Monticello needed just about every big play they could muster Friday night to hold off a persistent Olympia squad as the Sages began the defense of their state title with a 42-32 victory over the Spartans.
The Sages set the tone with a double-reverse flea-flicker on the first play of the season as Nic Tackels connected with Chris Brown for the 58-yard touchdown.
Leading 21-8 at the intermission, Monticello extended the advantage to 28-6 and forced Olympia to punt. After Hayden Graham returned the punt to the 48-yard line in Olympia territory, a second sideline infraction gave possession back to the Spartans. Following two 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, Olympia’s Grant Kessinger romped in from 31 yards out to cut the lead to 28-16.
On the ensuing kickoff, Brown pranced his way through traffic and outran the pack for an 88-yard touchdown.
The Spartans cut into the lead again after quarterback Ethan Davis ran one in from 13-yards out, making the score 35-24.
The next possession, Tackels found Spencer Brown for a 60-yard catch and run touchdown to extend the Sages lead to 42-24.
The Spartans got a score on the board with under two minutes after Davis found Ethan Kennedy in the corner of the end zone from 13 yards for the final 42-32 margin.
Chris Brown found the end zone three times in total for the Sages. He finished with 70 yards receiving, 70 yards rushing and his 88-yard kick return touchdown.
Tackels finished the night 6-for-9 with 182 yards and three touchdowns. Spencer Brown did all his damage in the second half, hauling in two touchdowns on three receptions for 97 yards.
Kessinger led the Spartans with 11 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown. Davis finished 4 for 11 with 32 yards and a touchdown. The Sages defense touched up Davis for five sacks in the ballgame.
The Sages will travel to Chillicothe next Friday night to take on IVC. Hear the game on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.