The biggest plays in Olympia High’s 13-12 victory over Oak Ridge on Friday, Sept. 27, covered the shortest amount of yardage.
The Titans stopped Oak Ridge on a pair of two-point conversions – the final one coming with 7:20 remaining as the Pioneers looked to take their first lead – and then forced a turnover on downs with 42 seconds left to secure their second consecutive Class 8A, District 5 triumph.
Olympia (2-3, 2-0), which has won two-straight games after an 0-3 start, also stymied Oak Ridge (0-5, 0-2) during the opening quarter on a 4th-and-1 play from the Titans’ 5-yard line for good measure. The Titans were coming off a bye week after defeating district counterpart Windermere High 42-3 on Sept. 13, and Friday’s game seemed to be headed in a comfortable direction as well when Olympia took a 13-0 lead late in the first half.
In a penalty-filled contest that featured 11 flags in the third quarter alone, the Titans scored a touchdown on the game’s opening possession when quarterback Garrett Velin passed to Victor Jones Jr. in the end zone from 6-yards out. The extra point was no good at the 8:09 mark.
Olympia started a drive at the Oak Ridge 23-yard early in the second quarter – following a high center snap in punt formation by the Pioneers – but three plays netted minus-1 yard and the Titans missed a 41-yard field goal.
However, senior Ashton Payne-Tonge notched a defensive score with 2:30 remaining before halftime. Payne-Tonge, who made the initial contact with Oak Ridge quarterback Kolton Richards when the Pioneers came up short on fourth down in the first quarter, intercepted Richards in the flat and went 35 yards for a touchdown.
Colby Kintner added the extra point for a 13-0 lead, but Oak Ridge answered on Richards’ 8-yard TD pass to Demetrius Sanders with 22 seconds left. A two-point pass fell incomplete, leaving Olympia ahead 13-6 at halftime.
Olympia reached the Oak Ridge 14-yard line midway through the third quarter, but the drive stalled and Kintner was just wide on a 32-yard field goal. Bryant Casteel had an interception shortly thereafter at the Pioneers’ 30, only to have that possession end with a punt.
Oak Ridge got within 13-12 when Junior Muratovic entered at quarterback and threw a 13-yard touchdown pass. The Pioneers went for the lead, but Olympia’s Andre Saleem came off the right edge and hit Muratovic from behind while he looked for a receiver.
The Pioneers briefly thought they had gone ahead when Sanders took a punt to the end zone with just over three minutes left, but offsetting penalties negated the return. Oak Ridge’s final drive subsequently ended with 42 seconds to go when the Pioneers were stopped short on a fourth-down reverse at their own 26.
Olympia goes for its third straight victory Friday, Oct. 4, against visiting University High (1-4).