SPRINGVILLE — In one of the most exciting and dramatic games of the year, Olympus beat Springville 43-37 with a new twist on the old hook-and-ladder play.
With the game tied at 37-37, in the fourth quarter, and under 20 seconds to play — Olympus head coach Aaron Whitehead's tricky final play led the Titans to victory.
Many are familiar with the hook-and-ladder play. The quarterback throws it to the wide receiver on a short hook or slant route and the receiver pitches it back to a trailing player.
Whitehead credits former North Carolina State coach Riley Jensen with the key variation on the play that led to victory.
Once the trailing receiver — the ladder-man — catches the ball, a running back comes out of the backfield to act as a pitch option.
Olympus executed it to perfection. Quarterback Chase Manning hit senior Spencer Williams across the middle for the "hook", Connor Haller takes the pitch as the "ladder", Haller has the option to continue his run or pitch to the second "ladder" — the trailing running back. Haller hit Coleman Meier with a perfect pitch and Meier scored the game winning touchdown.
When he crossed the goal-line I thought 'Merry Christmas Olympus.'
–Aaron Whitehead, Olympus Head Coach
"It all just worked perfectly," said Coleman Meier, who had a hand in all five of Olympus' touchdowns. "I just ran as hard as I could for the final play."
Despite practicing this play all week, Connor Haller was surprised it worked so well.
"Plays like that are hard," said Haller. "but, it worked to perfection and we got it baby. We did it."
"When he crossed the goal-line I thought 'Merry Christmas Olympus'," said Whitehead. "What a way to end a football game."
Olympus will travel to play the Logan Grizzlies next week in the second round of the playoffs.