Olympus football finishes strong, gears up for another playoff runOct 28, 2020 03:12PM ● By Josh McFadden
The Titans have come a long way since its season opening loss to Mountain Ridge. (Justin Adams/City Journals)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
The Olympus football team came up just short of winning a third-straight region title, but the Titans have some momentum heading into the Class 5A state tournament.
Olympus finished the regular season with a 4-1 mark in Region 6 and 6-4 record overall. The Titans finished in the standings behind Brighton, which went 3-0, playing fewer games due to COVID-19-caused cancellations. Brighton handed Olympus its only region loss, a 21-14 decision on Sept. 11.
The second-place finish in region play ended Olympus’ run atop the league. The Titans were undefeated region champions in 2019 and 2018—years when they also advanced in the state tournament. Olympus fell in the quarterfinals last year and in the semifinals two seasons ago.
Despite the disappointment of not winning region again, Olympus appears primed for more playoff success. The team rode a three-game winning streak into the tournament.
The Titans blew out Hillcrest 59-0 on Oct. 2, followed by a 30-7 triumph over Class 6A foe West Jordan on Oct. 9. Olympus concluded the regular season with a 28-21 victory over archrival Skyline on Oct. 16.
The win over Skyline was a thriller.
The two teams were tied at 21-21 when Olympus quarterback Tommy Hoggan plunged across the goal line with just 5 seconds to play. It was part of a 14-point fourth quarter for the Titans. Hoggan also connected with Peyton Rice on a 4-yard touchdown earlier in the period to put Olympus up 21-14.
The Titans were 3-4 entering the final three-game stretch but hit their stride at the right time. The victories helped to propel the team to a No. 8 seed and a first-round bye in the tournament. Olympus will play ninth-seeded Timpview on Oct. 30 in the second round.
A balanced rushing attack was key in Olympus’ season. Three players had more than 240 yards on the ground, led by Johnny Frank’s 382. He also paced the Titans with seven touchdowns. Ryan Reynard added 328 yards rushing and did so on just 26 carries, a 12.6 yards-per-carry average. Rice had 242 yards and four touchdowns and led the squad with 24 catches for 200 yards. Hoggan threw for just under 1,000 yards and had 11 touchdown passes during the regular season.
As it has been the past few season, the Olympus defense was strong once again this year. Josh VandenAkker put together some impressive stats with six sacks and more than 50 tackles. Erik Pederson and Matt Herron each added four sacks, while James Smith was the team leader with a pair of interceptions.
An Olympus win in the second round against Timpview would advance it to face Brighton in the quarterfinals.