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Football: state preliminary round
The Olympic football team won four consecutive games to close out the regular season, landing in the playoffs.
If the streak hits five, David will have destroyed Goliath — again.
The Trojans (6-3) open the playoffs today against the Titans of Union (Vancouver), the state’s third-ranked team. The Titans (8-1), who advanced to the Class 3A state title game in 2008 before losing to Bellevue to finish the season 13-1, have established themselves as one of the state’s premier teams as a third-year school.
Their lone loss this season came against Foothills, Calif., 15-9. After that loss, the Titans outscored their opponents 258-13 over the course of five games.
“We’re going to come out with our guns blazing,” said Olympic senior defensive back/wide receiver Blake Johnson. “If we lose, we were supposed to lose.”
Johnson remembers how the 2008 season ended: With a 44-7 loss to powerhouse Lakes, on the road, in prelims, with the Trojans in a heavy underdog role. To avoid a similar situation, Johnson said, the Trojans must start quickly and catch the Titans off guard.
“We all remember how that felt,” Johnson said of the loss to Lakes.
Senior running back Larry Dixon, who carried 38 times for 267 yards and two touchdowns in the Trojans’ regular season-ending 14-12 win over Bremerton last week, is going to face a stiff defense, arguably the best he’s seen.
But Johnson, Dixon and the team’s other seniors are hungry to end their high school careers on a positive note. Johnson said he and the seniors have “worked our butts off for three years” and won’t go down without a fight.
“How many teams are going to like playing the No. 3 team (in the state)?” Johnson quipped. “We’re just trying to enjoy the week.”
A win would catapult Olympic into the state tournament for the first time since 1986, when it reached the quarterfinals.
Union, meanwhile, defeated Timberline, Ferndale and Lakes en route to the state title game in 2008.
“We might be the team they are overlooking,” Johnson said. “We are really excited.”