Football Tigers fall 57-27 to SLUH in sectional

By ROBERT CHALUPNY

The Oakville Senior High School football Tigers traveled to St. Louis University High School Friday night looking to upset the Junior Billikens, but fell 57-27 in their Class 6 sectional.

The high-scoring affair pitted the 5-6 Ti-gers against the 8-3 Junior Billikens and boasted Oakville touchdowns by Moe La-grand, Zeth Fritz, Jaron Henderson and Andy Oliver. But the Tigers’ defense couldn’t stop SLUH’s fast and explosive offense as it rolled over Oakville with eight touchdowns in the contest.

After the loss of star receiver Jaron Hen-derson to an ankle injury the previous week, Tigers head coach Arlee Conners told the Call he knew it was going to be an uphill battle.

“It was a game we knew we were going to be undermanned. We knew we were go-ing to be shorthanded in certain areas,” he said. “We thought we could do some things offensively moving the ball. We knew it was going to be tough running the ball and passing, and unfortunately we didn’t do anything about it.

“I thought we drove the ball pretty good. We made the clock run, but we didn’t get them to make the clock run. We only got them to punt one time, so we just didn’t do enough.”

But Conners said he was proud of his team, particularly his seniors, and of the im-provement he saw all year from his players.

“The seniors did a great job for us,” he said. “We know, definitely, those guys put in a lot of work for us in the four years they’ve been here. There’s not a whole lot of them, but they were some good leaders for us.

“We are definitely going to miss those guys, but I think they definitely set a foundation for the younger guys coming through, some things that we can do better and things that we can continue to build on. And I think those young guys are looking forward to it next year.”

Those younger players will include quarterback Oliver, a sophomore. Oliver was put in the role early in the season to fill a gap left by Javon Henderson, who started the season at quarterback but was injured in the second game of the season and re-turned from his injury as a receiver.

In 10 games this season, Oliver threw for 1,612 yards with 97 completions in 170 at-tempts, giving him 15 touchdowns and sev-en interceptions.

“He’s a guy that’s steady, growing up in front of our eyes. You know, from day one when he stepped in, we knew he had the ability and his game just continued to get better,” Conners said about Oliver.

“That’s what we hope all these guys did and for the most part they all did,” the coach continued. “They got better and better as the game went along and we’ve got a lot of young guys out there. We still have some sophomores out there and a lot of juniors out there and those guys are going to be back next year. So as bad as it is to end on a note like this today, we still feel good about the group we’ve got coming back and we’ll get it going again.”