The Titans extended their streak to four consecutive wins by outlasting the host Trojans.
by Jean Racine | Correspondant
PINE HILLS In what was a defensive battle early on, the visiting Olympia Titans (4-1) made enough key plays — including a pivotal 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Chris Sipp — to defeat the host Evans Trojans (2-3) Friday night, 31-16.
“We were sloppy at first,” Olympia head coach Kyle Hayes said. “We couldn’t connect — we threw the ball correctly and then we missed it. Defensively we played pretty stout, but offensively we just couldn’t connect (early on).”
In the first half, drops were a recurring theme for both teams. Combined, Olympia’s Joe Milton and Evans’ Kimani Binder completed just four of 19 pass attempts. The offense would pick up for both teams in the second half. Evans scored their first points of the game behind the play of Binder in the third quarter, building some momentum.
It was short lived, though, as Olympia senior wide receiver Chris Sipp responded with a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Sipp appeared to be going nowhere with the return, but after making a few defenders miss he reversed up the field to take it to end zone.
Sipp also caught two passes for 45 yards and finished the night with 186 total yards.
Evans did not throw in the towel at that point, though: Binder threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Dre Major to keep the Trojans’ hopes alive.
Olympia responded again, though, as Milton proceeded to march his team down the field. Junior running back Robin Green punched it in for a 5-yard touchdown, giving the Titans a definitive 15-point lead.
Both quarterbacks finished the game on a high note. Milton completing 5-of-16 passes for 116 yards, and Binder 15-of-33 for 180 yards and one touchdown.
“I think right now, [Binder] is a victim of an inexperienced offensive line,” Evans head coach Greg Thompson said. “But I like his poise, I like his commitment, I like his effort. I think the more the line gets seasoned, the better he is going to look — and the better we’re going to be able to play.”
Olympia proved victorious, earning a fourth consecutive victory while the Trojans suffered a third consecutive loss, but Thompson said afterward his team is continuing to progress.
“We are forever changing — the effort is getting there,” Thompson said. “The consistency is coming, but we just gotta learn to play the next play. We got a lot of young kids … good or bad, they gotta play the next play.”
For Olympia: The Titans (4-1, 1-0 district) return to their district schedule when they travel to Freedom (1-3, 1-0 district), whose sole win was an upset against district rival Oak Ridge.
For Evans: The Trojans (2-3, 0-0 district) will open district play hosting a Wekiva (3-2, 0-0 district) squad that is fresh off of a blowout upset of Winter Park.