Redskins score final 21 to beat Oak Glen
WINTERSVILLE – On the first play of the third quarter Indian Creek’s Tyler Lathem broke a 14-all tie with Oak Glen with a 9-yard touchdown run.
The extra point was blocked, but the Redskins led 20-14 and rolled through the rest of the fourth quarter en route to a 35-14 victory over the Golden Bears Friday at Kettlewell Memorial Stadium.
“I think we’re good, and I think they know we’re good, but you can’t just wait until the end to show it,” said Indian Creek head coach Andrew Connor. “I think we’ve had three unbelievable fourth quarters against Weirton, Liverpool, and against Oak Glen. The trouble is putting ourselves in jeopardy. You only get so many of these nine lives, and we need to start picking it up sooner.
“To be able to do what we’ve done in two straight fourth quarters, where we’ve come out and taken a game, put it behind our offensive line and run the ball, and our defense has played well is great. We need to be able to take the way we’ve played in the final quarter and multiply it by four quarters.”
Added Oak Glen head coach Ian Whittington, “I’m very proud of our team. They gave a great, valiant effort tonight. We played one of the toughest teams in the Ohio Valley, and we gave a great effort.
“We were there until a few minutes to go in the fourth quarter, and then it started to fall down there.”
After Oak Glen’s next possession ended in a three-and-out, Indian Creek started at its 39-yard line. The Redskins traveled the 61 yards in eight plays and were helped by an offsides penalty. The big play on the drive came when quarterback Jonathan Woodbury picked up a fumbled snap and sprinted up the middle for a 21-yard gain. Roar scored on a fourth and goal from 5 yards out and Lathem ran in the conversion for the 28-14 lead.
A Golden Bears’ turnover on downs set up the final score. The Redskins started at the Oak Glen 19 and a pair of Roar runs took the ball to the one. Zach Connor punched it in from there and Utt’s point after was good for the 35-14 score.
After the first half it didn’t look as though the Redskins needed a big fourth quarter to roll to the win. Indian Creek’s defense held Oak Glen to 5 yards of offense and no first downs through the opening 24 minutes.
On the Creek side of the ball Blake Roar found the end zone on runs of 6 and 22 yards in the second quarter, and Lee Utt was true on a pair of extra points to give the Redskins a 14-0 halftime lead.
Oak Glen came out swinging in the third quarter, forcing the Redskins to punt, and taking over at its 23-yard line. The Golden Bears picked up their initial first down of the game on the drive on a Redskins offsides penalty.
Micah Swiger broke a 34-yard run on an option, and quarterback Zac Porter hit Chris Burnham for a 35-yard completion to move the ball to the Redskins 5-yard line. On third and goal, Porter hit Colton Speece for a 5-yard score and Speece hit the extra point to cut the lead to 14-7.
“We saw what they were giving us in certain formations, how they were attacking certain places, and keying in on a few guys,” said Whittington. “We knew if we could run a fake and then go down field a little bit we thought we could get them. A couple times it worked.”
Another Creek punt gave Oak Glen the ball at its own 22-yard line. This time it took one play to score as Swiger jaunted 78 yards to paydirt. Speece knocked home the point after and the score was tied at 14-all.
“Micah Swiger made a great cut on their safety, and he takes it all the way,” said Whittington. “It was an athlete making a good play.”
On the ensuing kickoff, Corey Goodrich broke a big kickoff return to set the Redskins up at the Bears’ 33-yard line. That drive ended with the Lathem go ahead score.
Roar was a force offensively with 32 carries for 195 yards and three scores. He also had one catch for 15 yards to put his day at 210 yards of offense. All totaled on the ground the Redskins ran the ball 52 times for 329 yards and five touchdowns.
“I thought early in the game he just ran on pure adrenaline and emotion,” said Connor said of Roar. “He made a lot of people miss, and ran a lot of guys over. Then I thought, as the game went on, that our offensive line started to make those plays a little easier on him because the holes were getting a little bigger. Again we put the game in his hands.
“In the fourth quarter we said nothing fancy. We weren’t going to throw the ball. We weren’t going to entertain the idea of throwing it. We were either going to win the game or lose the game behind that running game, and I thought they did a really good job of being able to run the football.”
The Golden Bears managed 139 yards of offense on the day. They gained 155 in the third quarter to go with 5 in the first half and minus 21 in the fourth quarter. Swiger had 2 carries for 112 yards while the rest of the team ran the ball 25 times for minus 36 yards.
“The biggest thing is we’re getting helmets to the ball,” said Connor. “That’s what’s important. We always say ‘everyone is a good tackler when there’s four of you there’. On the big plays we didn’t have four guys there. When people have been pursuing well, and we’ve played good gap defense, we’ve been playing really well.
“Again the big plays hurt us in all games, and that’s something we have to be careful of.”
Both teams are in action next Friday with the Redskins hosting Buckeye Local with Oak Glen welcoming John Marshall.