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The rushing game thats been Olympics bread and butter this season looked more like burnt toast Thursday night in a 45-7 loss to Gig Harbor.
The Tides (5-1 league, 7-1 overall) monstrous defensive linemen dominated the line of scrimmage, holding the Trojans (0-6, 2-6) to a total of minus-2 yards on the ground and giving them their sixth-straight Bridge Division loss.
Theyve got guys that are straight players, Oly coach Carlton Cooper said. Their defensive linemen and their linebackers flow to the ball.
Jonell Hodge, who has averaged nearly 120 yards per game, had minus-6 yards on 6 carries. Byron Mosely couldnt get going anywhere either, losing 11 yards on his 3 carries. The best the Trojans could offer was Tyrone Taylors 13 yards on 5 carries.
The Tides had no problem running the football for a cumulative 376 yards as Bucky Marsh scored four touchdowns when he rushed for 142 yards on 21 carries. Sophomore Gary Cole scored a touchdown in the first quarter as he gained 98 yards on 13 carries. And sophomore Mike Collins had a 10-yard touchdown scamper late in the third quarter as he finished with 59 yards on 11 carries.
We did the same thing weve been doing with running the ball, said Tides coach Darren McKay, thats what they do.
After the ensuing kickoff, the Trojans scored on their first play as Jeff Shaw connected with Hodge on a slant pass that turned into a 65-yard touchdown play with 37 seconds left in the third quarter.
At first I didnt know if the ball was going to be there when I was coming through the middle, said Hodge, who had 119 receiving yards. Then I saw the guy jump when the ball was in the air and I thought he was going to get it for an interception. Then he missed it and I caught it right in front of my face. Then I turned around and was gone. I wasnt going to be denied the end zone.
It was the first time Olympic scored in seven quarters.
We were able to move the ball, Cooper said. Defensively we couldnt stop them. We couldnt match up with them as far as size and strength.
Shaw finished 10-for-18 for 165 yards and with two interceptions and a sack.
Jeff was on target and this was the worst protection weve had all season for him, Cooper said. But during our film study we saw they were vunerable to the pass if we could have enough time to get things off.
If we could run the ball, wed run the ball. But they pretty much said we werent going to do that so they gave us some other things we had to go to.
Gig Harbor quarterback Matt Shearer was 5-for-13 for 92 yards with three sacks and an interception to Olympic junior Phillip Bennett.
The mood in the Trojans locker room was depressed following yet another loss to a league opponent. Yet Cooper, who admits to being frustrated, is trying to remain positive going into the last two weeks of the season, including next Thursdays game at Bremerton.
The whole goal is, right now, that we started the season 2-0 and we want to end the season 2-0, Cooper said. Well try to do the best we can this year to end on a positive note.
Its hard to be positive. Its hard to get out of those streaks. Its like Sisyphus rolling that boulder up the hill and the boulder keeps coming back down. Were Sisyphus. Were trying to roll that boulder up the hill and were just going to keep on trying until the end. Thats the best we can do.