Oaks win hard-fought defensive struggle
PDT Sports Contributor
Going into tonight’s game against the Notre Dame Titans, the Oak Hill Oaks knew that they would have to stop the 1-2 punch of Jack Kayser and Dakota Smith in order to have a chance to win on the road at Spartan Stadium.
Oak Hill was able to do just that by holding Kayser and Smith to 95 combined rushing yards on 28 carries while the offense scored both of its touchdowns on two separate darts from Garrin Stiltner on fourth down en route to winning a 14-6 game that likely determined the SOC I champion.
The Oaks received the ball to start the contest and marched all the way to the Notre Dame 27-yard line, where the drive appeared to stall out after the Titan defense recorded a sack on first down and held Oak Hill to limited yardage on the ensuing two plays to set up a fourth-and-6 situation.
However, Stiltner was able to roll to his right and find Jordon Fisher in between several Notre Dame defenders for a 22-yard touchdown pass on the 10th play of the drive for Oak Hill and Chase Burdine was able to convert the two-point conversion to put the Oaks ahead by eight with 7:55 left to play in the first quarter.
Both teams striggled to move the ball until the Titans were able to answer Oak Hill’s touchdown in the first quarter with a score of their own in the second quarter, which came on a Dakota Smith 26-yard tote to close the gap to two points.
However, a delay of game penalty on the ensuing two-point coversion attempt forced the Titans to try an extra point attempt instead of going for two, and Will Toleman’s extra point try fell short of the uprights, thus keeping the Oaks’ lead intact at 8-6.
On the Oaks’ next possession, Notre Dame forced a turnover on Oak Hill’s end of the field as Willy Harris was stripped of the ball at the seven-yard line by Daniel Ogg, and the Titans fell on the football to give Notre Dame a first-and-goal situation.
However, Jonathan Major threw an incomplete pass on third down, which forced the Titans to attempt a 17-yard field goal but the hold was muffed.
Toleman was able to recover the ball but was stopped 19 yards behind the line of scrimmage as the half came to a close with Notre Dame coming up short on the opportunity. The Oaks took an 8-6 lead into the break.
The third quarter would be a battle of defenses as both teams were not able to score in the period. Oak Hill used a 13-play drive to advance from their own 35-yard line to the Titans’ 8-yard line.
Notre Dame’s defense held tough, however and kept the Oaks out of the end zone by stopping two consecutive plays in the backfield and knocking down two Stiltner passes, the last of which was knocked down by Smith in the end zone on a pass intended for Fisher.
The defensive struggle would continue into the fourth quarter as both defenses held strong. When Oak Hill got the ball back with 4:36 left to play in the game, the score remained 8-6.
The Oaks showed every intention to change that score and put the game away as Stiltner found Chase Burdine on a 48-yard streak down the left sideline on third-and-12. Stiltner then called his own number on a quarterback sneak to get two yards in a fourth-and-1 situation.
The Titan defense looked like they would finally be able to stop the long drive after Chris Coy ran out of bounds on first down to stop the clock, which was followed by a false start penalty on third down by Oak Hill, which forced the Oaks to dial up a pass play on fourth down.
tiltner and Chase Burdine came up large again for the Oaks on that very pass play as the two connected for a 20-yard strike to put Oak Hill up 14-6.
The Notre Dame defense kept Stiltner out of the end zone on the two-point try, which gave the Titans one final shot to possibly tie the game and send it to overtime.
However, Notre Dame was not able to get close as a Major pass was picked off by Fisher to preserve the 14-6 victory for the Oaks.
For next week, Notre Dame will travel to Franklin Furnace to take on Green while Oak Hill will travel to Symmes Valley to take on the Vikings. The Titans defeated the Bobcats 47-12 while the Oaks defeated Symmes Valley 28-14 last season.
Oak Hill 8 0 0 6 - 14
Notre Dame 0 6 0 0 - 6
OH – Fisher 22 pass from Stiltner (C. Burdine pass from Stiltner) 7:55
ND – Smith 26 run (kick failed) 6:13
OH – C. Burdine 22 pass from Stiltner (run failed) 1:14
First Downs 14 4
Rush Att-Yds. 36-108 30-73
Pass Att.-Comp.-Int. 19-9-0 5-2-1
Pass Yds. 136 21
Total Yds. 244 95
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 0-0
Turnovers 1 1
Penalties-Yds. 2-15 5-35
Rushing: Oak Hill – Coy 14-61, Harris 7-26, Waugh 6-13, Stiltner 9-8; Notre Dame – Smith 15-51, Kayser 13-44, Haney 1-(-3), Toleman 1-(-19).
Passing: Oak Hill – Stiltner 9-19-0 136; Notre Dame – Major 2-5-1 21.
Receiving: Oak Hill – C. Burdine 4-86, Fisher 2-38, Harrison 1-16, Swann 1-9, Harris 1-(-3); Notre Dame – Toleman 2-21.
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