Prep football: Slow starts fails to deter Olympus
The defense is there, and the offensive line is making blocks. Olympus' run game, led by running backs Jake Jones, Anthony Schoenfeld and Coleman Meier, also is succeeding.
The Titans are making plays and have had no trouble marching downfield against some of the top teams in the state.
"We've done a great job moving the ball between the 20s," Olympus coach Aaron Whitehead said.
Now if they just could finish.
"We just need to stop acting like we're about to score," Schoenfeld said. "We get there and we start to worry. We just need to calm down."
A case of red-zone anxiety has resulted in an 0-3 start for the defending Region 7 champions.
It's far from an ideal way to get the season rolling, but Whitehead said winning early just would have been a bonus.
"There might be some criticism as to how we stacked our schedule," he said. "But it's all about getting the guys ready to play at a higher level."
In fact, the Titans are convinced they are the best 0-3 team in the state, and they're ready to prove it.
"We're feeling more confident than ever," guard Will Christensen said.
Jones, Schoenfeld and Meier have combined for 269 yards on 58 carries and two touchdowns. Quarterback Corbin Anderson has thrown two early touchdowns and is gaining confidence in the pocket. A defense led by Tanner Goates and Ben Seagle has held its own against 5A powers Northridge and Alta two big teams stacked with even bigger linemen.
"These first few games have tested us, but they've also given us a head start," Schoenfeld said. "We're ready to show what we are capable of."
The show started Friday night against Alta.
The Olympus offense was running seven or eight plays a possession in the first half. The running trio of Jones, Schoenfeld and Meier was finding holes.
But the Titans were stuck challenging the end zone but failing to cross the goal line.
"We realized this was Alta, and we'd been able to move the ball on them," Schoenfeld said. "We got ourselves motivated and decided we could compete with them."
The Titans responded in the second half by holding the Hawks scoreless until the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
It wasn't enough. Alta won 38-15, but the Titans found hope.
"We gave them a handful," Christensen said. "It made us realize that we're still in this. We're feeling good."
The Titans are ready to build on their lessons learned and defend their region title.
"The Region 7 title will have to go through us," Whitehead said. "We're 0-3, but we have a chance to do something special this year."
Despite an 0-3 start against a tough preseason lineup, the Olympus football team is optimistic about its ability to move the ball and its staunch offensive line, led by senior guard Will Christensen.
Jake Jones leads the Titans run offense with 190 yards on 38 carries.
The defending Region 7 champion Titans have done well moving the ball between the 20-yard lines but have had trouble converting in the red zone.