War Eagles Come Back, But Drop Exciting Game 42-34

Photo courtesy of Jim Eastin (more photos below)

Oak Ridge gave the state champion Aldine Mustangs all they could handle but came up just a few minutes short as the visitors held off the pesky War Eagles, 42-34.

Yeah yeah, I know. Aldine’s last state championship was in 1990 but it’s still a true statement and our 0-2 War Eagles need to look at everything like the glass is half full.

The game wasn’t close until the War Eagle defense stopped hitting the snooze button and started to play like a Cody Hoag (Defensive Coordinator) coached defense is capable of. Unfortunately, it took the defense until the second half to completely wake up and tame talented Mustang quarterback, Derick Brown. That said, ironically it was Brown’s 44 yard run late in the third quarter that proved to be the difference when it was all said and done. That would be all the point production the stingy second half Oak Ridge defense would allow.

Much to the partisan Oak Ridge crowd’s dismay, Brown ran roughshod over the War Eagle defense to the tune of 250 yards on 21 carries which – do the math – amounts to 12 yards per carry. Most of those yards were in the first half. It’s not as bad as it seems because on four of Brown’s long touchdown runs, the Oak Ridge defense had him cornered in the backfield but the kid’s sheer athleticism allowed him to make touchdowns out of absolutely nothing, zig zagging his way through and around the field resembling former Detroit Lions great Barry Sanders. Take away Brown’s theatrics and Oak Ridge emerges victorious.

Oak Ridge got on the board first with a Patrick Coale 25 yard field goal as we witnessed the Colby Kitterman led offense sustain a nine minute drive. Where it took the defense six quarters to show signs of life, with the first drive of the game resulting in points, the offense was two quarters quicker.

Unfortunately, Mr Pain In The Neck (Derick Brown) scored on a nine yard run with 54 seconds remaining in the first quarter to make it 7-3 Mustangs.

Not to be outdone, Xavier Richardson bobbled the ensuing kickoff only to then scamper 93 yards to pay-dirt. Xavier’s one of those guys that can probably run a 3.2 Pro-Circuit. Oak Ridge was now in the lead after the first quarter for the first time since their lone victory early in the 2011 season.

Seemingly just a tad ticked off, in the second quarter Aldine then turned Woodforest Stadium into a track facility as, in order, Brown ran for 20 and 30 yard TD runs, Craig Jenkins turned on the after burners with a 70 yard TD blur and Brown added a 52 yard score.

In between all of that commotion, Patrick Coale helped save a little War Eagle face with a 38 yard field goal. That kid is legit!

At the half, the game was now looking more like a mercy killing with Aldine comfortably in the lead, 35-13.

Fortunately, one or all of the coaches gave the defense one of the most inspirational speeches since Notre Dame’s Knute Rockne told his Fighting Irish to win one for the Gipper almost 100 years ago.

What followed was the War Eagles returning from the locker room playing as if the Mustangs had stolen all of their girlfriends! Seemingly, the most annoyed was Dillon Dye as the former lacrosse player made several bone crunching hits igniting his cohorts. George Stephenson made a huge tackle behind the line of scrimmage with less than six minutes to go in the game. Several other defenders stepped up as well  and the offense returned the favor with three Colby Kitterman touchdown passes of 80 yards to Jason Simmons, a 20 yarder to Jeff Pearson and a 23 yarder to Justin Edwards.

With 6:26 remaining in the game, what appeared to be a mercy killing an hour before was now an exciting contest very much in doubt. Aldine was now up by eight points, 42-34.

Oak Ridge got the ball back but was forced to punt late in the game leaving it up to the defense to make a stop so they could try again. Punter Frankie Ashford then put a seeing eye punt on the one yard line as a convocation of War Eagles surrounded the ball leaving the Mustangs pinned to their goal line.

The defense continued to do their job as they had Aldine on the three yard line with a third and eight and just a minute to go. On the next play, Oak Ridge’s newfound aggressive play on defense came back to bite them as they were called offsides giving the Mustangs a third and three which they converted and then proceeded to run out the clock.

Kitterman was 19-41 for 249 yards and one pic. Colby looked sharp and composed. Expect great things from this guy for the rest of the season.

His go-to guys were Simmons with a catch for 80 yards. Pearson gathered in four for 51 and DeMarcus Durst grabbed six for 45.

On the ground, Kitterman led all Oak Ridgian’s with 48 hard earned yards on 12 carries. Simmons ran six times for 22 yards.

