After taking a four-year break from gridiron meetings, storied rivals Skyline and Olympus met Friday for a matchup that lived up to its hype. With both teams coming in with 1-0 records, host Olympus took advantage of five Eagles turnovers to claim a 28-14 victory and a chance to take home "The Rock," the traveling trophy awarded to the winning team in the series.
"We won The Rock. That's what it's all about," said Titans coach Mike Smith, pointing to the Olympus student body, which had taken the field to celebrate the win.
Much of the damage was done by the duo of Olympus quarterback Spencer Harris and running back Terry Isaia. Harris completed 11 of 14 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown, and added 112 rushing yards on 13 carries. Isaia scored three touchdowns and racked up 141 yards on 29 carries for the Titans.
"I think we had them from the start," Isaia said. "We came ready. We were hungry all day and we were hungry the whole week."
Quarterback Chase Dunford and running back Algernon Brown led Skyline offensively. Dunford threw for 173 yards on a 9-for-17 performance but was picked off twice. He also carried the ball eight times for 30 yards and two touchdowns. Brown rushed for 98 yards on 14 carries.
The teams ended the first half knotted at 7s after two virtually mistake-free quarters. The first half saw no incomplete passes, no turnovers, and only three penalties. Dunford gave the Eagles the lead with a two-yard touchdown with 9:30 to play in the first quarter, but Harris tied things up with a six-yard touchdown pass to Travis Lignell with 10:30 to play in the second.
The turnover set up the first of Isaia's touchdowns, this one a six-yard strike to give Olympus a 14-7 lead, capping a 35-yard drive.
Dunford led the Eagles back with a seven-play, 68-yard drive. He scored on a one-yard run with 5:11 to play in the third to tie the game at 14-14.
After the ensuing kickoff went out of bounds to give Olympus possession at its own 35, Harris took off to his right and scampered 62 yards to set up Isaia's second score, a three-yard run on the next play.
Skyline had a chance to tie the game after Olympus missed a filed goal with 10:33 to play in the fourth. The Eagles drove deep into Titans territory, but Dunford mishandled an attempted handoff and fumbled the ball away to the waiting hands of Jordan Archibald.
Olympus added icing to the cake when Isaia scored once more on a 21-yard run with 1:05 to play to give the Titans a 14-point lead and to put the game out of reach.
"They're a heck of a football team," Smith said of Skyline. "This is a great way to start the year."