Despite a 21-12 lead at halftime, the Oakville Senior High School football team gave up 15 points in the third quarter to allow Marquette a 27-21 come-from-behind victory Friday night.
Words could barely describe Oakville head coach Arlee Conners’ frustration in the loss at Marquette.
“It’s really hard to say,” Conners said. “We didn’t capitalize on the opportunities we had. We had bad execution, bad tackling and bad passes.”
The Tigers (0-4, 0-3 Suburban West) were led by Steve Martin’s 153 yards rushing on 31 carries for two touchdowns.
Martin gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead with 11:47 left in the first quarter when he scored on a six-yard run. Ben Hoffmann kicked the point-after touchdown to give Oakville a 7-0 lead.
“Steve battled all night long,” Conners said. “He made some tough runs and, overall, I thought he had a good, solid game.”
Marquette trimmed Oakville’s lead to 7-6 when Andy Krokstrom caught a 12-yard pass from Kevin Adams with 57 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Mustangs took a 12-7 lead when Dan Smith caught a 10-yard pass from Matt Warrick with 6:15 remaining in the quarter.
But Oakville immediately responded with an impressive 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Paul Taylor with 6:03 left in the first half.
Taylor also led the Tigers with six tackles on defense.
“Paul is a guy we expect a lot out of,” Conners said. “He’s been battling cramping issues, but he’s coming into his own.”
The Tigers struck again with 2:09 left in the first half as Martin grinded in a two-yard run.
But the second half proved to be the Mustangs’ moment to shine when Warrick intercepted a pass by Oakville quarterback Joe Plassmeyer for a 30-yard return for a touchdown to trim Oakville’s lead to 21-19 with 8 minutes left in the third quarter.
“It’s very frustrating because we had the opportunity to stop them at third and long and we just didn’t execute for whatever reason,” Conners said. “That’s the most frustrating thing in that we do things to beat ourselves.”
Warrick gave the Mustangs the lead and the eventual win with a nine-yard run with 32 seconds left in the third quarter. He finished the evening with 14 carries for 45 yards and one touchdown.
The Tigers return to action at 7 p.m. Friday when they play host to Parkway South (1-3, 1-1 Suburban West). The Patriots are coming off a 23-3 loss to Mehlville despite rushing for 320 yards against the Panthers.
Kevon McGrew led the Patriots with 31 carries for 237 yards.
“They’re a better team than their record shows,” Conners said. “They beat a Kirkwood team that’s pretty good and we’re still trying to figure out just who we are right now.”