Tides leave Trojan offense high and dry

Despite a strong defensive effort, the Olympic Trojans simply couldn’t keep the Gig Harbor Tides from rolling out of town undefeated.

Olympic held Gig Harbor to its lowest point total of the season, but couldn’t generate timely offense when needed in dropping their first Narrows League Bridge Division contest, 19-0, Friday at Silverdale Stadium. Despite the tough loss, the Trojans (2-2, 1-1) showed the rest of the league they can play with the big boys.

“The difference was they were able to execute when they needed to,” Olympic coach Carlton Cooper said. “That was the difference in the game. When they needed to convert, they converted.”

Gig Harbor, ranked eighth in 4A by the Associated Press, couldn’t dominate the ground game as they had been able to early in the season. The smaller but faster Trojan defense was able to utilize its strengths in holding the Tides (4-0, 3-0) at bay.

Throughout the first quarter, the two teams went back and forth trying to move the ball with the ground game. Neither had much success and the first quarter ended scoreless. Gig Harbor junior Gary Cole, the focus of the Tides running offense, was consistently stuffed for short gains despite the fact he is as big, if not bigger, than most of Olympic’s defensive line.

It wasn’t until seven minutes into the second quarter that Gig Harbor was able to put together a red zone drive in Olympic territory. After a big fourth-down conversion by Tides senior quarterback Matt Shearer, Olympic showed poise in forcing a fourth-and-goal situation from the one-yard line. Shearer was able to dive in on the quarterback keeper, marking the first score of the game.

Olympic tried to rally back, but a long heave under heavy pressure by Trojans senior quarterback Jeff Olson was picked with 16 seconds left on the clock.

Despite their inability to find the end zone, the Trojans achieved a huge moral victory, staying in the game down 7-0 at the half.

Cooper said while the defense kept them in it, the offense executed it’s three prong run attack of seniors Tyrone Taylor, Reagan Logova and Byron Mosley fairly well.

“We had good defense,” Cooper said. “They made plays all over the field. They were where they were supposed to be. They just did a good job of covering the field. We played with them the entire first half. We did a good job of basic ball control football.”

Gig Harbor continued to make clutch plays in the third quarter, converting on a number of third-down situations, including a big screen pass from Shearer to Cole bringing the Tides down to the Oly 9-yard line. After Shearer was stuffed on another keeper, Gig Harbor junior running back Mike Collins took the outside pitch up the left side for a 9-yard touchdown, giving Gig Harbor a 14-0 lead.

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