Football Tigers prevail over Hazelwood West in 32-20 victory

By STEPHEN GLOVER

A challenge was issued to the Oakville Senior High School football team and the Tigers responded.

Oakville head coach Arlee Conners was looking to bounce back from an 0-2 start in which Oakville gave up a total of 80 points. The Tigers responded with a 32-20 win over Hazelwood West Friday night at home.

“We challenged everyone to hold things up on their end and do things the team way,” Conners told the Call. “We were able to see when we execute, just how successful we can be.”

The Tigers (1-2) got things started late in the first quarter when sophomore quarterback Joe Plassmeyer nailed a 20-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Scott Reed with 1:39 left in the quarter.

“Joe’s steadily progressing,” Conners said. “He’s another kid that I’m really happy to have because he’s just a sophomore. To be honest, I don’t think we’ve seen the best out of him just yet.”

The touchdown catch for Reed was his second of the 2007 season.

“Scott’s another steady guy for us,” Conners said. “When teams want to load up on Justin (Schoemehl), Scott is a very capable receiver.”

Oakville’s defense came up big late in the first quarter when sophomore inside linebacker Zach Melber scored on a 20-yard interception with 54 seconds left in the quarter.

“Zach’s been playing very well for us,” Conners said. “We moved him from outside linebacker this week to inside linebacker and he did really well. He’s going to be a very good football player.”

After a five-yard touchdown run by Hazelwood West’s Dillon Holliam midway through the second quarter, the Tigers continued their offensive assault on the Wildcats. Plassmeyer connected with senior wide receiver Schoemehl on a 21-yard touchdown pass with 4:50 left in the quarter.

“Justin continues to do the good things that we think he can do for us,” Conners said of Schoemehl. “We’re pretty confident that whoever he’s up against, he’ll catch the ball so he’s pretty much our guy right now.”

The Tigers scored again with 1:11 remaining in the first half when Plassmeyer connected with Schoemehl again for a 70-yard touchdown pass.

Oakville extended its lead to 32-6 late in the third quarter as Plassmeyer nailed Schoemehl again on a 35-yard touchdown pass with 3:40 left in the quarter.

But Hazelwood West refused to quit as the Wildcats’ Ryan Ward scored on a five-yard touchdown run with 5:58 left in the fourth quarter.

Hazelwood West’s Nahal Cheeks also scored on a 35-yard touchdown run with 49 seconds left in the game.

“I think this was good for our confidence,” Conners said. “We look for steady progression in each game because if we go out and do that, we give ourselves a chance to win.”

The Tigers are back in action at 7 p.m. Friday when they play host to Lindbergh in an important Suburban West Conference game for both schools.

Lindbergh is coming off a 10-6 loss at Kirkwood, but the Flyers’ defense has posted two shutouts this season and is giving up just 3.33 points a game.

“With it being a conference game and it being at home, it’s a big game for us,” Conners said. “They’ll be well-coached and it’s going to come down to whoever plays best will win.”