Oly can't stop Eagles' attack

The Klahowya Eagles celebrate on the field at Silverdale Stadium following a 34-20 win against interdistrict rivals Olympic. - Photo by Jesse Beals
The Klahowya Eagles celebrate on the field at Silverdale Stadium following a 34-20 win against interdistrict rivals Olympic.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

This could easily have been Bremerton all over again for the Klahowya Eagles football team.

But rather than continuing the same mistakes that dragged the Eagles (1-1) down in their 16-10 loss to the Knights on opening night, this time Klahowya focused on what it can do right.

"Everybody was concentrating on doing their jobs," KSS senior running back Cody Hertenstein said. "Not on mistakes, but on what we needed to do right. We killed ourselves in the Bremerton game. We should have won that game."

So even while the Eagles trailed 14-7 at the half to crosstown rivals Olympic — another team looking to rebound from a disappointing week one loss — this time, Klahowya responded.

"In the first half we had some mistakes," Hertenstein said. "But we knew we were hanging with them. We were down 14-7. That's just one score."

The Eagles marched to a 34-20 win last Friday at Silverdale Stadium.

And that turnaround was almost better than the win itself to KSS coach Brad Hamblet.

"It was a nice win for our program, for our school," Hamblet said. "It was a good win. The kids picked it up in the second half big time. We had a chance to turn that around. They accepted that challenge."

The Eagles opened up a second-half barrage leading to four touchdowns, cementing a big win against a bigger school than 2A Klahowya.

"Our first year (against Oly) we got killed," Hertenstein said. "The second year, we played with ’em and everything. We knew we had a chance. We came out and executed."

It started early when Larry Dixon, Olympic's junior standout, broke away for a 49-yard score in the first quarter, his only score en route to 208 yards on 27 carries, adding a 22-yard reception.

Oly made it 14-0 when speedy receiver Blake Johnson took off for a 28-yard scoring strike from quarterback Zach Bird.

"I was happy we started quicker than we did against that CFL team," Oly coach Eric Allen said jokingly, comparing opening opponent Terry Fox of British Columbia, to teams in the Canadian Football League. "That was a positive."

But the positives weren't stacking up as much in the second half as Klahowya began to run wild while Oly sputtered. Both Moore and Hertenstein rushed for two second-half scores, with Moore tallying 215 yards on 28 carries and Hertenstein adding 134 yards on 15 touches.

"This offense we run is a running offense," Hertenstein said. "We just pound the ball, pound the ball."

With Dixon and Moore each topping 200 and Hertenstein also going over 100, Hamblet said he always enjoys watching athletes who know how to run the ball.

"It is fun to watch running backs with the natural ability who see the hole, make good cutbacks," Hamblet said. "It's fun to watch really great runners."

Nollan Quinn scored Oly's only second-half touchdown in the third, finishing with 58 yards on nine carries himself. And while Dixon got his yards, Hamblet said that's about all anyone can do to "contain" the beastly junior.

"I don't know if I'd call 200 yards containing Dixon," Hamblet said. "But keeping him out of the end zone is. He'll get his yards."

And that aspect is something the Trojans are still learning to adjust to.

"Larry's always gonna get his," Allen said. "That's the problem. One guy can't do it all."

While the Eagles were able to run at will, Allen said he's not worried about his defense.

"I'm an offensive guy," Allen said. "I believe we've got to score more points period. If they score 100, we need to score 101."

Now he'll try to get his Trojans (0-2) ready to battle North Thurston in the first league game in the new Olympic-Western Cascade Conference Friday on the road.

"We're just trying to regroup and get ready for Friday," Allen said. "I'd probably be more excited if we weren't 0-2. (NT) coach (Rocky) Patchin, he's been there a long time."

As for the Eagles, they play Thursday at Chimacum.

"I think for us, we've got every week to get better and kick it up a notch," he said.

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