Hodge dodges for 224 yards in Oly’s 30-27 comeback win

Jonell Hodge showed why he’s one of the fastest prep sprinters in the state, scoring touchdown runs of 78, 54 and 75 yards and a total of 244 yards in six carries to give the Trojans a 30-27 win on Saturday afternoon. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Jonell Hodge showed why he’s one of the fastest prep sprinters in the state, scoring touchdown runs of 78, 54 and 75 yards and a total of 244 yards in six carries to give the Trojans a 30-27 win on Saturday afternoon.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Give the Trojans a bright, sunny Saturday afternoon and they’ll deliver a win. It happened last year in a 67-15 win rout over Shelton.

And history repeated itself last Saturday as the Olympic boys fought back from a 27-17 deficit to down Battle Ground 30-27.

Giving the Oly boys their offensive punch was senior running back Jonell Hodge who had a career-best game with 224 yards on six carries.

Hodge, a state-quality sprinter, broke the game open on the first play for scrimmage, running 75 yards down the right side of the field for a 7-0 lead. He also had a 78-yard TD run twisting through the Tigers’ defense in the third quarter and a 54-yard run down the right side in the fourth quarter to cap off a 13-0 scoring streak to give the Trojans the victory.

“We had to win to prove a point this was not going to be like last year,” Hodge said. “So I got the ball and the blocks were there. (That 78-yard run) was wide open. I just had to make the right square cut and then touchdown.”

Hodge got the ball so infrequently, he fumbled it once into the hands of teammate Reagan Logova.

“It’s OK I didn’t get the ball much because we were trying to cram the middle,” Hodge said. “And when that shut down, coach gave it to me.”

Running mostly up the gut of the Tiger defense Logova, quietly picked up 100 yards — including a very loud 45-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to knot the game at 14-14.

“We were trying to move the ball around and do some different things, Oly coach Carlton Cooper said. “Going in, there were certain things we thought we could accomplish offensively and as we got into it we were disjointed. We got backed up and we did some things we don’t usually do because the execution was hit or miss.”

“Give them credit,” new Tiger coach Jim Sharkey said. “They made big plays and we did not. We weren’t able to execute when we needed to.”

The Trojans’ passing game was again shaky as Jeff Shaw was 4-for-10 for 32 yards to three different receivers. Shaw also fumbled a snap for the second week in a row that turned into an 18-yard Battle Ground first-quarter scoring drive.

The Trojans’ field leader earned his redemption in the fourth quarter when he intercepted a pass by Battle Ground’s Trevor Crowell to Curtis Larson in the endzone to preserve the lead.

against O’Dea, something he attributed to a case of nerves. And starting running back Mike Custer looks to be out for the season after tearing his ACL on the third play of the game Friday. He’ll be replaced by junior Daniel Mayfield.

Somebody’s going home with their first loss of the season when the Trojans face the Vikings this Friday at newly recarpeted Silverdale Stadium.

Coach Jerry Parrish has the offense firing on all cylinders, using a bruising running game to tear apart Bainbridge 45-19 and then going with junior quarterback Jared Prince’s arm for more than 200 yards in a 40-14 defeat of Kelso. Early in the season, all three running backs — Jeremiah Doehne, Nic Stearns and Andy Sturza — have proven effective, with 10 touchdowns between them.

The Trojans’ defense found some confidence in a 30-27 defeat of Battle Ground with several key stops. They also found the heir-apparent to Jarrell Nelson in senior running back Jonell Hodge who has 331 yards and three touchdowns. The weakness so far for the Trojans is their passing game which remains mediocre behind second-year starter Jeff Shaw.

Shelton and Port Angeles (each 1-1) have been inconsistent from week to week. PA coach Dan Novick is a strong believer in Port Angeles’ leadership, which is fueled by its high number of returning players. The Roughriders are looking for a smoother ride in this year’s run through the Narrows League.

The Highclimbers also are deep in experience with nine starters returning on offense, including do-it-all back Isiah Taito, and eight starters back on defense for coach Matt Hinkle.

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