Scott Gunther made sure Olympia High School’s debut in the 4A SPSL was a successful one, scoring six touchdowns and gaining 338 yards from scrimmage as the Bears defeated Emerald Ridge, 55-33, Friday night at Ingersoll Stadium.
Gunther rushed 36 times for 271 yards and also caught a 67-yard touchdown pass from Ketner Young.
The Bears, who scored two touchdowns in every quarter, led by a single point, 27-26, after Jaguars quarterback Gage Hansen connected with a streaking Marvin Williams, Jr., on a 49-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter.
But, after the ensuing kickoff, Olympia threw Emerald Ridge off balance with Young’s scoring screen pass to Gunther. Prior to that, the Bears had thrown only two passes — one of which was intercepted.
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Olympia’s defense then played its most effective series of the night, twice forcing Hansen — who completed 21 of 28 passes for 369 yards and five touchdowns — out of the pocket and sacking him once when Logan Wood broke through the Jaguars’ line. An unsuccessful fake punt followed.
Taking over at the Emerald Ridge 19, Olympia scored two plays later on a three-yard run by Connor Clark to go up 41-26 and was never challenged after that.
Gunther’s final two touchdowns, one from six yards and one from seven yards, wrapped up Olympia’s scoring. Andrew Boston scored the Jaguars’ final touchdown on an 11-yard pass from Hansen.
The Jaguars set Olympia up for an easy score in the first two minutes, bungling the opening kickoff return and eventually shanking a five-yard punt to let the Bears take over at the Jaguar 13.
Three carries by Gunther, the last for two yards, put Olympia up 7-0. But not for long.
On the third play of Emerald Ridge’s second offensive possession, Hansen passed in the left flat to Williams, who burst up the left sideline to tie the game at 7-7.
A pattern of Olympia by land and the Jaguars by air was established.
Two more rushing touchdowns, one of four yards by Gunther and another of five yards by Connor Clark, pushed the Bears’ lead to 20-7. Emerald Ridge countered with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Hansen to Boston.
The Jaguars wasted a 53-yard punt by Chase McGuire late in the second quarter. After Olympia took over, Gunther broke tackles in the middle of the line and sprinted 76 yards to make it 27-13.
Forty-one seconds before halftime, Levi Sween broke open behind the Bears’ defense and snared a 35-yard scoring pass from Hansen to leave the score at 27-20 during intermission.