PDT Sports Contributor
The East Tartans fell short in their Southern Ohio Conference (SOC) I matchup against the Oak Hill Oaks 36-14, on Friday night. The Oaks (4-4 4-0 SOC I) pick up their fourth consecutive conference win in the 2015 season and maintain their position leading the SOC I standings.
The Tartans (5-3 2-2 SOC I) suffered their second conference loss on the season after begin defeated by Oak Hill.
“I give total credit to Oak Hill, they lined up against us, and I still think they’re a year ahead of us, as far as where we want to be, physically,” said East Head Coach James Gifford.
Gifford said his team put itself in some unfavorable situations for their offense throughout the game. “We put our own selves in some bad situations, but they were also the cause of some of those too,” said Gifford. “It was a good hard-fought game, and they came out on top.”
The game’s opening drive started with great field position for the Tartans. A failed onside kick gave the Tartans possession on the Oak Hill 48-yard line. Three straight Akia Brown rushes totaling 16 yards sent the Tartans to the Oak Hill 32-yard line. However, the Tartan drive would end on the very next play when East quarterback Drew Lowe was picked off by Oak Hill’s Willie Harris.
The Oaks and Harris took advantage of the Tartan turnover. Using a group of runners, the Oaks ran eight straight running plays gaining 49 yards. With the ball on their own 14-yard line, the Tartans called a timeout, and were then flagged for being offsides on the very next play, moving the Oaks to the Tartan 9-yard line.
The Tartan defense then stepped up and forced a fourth down for Oak Hill on the Tartan 1-yard line. The defensive stand would ultimately fail as Oak Hill quarterback Layne Burdine found a wide open Cody Swann in the back of the end zone. After a failed 2-point conversion, the Oaks drew first blood and led the Tartans 6-0 with 4:34 left in the first quarter.
East would continue to run the ball, as Akia Brown and DeShaun Martin would share eight carries, moving the Tartans to the Oak Hill 3-yard line to end the first quarter.
Starting the second quarter on their opponent’s 3-yard line, Drew Lowe gained two yards on a quarterback keeper, and would then score on a single yard run after an Akia Brown run went for no gain. After a failed point after, the Tartans had tied the game 6-6 with 10:45 left in the second quarter.
On the following drive, the Tartan defense was able to put the Oaks in a third and long situation on their own 38-yard line. Lined up in the shotgun, Burdine dropped back and launched a bomb which was intercepted by Akia Brown of the Tartans.
With 9:02 left in the half, the Tartans had a chance to take the lead in the game.
The drive didn’t start well for East, as a Brown run was negated after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. On the next play, the Tartans were hit with another penalty, and faced a long third down. Needing 31 yards for the first down, Lowe dropped back and completed a pass to DeShaun Martin, who then attempted to lateral the football to a fellow teammate, however the ball went wide, and fell to the turf, rolling the wrong way for the Tartans. East would recover, but lost seven yards on the play, and were forced to punt.
Oak Hill would not waste an opportunity to score after forcing East to punt. After a 16 play drive, the Oaks scored on a 21-yard pass from Burdine to Zach Fisher. Tyler Trisch would run in the 2-pt conversion, giving the Oaks a 14-6 lead over the Tartans with only 0:41 remaining in the half.
East took to the field to attempt to score before the end of the half. Akia Brown ran for six yards, and then followed that up with another run for four yards. Then Lowe would connect with DeShaun Martin for a 14-yard gain. East would then call a timeout, stopping the clock with only 0:06 left in the half.
On the Oak Hill 41-yard line, Lowe dropped back and fired the ball into the end zone, but was intercepted by Oak Hill, ending the drive, and finishing the half.
Beginning the third quarter, Oak Hill went on a time killing 12 play scoring drive, which ended after Oak Hill’s Matt Carpenter ran the ball into the end zone on a two yard rush. After Burdine found Cody Swann in the end zone for a successful 2-point conversion, the Oaks led the Tartans 22-6 with 5:16 left in the third.
East refused to give up though, as on the very next drive, the Tartans found the end zone for the second time in the game after Akia Brown broke out a 25-yard scoring run. East’s Lowe would complete the 2-point conversion with a pass to Dylan Wilson, bringing the game to within eight points, with the Oaks leading 22-14, and 3:32 remaining in the third quarter.
Oak Hill continued to run down valuable clock time taking the next drive into the fourth quarter.
The Oaks would pound in another score, thanks to a one yard rush by Trisch. The Tartans were able to stop the 2-point conversion, but continued to trail the Oaks 28-14 with only 10:21 remaining in the game.
The Tartans would be forced to punt on their next drive, after a Brown run, then a Brown pass to Lowe, and later a Lowe incomplete pass failed to get a first down for East.
Oak Hill would score once again after a 9-yard Matt Carpenter run. Willie Harris then ran in the 2-point conversion for the Oaks, as they increased their lead over the Tartans, 36-14 with 3:30 left in the game.
The final Tartan drive would end with another turnover. Beginning with an illegal substitution penalty, and the two incomplete passes, the Tartans managed to get a first down after the Oaks were penalized for unnecessary roughness.
Lowe would miss his next target, and the Tartans found themselves looking at a second and long situation. On the next play, Lowe would run the ball, and then fumble after being hit. Matt Carpenter would recover the ball for the Oaks, giving them possession of the ball.
The Oaks ran out the remainder of the clock, and defeated the Tartans 36-14.
Gifford said his team wouldn’t dwell on the loss too long, as they will start preparing for Symmes Valley for a Week 9 matchup. “This one hurt, but we’ll go down in the bottoms, what we call our practice fields and get ready for Symmes Valley,” said Gifford. “We’ll be just as excited to play them as we would have if we won this game or lost this game.”
Gifford said his team is a, “good, focused team, so they won’t really have to do anything to change emotionally or anything we’ll just watch film, learn from it, and practice.”
East will travel to Symmes Valley to face the Vikings on Friday October, 23rd. The game is scheduled for a 7 PM kickoff.
Oak Hill will play the Eastern Eagles on Saturday, October 24th, in Beaver, Ohio. That game also has a scheduled 7 PM kickoff.
OH – L. Burdine 4-yd pass to C. Swann (2-pt conversion failed) (4:34)
East – D. Lowe 1-yd run (Flannery PAT failed) (10:45)
OH – L. Burdine 21-yd pass to Z. Fisher (2-pt conversion good, T. Trish run) (0:41)
OH- M. Carpenter 2-yd run (2-pt conversion good, L. Burdine pass to C. Swann) (5:16)
East – A. Brown 25-yd run (2-pt conversion good, D. Lowe pass to D. Wilson) (3:32)
OH – T. Trisch 1-yd run (2-pt conversion no good) (10:21)
OH – M. Carpenter 9-yd run (2-pt conversion good, W. Harris run) (3:30)