physically,” says Rastovski. “We’re more physical up front, and more mature.”That probably won’t signal a radical departure from the TrojanAir attack of last year, it will mean that opponents have to respect the line of scrimmage as something more than the starting line for McCoy, Thorsen and Capogna.The offensive line has not one, but two anchors this year, both of them Div. I prospects. Junior Coffin — a 6-foot-4, 240-pounder most notorious as a linebacker earlier in his career — will play on the right side, mostly at tackle. Justin Breckel, a mighty boulder of a man (6-1, 265) who was the third-place heavyweight at the state Class 4A wrestling championships last year, will be at left guard.Both of them should open many a hole for Harold Powell, the best running back in the league last year who didn’t play running back. Because the Trojans were so pass-happy (Donaldson worked alone, for the most part, in the backfield), Powell mostly was used as a receiver, carrying precious few times from scrimmage.This year, Powell will get his chance. Oh, he’ll get a lot of chances.“Harold’s gotta have the ball this year,” Rastovski said. “I don’t know if we’ll run him 20 times a game, but we’re going to get him lots of touches — catching the ball, running, on punt returns and kick returns.”Powell demonstrated his game-breaking ability against Port Angeles last year, running back both a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns in the Trojans turned a tight game into a 47-6 runaway.Granted, the Trojans have to find replacements for Oly League co-player of the year Donaldson and all those wide-outs.There are two intriguing quarterback candidates — junior varsity promotee John Alguard, a dropback passer who knows the system, and Ozzie Saxon, a mite (he wrestled at 122 pounds for Troy last winter) who could make the running game a might quicker.The receiver corps has one returner in rangy, 6-3 Scott Tonge, whose size will make him an asset on defense, as well. Jamal Stoudemire, mainly a safety last fall, newcomer Scott Armstrong and perhaps Saxon will man the flanks, as well.“We’ll be moving some people around,” said Rastovski, who got his first look at his bunch last Saturday in a jamboree against Foss and Shelton. “We want to give each kid a chance to play where they have the best chance to contribute.” The size of Breckel and Coffin also will help Oly on defense, where big, hard-running teams like Bellarmine (in a preseason game) and North Kitsap were able to wear the Trojans down. Breckel is downright impossible to to move, and Coffin’s agility makes him hard to get away from — sort of the defensive equivalent of the immovable object and the irrestistable force. "

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