War Eagles Persevere and Top Spartans 45-42 in Double Overtime

IMG_2393The Oak Ridge War Eagles (3-0) and senior kicker Patrick Coale came through with another W to maintain the War Eagles unblemished record by defeating the Stratford Spartans in double overtime, 45-42 at Woodforest Bank Stadium Friday night.

The talented kicker split the uprights from 43 yards out securing the victory after Oak Ridge had blown a lopsided affair at halftime leading the Spartans (1-2), 35-13.

Oak Ridge’s offense scored on their first five possessions almost at will as Kwami Etwi ran for a six yard score at 7:39. Etwi scored again on an NFL like 29 yard pass at 5:21 from Jacob Norton who once again split snaps with sophomore Braden Letney. The offense was given the scoring opportunity compliments of a DB Nick Lauterbach interception and subsequent 54 yard return to the Startford 29 yard line. Oak Ridge was now up 14-6 but Stratford quickly answered as DeBarron Nixon hauled in a Freddy Price 22 yard pass at 4:50 to pull within a point at 14-13.

It was at this point that Oak Ridge head coach, Dereck Rush briskly walked over to the defensive unit’s part of the bench and lit into his charges telling them to stop somebody. It appeared as if the defensive unit must have got the hint as they didn’t allow another point for the rest of the first half.

Shortly after the tongue lashing, the offensive unit must have decided they didn’t want any part of getting yelled at so Justin Edwards scored on a one yard run behind what is becoming an excellent offensive line. Add Mr. Automatic’s extra point and the score was 21-13 Oak Ridge to close out the first quarter.

After another defensive stop, Letney led the War Eagles down the field on a time consuming eight minute drive culminating with Letney taking the pigskin in from seven yards making the score 28-13 after Coale added the extra point at 4:46.

The defense was ready once again with another stop and Oak Ridge’s offense was in business again. The War Eagles made the Spartan offense pay again for not giving their defensive teammates a long enough breather as Etwi ran for an eight yard score and the Coale extra point made it 35-13 just before halftime.

With the War Eagles safely in front and Darra Pradavan’s award winning Oak Ridge Marching Band digging up the halftime turf, everyone connected with Oak Ridge High School was in LaLa Land, as for the third week in a row their team was safely in front with yet another victory coming real soon. After all, it wasn’t like Oak Ridge 5A football has started the season with three wins every year.

WAIT… As darkness fell and the band, Liberty Belles and Color Guard exited the field, little did everyone know that Mr Hyde was going to take control of the Oak Ridge side of the field while Dr Jeckyll took his place on Stratford’s sideline. An inauspicious second half of football was about to begin for the War Eagles.

Oak Ridge’s first possession resulted in a three and out and the Spartans followed suit. Not much offense from either team was displayed until Startford QB Price engineered the Spartans down the field ending in a Price to Jack Brice 20 yard scoring play with just a few ticks left in the third quarter, making it 35-20 Oak Ridge.

The War Eagles were stopped on their next possession and once again Startford’s Price drove his team down the field and threw a 26 yard scoring strike to Will Bredthauer and the Spartans only trailed by a touchdown, 35-27 with 6:03 left in regulation.

On its next possession, Oak Ridge’s Letney was intercepted by Stratford’s Brice Stephenson who proceeded to return the ball to the Oak Ridge nine yard line.

In wasting no time, Startford scored once more on a Terrence Peters eight yard run with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Stratford went for two and the Price/Brice connection struck again, knotting things up at 35-35.

Stratford had a chance to win the game but kicker Jonathan Dalmas came up short from 37 yards out and it was on to overtime.

To start overtime, Stratford had possession first and quickly scored ala the Price/Brice combo on a 25 yard pass. Dalmas’s kick was good. On Oak Ridge’s turn, they toughed out a scoring drive ending with Letney, on fourth down, taking it in from the one yard line. Coale’s XP was good and the score was 42-42.

On Oak Ridge’s next possession, Coale kicked a 43 yard field goal which proved to be the winning score and Oak Ridge snuck out of Woodforest Stadium with a 45-42 victory.

