HS Football: The Woodlands holds off Oak Ridge
THE WOODLANDS, TX -- The Woodlands Highlanders move to 2-0 in District 13-6A after an impressive 31-21 win over the Oak Ridge War Eagles on Friday night. Despite a late comeback attempt by The Ridge, big plays from the offense and special teams kept the Highlanders undefeated all-time against their crosstown rival.
One of the most important moments of the game came in the opening minutes. For Oak Ridge to finally get that elusive win over The Woodlands, they were going to need the ball to bounce their way a few times.
On the opening kickoff, they got that wish. The Woodlands fumbled the kickoff and Oak Ridge recovered setting up a prime opportunity to flip the game on its head right away. However, after failing to score from inside the ten-yard line, the War Eagles had to settle for kicking a field goal. That kick was blocked and the Highlanders got out of an early jam without surrendering a point.
There was a sigh of relief from The Woodlands, but for Oak Ridge, it a was gut punch that clearly took time to bounce back from.
Highlanders WR Teddy Knox continued to show why he’s one of the state’s most electrifying players with his performance tonight. The four-star Mississippi State commit took the top off the Oak Ridge defense on a 36-yard touchdown pass from QB Conor Dechiro for the game’s first touchdown.
After DL Bradley Warren came up with a sack to force an Oak Ridge punt, the Highlanders went right back to work and extended their lead. RB Lane O’Brien capped off a quick four-play drive with an eight-yard rushing TD to put Oak Ridge in a 14-point hole early in the 2nd Quarter. O’Brien finished the game with 96 yards rushing and a touchdown. That hole turned into a 21-point crater when Knox torched the Oak Ridge punt team with a 73-yard punt return TD. Knox, the Woodlands Online Player of the Game, racked up 123 all-purpose yards in the win.
Desperately needing to put points on the board, Oak Ridge put together a nice seven-play drive complete with a 15-yard rushing TD by RB Alton McCaskill to rejuvenate the War Eagles.
A 28-yard Trey Harrison Field Goal sent The Woodlands into the locker room with a 24-8 lead at the half. Once again, McCaskill and the War Eagles answered with a tough nine-play drive. McCaskill powered his way through Highlander defenders to cut The Woodlands’ lead to nine. McCaskill had 90 yards of total offense and three TDs on Friday night.
Just when it seemed Oak Ridge was taking control, the Highlanders answered with a clutch 15 yard TD pass from Dechiro to WR Jack Calhoun to give The Woodlands some breathing room. Oak Ridge made one last push to get back in the game, scoring with just over two minutes remaining. However, the ensuing onside kick attempt was unsuccessful and The Woodlands ran out the clock to secure the victory.
The Highlanders move to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the district. Up next for the Highlanders is their first-ever game against Grand Oaks. Oak Ridge (4-2 / 1-1) will attempt to get back on track against Willis.
Friday’s game was a Woodlands Online Broadcast sponsored by RE/MAX and Hal Watson Air Conditioning.