Sports

Troy Roughs itself up with turnovers

"The Homecoming King didn't drop the scepter during his coronation at halftime of Friday night's football game between Port Angeles and host Olympic. Nobody would have been surprised if he had, however, as five Trojan fumbles set the tone for a 21-12 Roughrider triumph in Narrows League action at Silverdale Stadium. We didn't have the focus we normally have, and maybe all the distractions of Homecoming had something to do with that, Olympic coach Pete Weymiller said. They (PA) came ready to play, wanted to win more than we did, and made very few mistakes all game. Ironically, Olympic caught several early breaks. First, PA's opening drive stalled out with a missed chip-shot field goal from the Trojan 4. Then, after Oly's first fumble by quarterback Will Gratz - subbing for injured starter Chris Ebert - gave the ball back, PA turned it right over again in like fashion. That led to the second Trojan fumble, but even that was rendered moot when Oly blocked PA's punt on the following possession. Weymiller's troops, faced with their best scoring opportunity of the first quarter - first-and-10 at the PA 36 - proceeded to lose 61 yards on three penalties, a sack and a bad punt snap. The Roughriders, given a gift ball on the Olympic 4, couldn't fail to punch it in - and they did, two plays later, on a 4-yard burst by Jesse Long. Olympic, showing flashes of superlative rushing talent on its next drive, found the right mix of high-risk, high-reward end runs and conservative up-the-gut ground-gainers, capping a masterful 65-yard drive in eight plays with running back Jarrel Nelson's trick-play backfield pass of 36 yards to Ariel Sanchez midway through the second quarter. Unfortunately, that was as bright as the Trojan lights shone in a night featuring a spectacular Homecoming fireworks display at halftime. Another fumble on their own 25 led to PA's second touchdown - a 25-yard fine-touch toss from Matt Lane to Matt Johnson - and Olympic, trailing 14-6 at that point, never was able to sustain another credible rally despite drawing to within two in the third quarter. The Trojans did display a solid running game however, aside from the fumbles. Nelson ran 14 times for 103 yards, including a superlative third-quarter scoring sprint around end for 18 yards. Steve Dillon (12-46) and Luke Switzer (10-44) showed off solid up-the-gut stuff, as the Trojans overall picked up 240 yards on 58 runs. Olympic (2-4, 2-5) now has a chance to play spoiler in someone else's Homecoming hullabaloo when it takes on Central Kitsap tomorrow night in the Battle of Bucklin Hill, which doubles as the Cougs' Homecoming at Silverdale Stadium. It's going to be an emotional game, as it always is with these two teams, Weymiller said. It won't be as challenging for us to get up and stay focused. "

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