Loss to Fox ends frustrating year for Tigers

By STEPHEN GLOVER

When the Oakville Senior High School football team dropped a 34-28 double-overtime decision to Fox Friday night, it marked the end of a frustrating season for the Tigers.

“It was a tough loss,” Oakville head coach Arlee Conners told the Call. “You’ve got to give Fox a lot of credit because they played good and played tough enough to win.”

The Tigers (4-6, 3-3 Suburban West) mustered just five yards rushing against the Warriors (8-2, 6-1 Mississippi Area Conference) — a stark contrast to Fox torching the Oakville defense for 297 yards rushing.

“We could not run the ball and couldn’t stop the run,” Conners said. “When you do that, you then have to depend on throwing the ball and causing turnovers and that’s a risky situation.”

Oakville jumped out to a 7-0 lead when quarterback Joe Plassmeyer nailed wide receiver Justin Schoemehl on a six-yard touchdown pass with 9:01 left in the first quarter.

Schoemehl recorded seven receptions for 188 yards and four touchdowns.

“Fox tried to cover Justin with one player and we took advantage of that,” Conners said. “He was the one constant that we had going for us all year long.”

Running back Micah Marino got the Warriors onto the scoreboard with a 23-yard run with 11:32 left in the second quarter.

Marino carried the ball 32 times for a staggering 244 yards and three touchdowns.

But Oakville extended its lead to 13-6 when Plassmeyer connected with Schoemehl on a 68-yard pass with 4:15 left in the first half. Plassmeyer completed 11 of 26 passes for 238 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.

“I thought that he gained a lot of experience this year,” Conners said. “We look for him to continue to improve as a player next season.”

Fox trimmed the Tigers’ lead to 13-12 on a 25-yard pass from quarterback Alex Pisoni to wide receiver Cody Long with 4:20 remaining in the third quarter.

The Warriors took a 14-13 lead midway through the fourth quarter when Oakville fullback Zack Melber dropped a pitched ball, which eventually caused a safety.

“Chris Anthony was injured previous to that series, so we ended up using some of the fullbacks in that situation,” Conners said. “We tossed the ball to the fullback and he lost the ball. It was one of those deals that was our season in a nutshell.”

Fox extended its lead to 21-13 when Marino hammered in a five-yard run with 5:12 left in the fourth quarter.

But with 3:15 left in the game, the Tigers got their third touchdown on a 15-yard pass from Plassmeyer to Schoemehl to bring the score to 21-19. The duo hooked up again for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 21-21.

In the first overtime session, Marino gave Fox a 27-21 lead with kicker Kyle Nunnelly increasing the lead to 28-21 with an extra-point field goal. Oakville evened the game at 28-28 on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Plassmeyer to Schoemehl and an extra point by kicker Jeff Rongey.

But the Warriors ended the game in the second overtime session on a three-yard touchdown run by Pisoni, which gave Fox one of its biggest wins of the season.