The Oakridge Middle School Golden Eagles eighth-grade football team defeated their cross-town rivals, Clover, in dramatic fashion Oct. 17 with a final score of 16 to 14. OMS finished the regular season as the Eastern Division Champions with a 5-0 record in the division (5-2 overall).
The first half was dominated by Clover. Oakridge couldnt move the ball offensively, and defensively they couldnt stop the Blue Eagles. Clover seemed to move up and down the field with ease. On the opening possession, it took Clover only one minute to get the ball into the end zone. Then, late in the second quarter, the Blue Eagle offense had the Oakridge defense with their backs against the wall. It was fourth down, and Clover was inside the one yard-line. The Oakridge defense stiffened up, got some penetration, and stuffed the Blue Eagles on fourth down, forcing a turnover on downs.
At halftime, the score was Clover 8, Oakridge 0.
The Golden Eagles were able to make adjustments on both offense and defense. Oakridge stopped Clover on their first possession in the second half, taking over on downs. The Golden Eagles marched down the field, and finally got on the board just seconds into the fourth quarter when Tanner Tolson ran the ball into end zone for a 7-yard score. Wally Wilmore was able punch it in on the 2-point conversion, tying the game up at 8 points apiece.
Clover took the ball on the ensuing possession and drove with confidence, scoring the go-ahead touchdown with just under 4 minutes remaining in the game. On the 2-point conversion, Clovers quarterback rolled to his right looking for a receiver to throw to, but Luke Trowbridge sacked him before he could release the ball. Oakridge was now trailing 14 to 8.
The Oakridge offense, having moved the ball well on their previous possession, came back onto the field with confidence. Not one minute later Wilmore took the snap and rushed down the sideline to tie the game on a 56-yard touchdown run. On the 2-point conversion Wilmore gave the ball to Tolson, who walked into the end zone, giving Oakridge the lead 16 to 14 with just under three minutes left in the game.
On the ensuing possession, Clover ran the ball on the first two plays for about 12 yards. Then on third down, they attempted a deep pass, but Lakerri Adams had him covered tight, and Wilmore jumped up in front of the receiver and intercepted the ball to secure the Oakridge victory.
Leading the team defensively were Hayden Milley (9 tackles), Wally Wilmore and JD Davidson (8 tackles each), Tanner Tolson (5 tackles), and Clint Jenkins, AJ Pennington and Luke Trowbridge (4 tackles apiece).
Submitted by David B. Campbell