Norton and Letney combined to go 9-18 for 154 yards. Letney led all Oak Ridge rushers with 64 yards. Lamar Handy wasn’t too far behind with 63 and Demarcus Durst chipped in 58.

Riley McKnight caught a pass to lead the team in receiving yards with 52 followed by Handy, Etwi and Durst with 43, 33 and 20 respectively.

Stratford outgained Oak Ridge in overall yardage 472 to 415. Running back Terrence Peters was a one man highlight reel in reeling in 160 yards on the ground. QB Freddy Price threw for 248 yards on 12-23 marksmanship.

Oak Ridge’s next game is a home non-district tilt against Aldine Nimitz on Saturday, Sept 21 at Woodforest as the War Eagles try to avenge yet another 2012 loss.

Coach Rush elaborated on allowing Stratford to get back in the game: “Hopefully this teaches us to fight through adversity. Our kids fought and fought but we have to do a better job of finishing football games. When we get ahead, we have to stay ahead. Give credit to Stratford, that’s a great football team, they are going to be a playoff team, we have to learn from our mistakes and get back to work.”

Worthy of Note:

The Letney/Norton plan is working. Some skeptics believe the team would be better off picking one guy and going with him 100%. DON’T BE STUPID!!! If it isn’t broke, why fix it? Throwing in two quality QB’s at the opponent makes the opposing team’s time in the film room a marathon. I don’t know about you but I think we should prefer the opposing coaching staff to be half asleep come game time.

Dr Jeckll and Mr Hyde: To those in attendance, it seemed like our squad came back out for the second half playing the sportsmanship role way too early. We all know Coach Rush is all about sportsmanship but seeing as he is a former D-1 football player and winning coach everywhere he’s been, he knows that 22 points is not a big enough cushion with 24 minutes of football remaining in the game. Whatever happened out there you can bet it is being corrected at this writing. You want your inconsistent play to occur before district so you can be ahead of the eight ball.

Clayton Grett continues to play outside linebacker like a man possessed. This kid can flat out play! Nuff said.

There’s one kid that is absolutely the best player at his position that I have seen on this team in seven years. I’m not jinxing him so don’t ask. I’ll tell you when Oak Ridge’s season is over near Christmas time. I knocked on wood right there referencing the War Eagles going deep in the playoffs. Lighten up and stop being so superstitious.

In witnessing Coach Rush and another couple of coaches RAILING the defense and just watching them in general, be glad these guys are on the sideline. These guys are playing the best players at every position the best they can and it is working. Another thing, I GUARANTEE you that politics is not involved in any of their decision making. From what we are hearing and seeing, all of you agree as well.

SHOUT OUT TO TAYLOR COBB AND BRITTNEY CHESTNUT OF THE YEARBOOK CREW! They both write and are also good photographers. Guess what faculty member is in charge of Yearbook… CHEER COACH SARAH PARKER!!! The multi-talented Sarah Parker. We’ll also be doing a story on her cheerleaders led by Meaghan Winterer pretty soon.

As for the Athletic Trainers… You do notice the players are healthy and we aren’t losing players, right? It’s no coincidence that we have awesome trainers.

Let’s not forget the Film Crew. This is one of the most professional groups at Oak Ridge High School. Rush and all of his coaches are very demanding film geeks. The better the film, the better the team plays.

Oh, regarding the tongue lashing Coach Rush gave the defensive unit early on, it was either D-Coord Terry Mills and or LB coach Mac Malone contributing as well. All I can tell you is they didn’t curse but that they did arrive in ill humor. When I was in high school, you got swore at and it didn’t matter one bit. Nowadays, if a coach swears at someone a law suit soon follows and they’re finding ways to get rid of the offending coaches to avoid any flack from overzealous parents. To be honest with you, with how we were coached back in the day, I can’t believe Oak Ridge is 3-0 with no cursing going on. I always thought those two came together. Guess I’m too old school. Anyway, support these guys. Whatever they are doing… is working!

Comments to doug@oakridgenow.com

If you weren’t able to make Friday night’s game, here are some photos that capture the festivities. these are courtesy of Jim Eastin and Chuck Briese. The really good ones are from Mr. Eastin.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.

More Posts - Website