Of course, it was about more than just football.  This is going to take a while so stay with me. Here is a short list of what it takes to put on a football game:

Several hundred varsity, junior varsity, sophomore and freshman football players, five video people, eighteen athletic trainers(16 of them are student trainers), one surgeon (Coupe), four ball boys, over 250 band members and just less than a hundred Pit Crew members (band parents…translation-Roadies), countless Liberty Belles, Color Guard, Cheerleaders, Ridge Rowdies (Flag Runners), ORHS Broadcast Group led by Reagan Ernst, one announcer( E.R. Ashford) with two spotters, Boy Scouts Pack 895 (concession stand), Tommy Johnson and his band of VP’s… phew…hold on let me catch my breath… various newspaper, website, radio and television reporters, photographers, officials (Zebras), fans-students, parents, former players, countless CISD Coppers and stadium crew and enough groupies and hangers-on to make a high school sideline look like a Super Bowl.

If I left your group out… and I probably did, I apologize.

Take all of the above into account, plus all of the people and businesses who donate money such as relatives, friends, booster clubs and it’s easy to see that the Oak Ridge football program reaches more people than the population of most towns.

Most of you might think the above participants are in this for fun and games. Not necessarily. They want the football team to win. At games, they all get high on the adrenaline rush of school spirit. But, everybody involved with the football program has to give 100%.

The students do this not only because they want the football team to win, but for their futures as well.

The longer the football team lasts, the more chances everyone has to get noticed by the people with scholarship money.

If the team wins, everybody benefits. Here in Oak Ridge, the wins are few and far between as football hasn’t been tremendously successful since moving up to 5A.

If this football game was a barometer of things to come, it will not be long until the football team wins more than they lose. The support from the fans and all involved with the proceedings is quite noticeable. The atmosphere is awesome and you can see things changing already!!

Well, I wrote “everybody” in regards to the support – that doesn’t include the clown who was hanging over the fence in back of the players area yelling to the coaches that certain players should not be in the game. Hey Pal, do us a favor. Go back to your seat, cut your gray hair and keep lookin’ real old! No one wants to hear your white trash, uneducated, armchair quarterbacking. That’s my job, Fool!!!

Go Oak Ridge! We’re getting there!

If you were not able to attend Friday night’s festivities, here are a few photos that capture what went on.  

Comments to Doug Sarant at doug@oakridgenow.com.

Aldine 42, Oak Ridge 34

Aldine 7 28 7 0 — 42

Oak Ridge 10 3 6 15 — 34

Scoring Summary

First quarter

Oak Ridge: Patrick Coale 25 field goal, 5:24

Aldine: Derick Brown 9 run (Yessen Carrillo kick), 0:54

Oak Ridge: Xavier Richardson 93 kickoff return (Coale kick), 0:41

Second quarter

Aldine: Brown 20 run (Carrillo kick), 10:54

Aldine: Brown 30 run (Carrillo kick), 9:51

Oak Ridge: Coale 38 field goal, 5:51

Aldine: Craig Jenkins 70 run (Carrillo kick), 5:00

Aldine: Brown 52 run (Carrillo kick), 0:58

Third quarter

Oak Ridge: Jason Simmons 80 pass from Colby Kitterman (pass failed), 8:21

Aldine: Brown 44 run (Carrillo kick), 2:41

Fourth quarter

Oak Ridge: Jeff Pearson 20 pass from Kitterman (DeMarcus Durst pass from Kitterman), 11:40

Oak Ridge: Justin Edwards 23 pass from Kitterman (Coale kick), 6:26

Team Statistics

Aldine

Oak Ridge

First downs

15

19

Rushes-Yards

38-362

29-119

Comp-Att-Int

4-9-0

19-41-1

Passing yards

103

249

Punts-Avg

4-39.3

3-45.7

Fumbles-Lost

1-0

2-0

Penalties-Yards

15-82

7-55

Individual Statistics

Rushing — Aldine: Derick Brown 21-250; Craig Jenkins 2-68. Oak Ridge: Colby Kitterman 12-48; Jason Simmons 6-22.

Passing — Aldine: Brown 4-9-0-103. Oak Ridge: Kitterman 19-41-1-249.

Receiving — Aldine: Joe Lewis 2-58; Davonte Clark 2-36. Oak Ridge: Simmons 1-80; Jeff Pearson 4-51; DeMarcus Durst 6-45.

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Doug Sarant, Oak Ridge Now

Born and raised in New England, Doug promises he got to Texas as fast as he could. He earned the much needed "piece of paper" from Sam Houston State, proving to himself he could start and finish something. Doug's interests include coaching and playing any sport and still plays lacrosse competitively. He also enjoys going to dinner theaters, though he complains there just aren't enough of them in the area. Doug was brought up in a cultured environment, having suffered through dozens of symphonies and operas with his way too over-educated mother. At the end of the day, Doug is just a dad and husband and claims to be good at both.

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