Oakville defeats Fox 38-16 in district play

By ROBERT CHALUPNY

Oakville Senior High School football fans have something to cheer about as the Tigers won their first district matchup of the season against Fox Friday night 38-16, putting them on a path to get into the playoffs.

Tigers head coach Arlee Conners was excited to see his team regain its composure after coming off a tough loss to De Smet the weekend before.

“I thought they definitely came out ready to play today, unlike they did last week. Again, last week, I had to watch on the sidelines and really didn’t have any control over anything last week. So I thought they came out to play and Javon Henderson, he was a man possessed today,” Conners told the Call, noting that the receiver scored four touchdowns in the contest.

Oakville started the scoring with Henderson as he brought back an interception for an 80-yard touchdown at 6:18 in the first quarter.

Then Fox answered with a 42-yard field goal by Nick Bartallota with 3:33 remaining in the first quarter, but Oakville’s Jaron Henderson struck with a 70-yard reception from Andy Oliver exactly 1 minute later.

Twelve seconds into the second quarter, Javon Henderson scored again with a 54-yard reception from Oliver.

The third quarter yielded a Fox touchdown with Cameron Blanton bringing one in on a 19-yard run at the 8:51 mark, but Oakville posted another seven points with Javon Henderson bringing in another from Oliver on a 33-yard pass.

In the fourth quarter, the Tigers added 10 more points as Javon Henderson had an 80-yard run for a touchdown less than a minute into the quarter.

Andrew Bick kicked a 27-yard field goal with 5:11 left in the game.

The Warriors added one more to close the game as time ran out.

Oliver threw for three touchdowns and 243 yards on six completions in 11 attempts on the night. The Tigers also rushed for 235 yards in 33 attempts for an average of 7.1 yards per carry.

The win was huge for the Tigers as they will need to win as many as possible to move out of district play and into sectional play.

Conners was pleased with the win, but remains cautious about the final two match-ups of the season.

“It’s always good to get the first one under your belt,” he said of winning the first district game. “I think last year when we played these guys, we had a hard struggle and we ended up losing to Northwest the second week. So we’ve still got some work to do.”

Oakville (4-4) is in a district with Northwest (0-8), Fox (0-7) and Eureka (6-2). The two teams with the best record in three district games will advance, the season will end for the others.

Conners is optimistic about being one of the two teams that advances but he isn’t cashing in his chips yet.

“I feel real good about it. I know Northwest and Eureka are going to be tough teams to play against, but I feel like if we do what we are capable of doing and play to our ability, I feel real good about our chances,” he said.