Sports

Trojans light up Foss

Oly QB Jeff Shaw (No. 16) gets help from running back Jonell Hodge (No. 22) as he rushes in on the quarterback keeper to end the first half with a 20-13 lead.  - Photo by Rogerick Anas
Oly QB Jeff Shaw (No. 16) gets help from running back Jonell Hodge (No. 22) as he rushes in on the quarterback keeper to end the first half with a 20-13 lead.
— image credit: Photo by Rogerick Anas

All season long the OHS Trojans have failed time-and-time again to live up to their potential on the football field. But on the wet Silverdale Stadium turf, in their last game of the year and against a young Foss team in a Narrows League crossover match Friday night, the boys from Olympic High pulled it all together for a 61-32 win.

“We had a lot to make up,” senior linebacker Robert Hodge said. “We haven’t played up to our potential and our seniors wanted to come off the field with a win.”

The Trojans came out strong and on the third play of the game, junior quarterback Jeff Shaw lined up in the shotgun — a formation Oly coach Carlton Cooper hasn’t used much this season. Shaw hit a perfect screen pass to senior running back Jarrell Nelson who sped downfield 51 yards for a touchdown.

Nelson had a huge day, rushing past the 1,000-yard mark for the year with 170 yards on 13 carries and a pair of touchdowns. He finished the season with 1,087 rushing yards.

“I said before the season I’d like to get 1,200-1,300 yards, but I didn’t think about it until today when people told me I needed 83 more yards to break 1,000,” Nelson said. “The first half they stacked the outside but it was bound to break open. The lineman made some nice blocks and I just busted loose.”

After both teams exchanged fumbles and Foss was forced to punt on three-and-out, Olympic’s Clyde Switzer ran three times for 34 yards and a touchdown with just over a minute left in the third quarter as the Trojans went up 13-0.

“Early on it was all Clyde because they were taking away the outside and giving us the middle,” OHS coach Carlton Cooper said after finishing his first season leading the Blue and White with a 2-5 Narrows League record and 3-6 overall.

It’s been a common problem for the sophomore and junior-dominated Foss (2-5 Bay Division, 3-6 overall) offensive line.

“We’ve struggled the last few games up front, we’re just not very strong,” Foss coach Scott Nordi said. “I’ve got to hand it to Olympic. They came out and came at us. They’re a strong club and that wing-T gives us trouble.”

Foss proved they weren’t out of the game as senior running back Kerry Williams ran the first play from scrimmage 51 yards to get the Falcons on the board 13-6.

With the Falcons on the board, Cooper said the defense stepped up.

“This is the first time our defense has taken it upon themselves to play well for the whole game,” Cooper said. “That’s the best we’ve done because it’s usually been a shootout, and at the start of the game it looked like it was going to be another one. We talked about what we’re supposed to do (on defense) and get in the right positions.”

Foss tied the score with 1:19 left in the first half and with 80 yards in front of him, Shaw connected on three passes to senior wide out Martin Gratz for 67 yards before he snuck in from 1-yard out to put the home team ahead 20-13 at the half.

After Foss punted on their first possession, Switzer ran right through the Foss defense for 22 yards and Shaw found a wide-open Gratz 17-yards out to increase the lead to 26-13. Switzer would finish the night with 106 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns. Shaw was 4-for-6 passing for 84 yards.

Hodge made sure the Falcons’ next possession was a short one as he scooped up a fumble and ran straight for the endzone on second down from 22-yards out.

“It was my first high school touchdown,” Hodge said. “I told myself I was going to get one and it came down to my last game. I was starting to doubt that I would. One of my boys hit the quarterback and I just did what we’ve worked on in practice.”

With the Trojans’ starting lineup celebrating on the sidelines, Foss scored 19 points in the fourth quarter on three touchdowns. Olympic responded with a 51-yard TD run by junior Jonell Hodge and a 25-yard sprint for the endzone by sophomore Byron Mosely.

Cooper was upbeat after the win, the Trojans first since Oct. 11 and the second time they eclipsed the 60-point mark since dismantling Shelton 67-15 on Sept. 28.

“We got Jarrell his 1,000, we got the win and there was a lot of guys who got touches on the ball that haven’t gotten many this season becasue we got to play some guys that haven’t played much,” Cooper said. “It’s a great way for the seniors to get the win (the Trojans’ second over Foss in the past two years) and for the younger guys to realize what it takes.”

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