HS Football: Oak Ridge Wins Festive Senior Night Against Struggling Indians
THE WOODLANDS, TX -- The Oak Ridge War Eagles (5-2) continue their district winning streak by defeating the Cleveland Indians (0-7) during the senior night festivities at Woodforest Bank Stadium.
The game started with everything going Oak Ridge’s way. The War Eagle defense held the Indians without a single scoring drive during the entire first quarter, forcing four three-and-outs. These opportunities were cashed in by the Oak Ridge offense, who utilized a successful balance of passes and rushes.
In an exclusive interview with The Woodlands Online Sports, Oak Ridge Head Coach Mark Schmid spoke on the importance of a balanced offense to start the game.
“That is kind of our goal,” said Schmid. “We know we have a pretty good run game, but we do not want to completely rely on it, so we are constantly trying to improve the passing game.”
Runningback Frankie Arthur opened the scoring for Oak Ridge with a short rushing score from inside the Cleveland 10-yard line. After the run, two passing touchdowns from Adam Trosclair made the score 17-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The deficit became larger on the first play of the second quarter, as Trosclair found Gabe Camarillo on a lengthy pass to the endzone. A substitution midway through the quarter saw the arrival of Jack Emerson, who kept the ball rolling with handoffs to the impressive rushing attack.
Cleveland’s offense failed to respond in a meaningful fashion, as the team was forced into more punts due to pressure from the Oak Ridge defense. War Eagles Joseph Jonah-Ajonye and Justin Williams feasted on the Indian blockers with technique and brute strength. The pressure culminated in a pick-six for Williams that continued the offensive misery for Cleveland.
“When those guys are playing hard and getting after it, they are a force to be reckoned with,” said Schmid on his defense. “They keep getting better, and we had some new guys step up and contribute, and that was good to see.”
The War Eagle offense continued to assert its dominance as the second quarter continued. A third overall touchdown from Larry DeBose made the score 52-0, with the War Eagles set to receive the second-half kick.
Oak Ridge focused on a run-heavy offense that ate at the already running clock in the second half. Frankie Arthur notched his third rushing touchdown of the night on a run down the sideline, putting even greater emphasis on the Cleveland offense to get any points on the board.
The Indians did make their first meaningful strides deep into the third quarter. After surrendering a fumble, the Cleveland defense forced a turnover of their own by punching out the football inside the Oak Ridge 10-yard line. This excellent field position was used by the Indians to get Ruben Mendez into the endzone for a 59-6 deficit.
The moral victory did not last long for the Indians, however. On the ensuing extra-point attempt, Oak Ridge’s Jaxon Wiley shot through the gap and blocked the attempt before taking it into the endzone for a two-point play.
Not wanting to promote bad sportsmanship, both teams utilized a ground-only offensive approach that ate at the clock. Even on third and fourth downs, the emphasis was on running out the clock and ending a monumental win for Oak Ridge.
A 61-6 win provided a lot of positives for the Oak Ridge team, but it also gave the team a chance to take stock of where they are at in the season.
“We lived in the moment, and I think our kids did a great job of taking that to heart,” said Schmid. “They played great in all three phases of the game, they took care of business, and that shows them maturing as a team.”
The War Eagles will look to increase their winning streak against the College Park Cavaliers next week while the Indians continue to search for their first win with the New Caney Eagles on deck.