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High school football: Tommy Hoggan turns busted play into gold as Olympus wins thriller against rival Skyline

Olympus’ Tommy Hogan (7) celebrates after he scores the team’s game-winning touchdown against Skyline during a high school football game at Olympus High School in Holladay on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020.
Olympus’ Tommy Hoggan (7) celebrates after he scores the team’s game-winning touchdown against Skyline during a high school football game at Olympus High School in Holladay on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020.
Yukai Peng, Deseret News

HOLLADAY — In every practice over the past three weeks, Olympus coach Aaron Whitehead has made a point of having his players work on their two-minute offense.

It was a problem earlier in the year, so they’ve made a point of memorizing seven specific plays. A few of those plays worked to perfection on Friday night for the Titans, but Tommy Hoggan’s game-winning touchdown run in the 28-21 win over rival Skyline was all improvisation.

Olympus only had 10 men on the field when Hoggan snapped the ball with 20 seconds remaining, and the design was for him to hand the ball off to a wing back — but the wing simply wasn’t there.

Hoggan, however, immediately peeled off to his right knowing the blocks would be the there for the sweep and he marched untouched into the end zone, putting the finishing touches on another chapter in the storied Olympus-Skyline rivalry.

“That’s awesome. That’s what you dream of, our whole childhood we’re taught we don’t like the Eagles, but they’re a good team. That was a fun one. Glad we got it done. We had faith in our guys the whole time,” said Hoggan.

Whitehead said he had coaches yelling in his ear to use one of his two remaining timeouts without the proper personnel on the field, but he let Hoggan improvise instead.

“Didn’t have a guy lined up in the right spot, but Tom, again calm under pressure, realized he didn’t have the running back out there and so he took the spot of the running back and took the sweep and got in the end zone,” said Whitehead.

With the win, Olympus and Skyline both finish the Region 6 season tied in second place with one region loss heading into the 5A playoffs next week.

Skyline hadn’t lost all year heading into Friday’s regular season finale, but that was insignificant to the Titans.

“Doesn’t matter what the record is, this is a Skyline-Olympus game and the kids here are used to winning this game. Proud of them; they stepped up. This is one of the best all-around games they’ve played this year,” said Whitehead.

Olympus scored twice in the fourth quarter to reclaim the lead.

The first came with 8:55 remaining as Peyton Rice hauled in a 4-yard TD pass from Hoggan putting Olympus ahead 21-14.

Skyline, however, responded with an incredible 13-play scoring drive to tie the game at 21-21 with 3:30 left. The sequence before the TD was bizarre. With a first and goal at the 1-yard line, Skyline took a delay of game penalty, and then threw back-to-back incompletions before taking a sack on third down.

But on fourth and 14 , Braxton Bolingbroke connected with Hudson Manwaring, who made a diving catch in the back of the end zone tying the game at 21-21.

That simply set the stage for Hoggan and his teammates to execute what they’ve been working on the past three weeks.

Olympus completed a pair of third downs to keep the final drive alive, with the biggest play though a 32-yard pass to Ryan Reynard setting Olympus up at the 5-yard line with 30 seconds remaining.

The Titans led 14-7 at the half on second quarter touchdown runs by Rice and Johnny Frank, but Skyline tied the game on its first drive of the third quarter as Manwaring hauled in a 1-yard TD pass from Bolingbroke in the corner of the end zone. Bolingbroke finished with three passing touchdowns.