Oaks beat Mohawks in thriller


Michael Hamilton

The Oak Hill Oaks (3-4) defeated the Northwest Mohawks (4-3) thanks to a last minute touchdown, securing sole possession of first place in the Southern Ohio Conference (SOC) Division I.

In what was undoubtedly one of the most exciting games in the 2015 high school football season, the Mohawks fell short of the Oaks 30-23. The Oaks (3-0 SOC I) pick up their third conference win, and give the Mohawks (2-1 SOC I) their first conference loss on the season.

The game saw six different lead changes, with five occurring in the second half.

After the first half, the game seemed to be completely in the favor of the Mohawks who took a 12-0 lead into halftime.

The Mohawks defense limited the Oaks offense to zero points in the first half thanks, in part, to a fumble recovery, a tipped punt and big third and fourth down plays.

However, the Oaks refused to give up and fought back from a 12-point deficit to score 30 second half points and walk away with a seven point victory over the Mohawks.

“It was just one of those good football games, back and forth, back and forth,” said Mohawks Head Coach Brooks Fry. “They had a couple kids that just made fantastic plays on that last drive.”

That last drive, four plays, which totaled 75 yards, was nothing but passes. The Oaks received the ball on their own 25. After an incomplete pass, Oak Hill’s Layne Burdine completed three consecutive passes to Willie Harris for 33-yards, Zach Fisher for 31-yards, and finally, a 14-yard scoring pass to Cody Swann, with only 14.2 seconds remaining in the game.

Leading 28-23, the Oaks opted for the 2-point conversion which was successful thanks to a Carpenter rush, giving the Oaks the lead and eventually the game 30-23.

The first quarter was split long time consuming drives by both Oak Hill and Northwest. In the game’s first drive, the Oak Hill Oaks began a drive on their own 16-yard line. The Oaks offense looked strong with a nice mix of runs and a few passes moving the ball up to the Mohawks 10-yard line.

On the 11th play of the drive, the Mohawks defense stepped up and instantly stopped the Oaks drive thanks to a Willie Harris fumble recovered by Northwest’s Cainen Spencer on the Northwest 10-yard line.

The Mohawks used the remainder of the first quarter driving up the field. Faced with a fourth and a few inches situation, Northwest’s Garrett Rowe managed to gain two yards on a keeper play giving the Mohawks a first down and allowing the drive to continue on to its 12th play.

Now on the Oak Hill 40-yard line, the Mohawks gained 25 yards on a Donnie Borens rush. Several plays later, the Mohawks made their way to the Oak Hill 15-yard line.

Again faced with a fourth down situation on the Oaks’ 11-yard line, Borens answered the call of the Mohawks and scored on an 11-yard rush. The point after failed after Dylan Amburgey’s kick bounced off the goal post.

Early in the second quarter, the Mohawks led the Oaks 6-0.

The momentum continued to favor the Mohawks as the Oaks were hit with a false start on the first play of their second drive.

The Mohawks forced a fourth down for the Oaks after Oak Hill quarter back Layne Burdine was sacked by Northwest. On fourth down the Mohawks defense continued to shine when they tipped Oak Hill’s punt.

With excellent field advantage, the Mohawks took the field on the Oaks 27-yard line. On their second drive, the Mohawks used a combination of rushes by Borens, Rowe, Jenkins, and Trevan Bazler to move the ball to the Oaks’ one yard line. Rowe would run in the score on the next play. After a failed 2-point conversion, the Mohawks led 12-0 with 5:12 remaining in the first half.

It was revealed late in the half that Oak Hill running back Mathew Gilliand suffered an ankle injury. He would not return to the game.

At halftime, the Mohawks led 12-0.

Beginning the third quarter, the Mohawks fumbled and lost the ball on their own 42, losing possession thanks to a Kearns recovery for Oak Hill.

Oak Hill wouldn’t have the ball long as Willie Harris would cough up the ball on the second play of the drive. Northwest’s Cainen Spencer fell on the ball, recovering his second fumble of the night.

Oak Hill would pull half the Mohawks lead late in the third thanks to a Matt Carpenter single yard run. After a failed kick, the Mohawks lead had fallen to six.

Problems continued for Northwest. On their own 35, the Mohawks turned the ball over to the Oaks after a Jordan Brigner fumble.

Oak Hill took advantage of the late third quarter turnover and would eventually score early in the fourth after a 10-yard Harris rush. Oak Hill opted for the 2-point conversion which was successful when Burdine found Swann completely alone in the back right corner of the end zone.

With only 9:55 remaining in the game, Oak Hill took the lead from the Mohawks 14-12.

Northwest answered back with a 69-yard pass from Garrett Rowe to Garrett Simon for a touchdown. After a Rowe keeper on a successful 2-point conversion, the Mohawks reclaimed the lead 20-14 with 8:14 left in the game.

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Oak Hill scores on last-second drive

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