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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Olympus football dominates competition during first third of season

Sep 14, 2018 01:50PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Quarterback Jackson Frank has been efficient in the pass game for the Olympus football team.

By Josh McFadden | [email protected]

Things have looked great for many of Olympus High School’s sports programs over the past year. Add football to the mix.

While the boys golf team won state a year ago and the boys basketball team went undefeated this past winter, the Titans have unleashed a formidable machine on the gridiron.

Heading into its Sept. 14 game at home against West, Olympus was 4-0 and hadn’t even been challenged in any of those contest. The Titans prevailed in the first four games by an average score of 51-5. The closest of the four contests was a 36-point rout of Kearns — 49-13–on Sept. 7. Olympus also blanked Cottonwood in the Aug. 17 season opener, blew out Granger 55-6 on Aug. 24 and shut out Brighton 52-0 on Aug. 31.

During the opening four-game stretch, the Titans allowed a mere one touchdown in the first half. In the opener against Cottonwood, Olympus scored all its points in the first half. The damage could have been much worse, but officials called the game at the break due to lighting.

“We have been playing good defense,” said head coach Aaron Whitehead. “Offensively, we have great depth at our skill positions.”

Olympus has been so dominant that the four games were for all intents and purposes over at halftime anyway. Aside from the Cottonwood game, Olympus led after two quarters 42-0 over Granger and 35-0 over Brighton. Only Kearns has managed to put up a fight early on against the Titans. That was a 24-6 game at the half before Olympus outscored the Cougars 25-6 in the final two quarters.

With results so one-sided, it’s not surprising the season has featured some impressive individual performances from Titan players. Through four games, quarterback Jackson Frank had thrown for 779 yards, 10 touchdowns and just one interception. His favorite target up to that point was Scotty Edwards, who hauled in eight catches for 275 yards and four TDs. Jack Hollberg also had eight catches in the first four games, totaling 198 yards and a pair of scores. Noah Bennee had seven grabs for 228 yards and two TDs.

On the ground, Olympus has churned out yardage in chunks. Edwards had just eight carries in the first four games but for 210 yards — an astonishing 26.3 average per carry. Chase Bennion had the most carries — 24 — and went for 252 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged a healthy 10.5 yards every time he carried the ball. Hollberg had 19 carries for 176 yards (a 9.3 yards per carry average), and Tommy Poulton had 14 carries for 194 yards (13.9 yards per carry) and a team-leading five touchdowns. Chase Hopkins chipped in 113 yards on 12 carries during the first four outings.

The defensive effort has been outstanding.

The Titans intercepted five passes in games one through four. The unit also registered seven sacks. Isaac Wilcox was a tackling machine, amassing 30 tackles during this stretch. Lincoln Draper had 24 stops and 2.5 sacks. In all, six Titans had at least 20 tackles as of the Sept. 7 game against Kearns.

Things could start to get more interesting with region play underway.

“As we play more physical opponents, I am anxious to see how we respond,” Whitehead said. “Our goal is to achieve success each game.”

Olympus faced West on Sept. 14 for the league opener (after our press deadline). The Titans then host Lehi on Sept. 21 to face the defending 5A champs. The final Region 6 game is Oct. 11 when Olympus hosts archrival Skyline. The Titans then end the regular season at Class 6A’s Layton on Oct. 17.

“Our team is confident, and our players are focused,” Whitehead said. “It does make me nervous that we have never trailed this season. With Lehi and Highland coming up, we will most definitely be tested.”