In Olympic’s home opener Thursday night, the Trojans struggled early on before hitting their stride late in the first quarter en route to a 69-20 victory against the Hopewell Titans.
Using Waddell Language Academy as its home field because of construction at Olympic, the Trojans raced out to a 42-13 halftime lead to break open a 14-13 game late in the first quarter.
Hopewell scored first when wide receiver Dominique Heath, who finished with two touchdown catches, turned a screen pass from quarterback Jerry Chadwick into a 78-yard touchdown catch and 7-0 lead.
After a pair of fumbles, the Trojans offense was able to recover on its first drive. Olympic wide receiver Darrius Means hauled in a 35-yard pass by quarterback Rod Tinsley, which sparked an 80-yard drive capped by running back Spencer Owens’ 1-yard TD plunge.
After the Olympic defense forced a three-and-out on Hopewell’s next position, the Trojans made it 14-7 on Owens’ second TD run, this one from 9 yards out.
“We had 400 and whatever yards of offense last week and didn’t score but six points,” Olympic coach Barry Shuford said. “We challenged our kids to go ahead and put it in there every time.”
Hopewell answered with another Chadwick-Heath TD off a screen from 8 yards out to cut the lead to 14-13 after a missed PAT.
Olympic stretched its lead to 21-13 on a play-action pass from Tinsley to a wide-open Means for a 78-yard touchdown. Olympic kept rolling offensively, and took advantage of two second-quarter turnovers by Hopewell for a 29-point lead at halftime.
Buford credited his young offensive line, which returned no starters from last year’s team, for opening up holes and giving Tinsley, who threw three TDs, time to throw.
“We are a run-first team, or have been,” Shuford said. “We’re real pleased the way we’re running the ball, which is going to open up play action pass wide open for us.”
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