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Olympic football suffers first loss
Larry Dixon wasn't going to keep the Olympic football team undefeated forever.
The senior running back continued his blistering season with 314 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns — including an 89-yarder on a kickoff return to open the game — but Lawyer Tillman of North Thurston countered with 195 rushing yards of his own to lift the Rams to a 38-34 victory over the Trojans at Silverdale Stadium on Friday.
"Our kids, I think, just weren't ready for the rock 'em, sock 'em inside hitting that was going on defensively," said Olympic interim coach Tim Allbee, who suffered his first loss since stepping in for Eric Allen. "We'll use this as a learning experience and make ourselves better for next week."
Tillman, who carried 25 times, rushed for an 18-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter to give the Rams a 35-28 lead. The Trojans (2-1 overall, 0-1 league) failed to answer on the ensuing possession, setting up a 38-yard field goal from Riley Baker that pushed the Rams' lead to 38-28 with less than two minutes remaining.
But Olympic quarterback Zach Bird engineered a five-play, 75-yard drive in 43 seconds, capping it with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Dixon at the one-minute mark. Blake Johnson missed the PAT, leaving the score 38-34. A failed onside kick ended the game.
"We knew it was going to be a dogfight in the second half just like last year," Allbee said, referring to the Rams' 31-28 victory over the Trojans in 2008.
The Rams (2-1, 1-0) answered Dixon's game-opening kickoff return with three touchdowns in nine minutes to take a 21-7 lead into the second quarter.
That's when Dixon, who finished with 175 yards rushing on 35 carries, recorded his second and third touchdowns from 9 and 8 yards out, respectively, to even the score. The 4-yarder came on the final play of the half, capping a 13-play drive that saw Dixon carry eight times for 68 yards.
"I didn't know if we were going to have any resiliency," Allbee said of falling behind 21-7. "Once we got it to 21-21, we knew we were in the game."
North Thurston struck first in the third quarter with a 69-yard drive that ended with Tillman scoring on a 4-yard rush to make it 28-21. Dixon tied it at the 4:01 mark of the third with a seven-yard touchdown rush.
The Trojans visit Capital at 7 p.m. Saturday.
North Thurston 38, at Olympic 34
North Thurston 21 0 7 10 — 38
Olympic 7 14 7 6 — 34
Oly—Larry Dixon 89 kick return (Blake Johnson kick)
NT—Luke Kitterman 5 pass from Jacob Klumker (Riley Baker kick)
NT—Klumker 1 run (Baker kick)
NT—Jacob Anderson fumble recovery (Baker kick)
Oly—Dixon 9 run (Johnson kick)
Oly—Dixon 8 run (Johnson kick)
NT—Lawyer Tillman 5 run (Baker kick)
Oly—Dixon 7 run (Johnson kick)
NT—Tillman 17 run (Baker kick)
NT—Baker 38 FG
Oly—Dixon 30 pass from Zach Bird (kick failed)