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OLYMPUS TOPS JORDAN IN `CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW'

Intriguing? Yes. Boring? No.

However, Olympus' 28-12 preseason victory over Jordan Friday fell short of filling its 4A championship preview billing. Three fumbles, three interceptions, a blocked punt and misdirected kicks are hardly the stuff postseason finales are made of, but then again . . ."It was a fun game to be associated with," said Jordan coach Jim Birch. "I just would have liked to see it finish differently."

Indeed, it was the end which finished off the Beetdiggers.

Trailing 14-12 with less than nine minutes remaining, Jordan missed a 22-yard field goal before surrendering a pair of touchdowns down the stretch.

"Jordan is always tough," said Olympus coach Tom Larson. "They just kept coming and coming."

After exchanging fumbles on their opening possessions, the state's top ranked 4A teams settled in for an old-fashioned showdown. They ran, they passed and unfortunately, they also fell victim to more turnovers.

"An interesting game," mused Birch. "It's one of those things where you say `that's where the ball bounces."'

Olympus drew first blood when Chris Mitarai scored on a eight-yard run with 1:17 remaining in the first quarter. Dan Fassler's extra point gave the Titans a 7-0 advantage and the lead for good.

Jordan, without the services of kicker Andy Fullmer who is nursing a hyper-extended knee, retaliated midway through the second quarter when Shane Evans raced into the end zone from 10 yards out. However, a missed extra point left the Titans in front.

Less than three minutes later, Olympus extended its lead to 14-6 when quarterback Jeff Jackson connected with Zach Green on a four-yard scoring strike. A blocked punt and an interception ensued, but the score remained firm until the second half.

Trailing 14-6, Jordan quarterback Spencer Morris closed the gap when he crossed the line from three yards out with 1:20 left in the third quarter. A two-point conversion attempt failed when Olympus sacked Morris behind the line of scrimmage.

A fourth quarter interception gave the Beetdiggers another chance at redemption, but a missed field goal from close range ended such hopes. Olympus' defense tightened and its offense exploded down the stretch. Running back Paul Peterson, who finished with 117 yards on 12 carries, buried the `Diggers with a 65-yard touchdown run with 6:33 left to play.

Leading 21-12, Olympus intercepted a Jordan aerial and scored again in the final two minutes. Jonathan Eberhardt caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to cap the scoring and the so-called "championship preview."

"The two best?," Larson pondered. "I don't know. I guess we'll see in November."