The Olympus Titans and Cottonwood Colts kicked off the 2014 season in weather that was not conducive to passing, but that was just fine for the Titans, as they road their new workhorse, JoJo Henderson, to a 10-6 season-opening victory against a stout defense.
"I’ll tell you — my goodness, JoJo Henderson, he’s a special athlete," said Olympus coach Aaron Whitehead. "That’s a kid that, I know he’s kind of on the radar of some schools. Get this film out because going up against a defense like we just went up against — with two DI kids on that front line. He just absolutely went to town."
» JoJo Henderson sets the tone with 87 rushing yards as Olympus earns the 350th victory in school history.
» The Titans’ Elias Falk comes away with an impressive interception, toeing the sideline.
» The Colts’ lone score comes on a 3-yard run by TJ Fehoko.
Henderson ran for 87 yards on 20 carries, while battling a minor leg injury all night. With his breakout performance in the books, Henderson only wanted to take a little of the praise.
"I’ve got to give the credit to my O-line because I couldn’t go anywhere without them," he said. "I mean, four people in that starting lineup, it was their first game [starting] in varsity, and they stepped up tremendously. I owe it all to them, putting me in a position for success."
The versatile and athletic senior spent most of last year on the defense, but Friday it was his time to shine with the ball in his hands.
"About this time last week, I was real surreal about it because I knew they were going to be looking up to me," Henderson said. "About this morning, I knew I could step up to the challenge, and I think I did a decent job doing it. I’m looking forward to the rest of the year."
The Titans do not just have Henderson in their stable, they have a solid group that they can rotate, such as Nick Goldsberry, who scored the game’s only touchdown on a 21-yard run up the gut.
Even with their solid running game, the victory was only possible due to a ferocious defensive effort.
"You take away the turnover that puts them inside the 10-yard line, and they could have a shutout," Whitehead said. "In my mind, the offense gave up that touchdown. When we gave up that touchdown, we knew we’d be fine. Our defense played solid all game and I think our defense won that game for us. They did a great job."
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