by Daniel Olsen | If there was a Battle of the Brothers high school edition, the Olympus Titans vs the Skyline Eagles would certainly be a good choice.
Both schools are demographically similar and less than two miles apart. This rivalry has taken place for over fifty years. Both schools will look to battle for the traveling trophy known as The Rock. Traveling trophies aren’t as common in high school as in college which makes this game so special.
Skyline enters this game as a favorite after an undefeated season so far. They have not really been challenged yet but anything goes in a rivalry game.
“We are not just going to hand them The Rock,” said Olympus Coach Aaron Whitehead . “They are going to have to take it from us and if they do it’s going to be a fight.”
The Titans have won the last two meetings and have mostly dominated the rivalry during Coach Whitehead’s tenure. He has been on both sides of the rivalry as he played for Skyline in high school. There have certainly been some memorable games between these schools over the years.
“In 2010, I was the offensive coordinator and we were playing at Skyline,” said Coach Whitehead. “We had a pretty good game plan and had control of the game. Skyline had the ball at midfield with just a few seconds left and threw up a prayer. One of our junior defensive backs intercepted it around the 10 yard line. The time had expired. The excitement and the adrenaline of the game must have carried over as he tried to return it, rather than take a knee and end the game. He was tackled by two Skyline players on our sideline, around midfield. Those two players began kicking him. As you can imagine, a rush of players gathered, including opponents from the other side of the field. Through the melee of pushing, shouting, and shoving, our team somehow was on the opposite side of the field of our sideline and the gate to our buses. Basically, the team we had just defeated for the second straight year, and had just started the bench clearing brawl with us, was standing between us and our bus. Our coach, Mike Smith yelled out, ‘let’s go!’ We jogged down the alley, past the swimming pool, to the west of the school; to Upland Drive, ultimately to 3900 South; as a team we had an enjoyable, victorious walk back to Olympus. I wonder how long the bus drivers waited at Skyline. That was truly a night those kids will never forget.”
Skyline has been near the top of the RPI rankings with every passing unblemished week. Olympus has lost some close games this year but they are prepared for their rival. This isn’t the average year where the Titans can just waltz over the Eagles.
“Their quarterback is extremely accurate,” said Coach Whitehead. “They had a good season last year and they have returned many of the same guys. They can lull you to sleep and then make quick strikes over the top.”
That quarterback is none other than #12 Braxton Bolingbroke. He has thrown for 2,093 yards so far this season and has completed 73% of his passes this year.
“Bolingbroke has feet that are consistently moving,” said Coach Whitehad. “He also has great form.”
Olympus is no stranger to rivalry games. Earlier this year they beat Highland in their Homecoming game. The Highland Rams are their second biggest rivalry in the region.
There are players for Olympus that have prepared themselves to pull off the upset. Many Titans have been remembered from past rivalry games.
“In my first year at Olympus we had a great tight end named Ryan Rasmussen,” said Coach Whitehead. “My defensive coordinator told him he would make a big play. That was prophetic as Rasmussen caught the game winning touchdown in overtime.”
Nine years later someone from Olympus is looking to make a big play. Will it be a big return from specialist John Schlendorf? What about Olympus quarterback Tommy Hogan? Perhaps it will be the fullback Johnny Frank for a game winning rushing touchdown?
I’m going to go out on a limb. I’m going to say #99 Max Foulger will kick a game winning field goal. He hasn’t kicked many this year but has made two field goals and 16 extra points. Look for a close game where the Titans will either keep the rock or have it taken away by the Eagles.
Final Score: Olympus 24 Skyline 21
Featured image via Olympus High Athletics.