Football Tigers prevail over Northwest

By STEPHEN GLOVER

After enduring a seven-game losing streak to open the season, the Oakville Senior High School football team got a glimmer of hope with a 30-23 win at Northwest Friday night.

“Being a district game, it was very important to give our best effort,” Oakville head coach Arlee Conners said. “The most important thing was that we came out of there with a win.”

The win opens the opportunity for the Tigers (1-7, 1-6 Suburban West) to possibly advance to the Missouri Class 6 playoffs should they either win or place second in the District 1 round-robin playoff.

Yet the Tigers struggled early as North-west took a 3-0 lead with 4:05 left in the first quarter when Zack Knickman nailed a 19-yard field goal. The Lions extended their lead to 10-0 when quarterback Jake Waterkotte hit Nolan Korn for a touchdown pass with 3:19 left in the first quarter.

But Oakville fought back midway through the second quarter when quarterback Joe Plassmeyer hit Tony Pucci for a 10-yard touchdown pass. The point-after touchdown, or PAT, by Ben Hoffmann trimmed Northwest’s lead to 10-7. Pucci racked up seven catches for 67 yards and one touchdown.

“Tony’s one of the captains of the team and they look to him for a lot of leadership and he’s been stepping up his play,” Conners said. “We’re going to keep going to him because he’s showing he can be a go-to receiver.”

Plassmeyer completed 16 of 29 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns and one interception.

“Joe did a lot of good things out there on Friday night,” Conners said. “He’s seeing the field a lot better and he also ran the option well.”

Northwest immediately regained the lead when Justin Havrilla reeled off a 90-yard kickoff return to give Northwest a 17-6 advantage.

Oakville trimmed Northwest’s lead to 17-13 when Plassmeyer hit Lavelle Boyd for a 46-yard pass with 5:14 left in the second quarter. Hoffmann nailed the PAT to bring the score to 17-14. Boyd caught two passes for 51 yards receiving and one touchdown.

“Lavelle’s a very explosive guy that’s hard to cover,” Conners said. “A lot of teams underestimate his speed and he did a pretty good job that night on offense and kickoff returns.”

The Tigers continued their assault on the Lions, but this time it was their ground attack that did the damage as running back Darrion Moore burned the Northwest defense on a 31-yard touchdown run to give Oakville a 20-17 lead.

Moore carried the ball 18 times for 144 yards and one touchdown.

“Darrion continues to run well,” Conners said. “He’s a guy with very good vision and speed and is continuing to learn the game at the varsity level.”

The Tigers tore into the Lions for another three points when Hoffman nailed a 19-yard field goal with no time left to play in the second quarter. The field goal was his second of the season.

Oakville’s fourth and final touchdown of the game came with 1:07 left in the third quarter when Hoffmann faked a field goal and hit Zach Melber for a nine-yard pass to give the Tigers a 30-17 lead.

Northwest trimmed the Tigers’ lead to 30-23 when Waterkotte hit Vinney Lawber on a 20-yard touchdown pass just before time ran out in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers return to action at 7 p.m. Friday when they travel to Seckman (0-8, 0-6 Mississippi Area Red) for a Class 6, District 1 showdown with the Jaguars.

Seckman dropped a 48-6 decision at home Friday to Fox as the Warriors racked up 396 yards rushing.

“Seckman spreads you out with a spread offense, but I think that our guys on defense will play pretty solid,” Conners said. “We’re feeling pretty good these days about how we play and what we’re able to do. It should be a tough ball game.”