Oakville falls 39-24 to Lafayette; will face Fox Friday night in Class 6 District 1 action

By MARK McNAMARA

The Oakville Tigers football team let Lafayette High School score the final 20 points of the game to lose 39-24 Friday night at Oakville High School.

“We’re still at the point where we’re unsure of ourselves. Instead of finding a way to win, we find a way to lose,” Oakville head coach Arlee Conners said.

As the loss drops Oakville’s record to 1-6, a new season starts Friday for the Tigers when Fox High School visits for a Class 6 District 1 game.

Oakville, Fox (0-7) and Northwest High School (0-7) seem to be tussling for the second playoff berth out of District 1 behind the 6-1 Eureka Wildcats.

“We’ve done it before. In 2008, we were 0-7 going into districts,” Conners said of his Tigers. “Some of these guys were part of that and then the same group came back last year and went to the state semifinals.”

The Tigers led 24-19 and were nearly one quarter away from their second win until Lafayette (4-3) capitalized with a touchdown return on an Oakville botched punt late in the third quarter.

“We just hope these guys rally themselves and believe in what they’re doing because they’re really doing some good things, but putting themselves in bad positions to win games,” Conners said.

Earlier in the game, the Tigers turned the ball over at their own five-yard line on an attempted punt.

“We pretty much gave up three big plays off our punt team, which is pretty disappointing,” Conners said.

Oakville intercepted Lafayette once, but could recover only one of three fumbles by the Lancers. Lafayette intercepted Oakville twice Friday night.

“They made plays and we didn’t,” Conners said. “I thought we moved the ball pretty decent. It was a good enough effort to win, but too many mistakes.”

Oakville’s win over Lafayette in 2006 is its only win over the Lancers in their last six games. Oakville senior running back Darrion Moore’s one-yard touchdown run was the game’s only score of the first quarter.

Lafayette took a 13-7 lead after two touchdown passes from quarterback Dominic Bisesi and Oakville junior quarterback Javon Henderson answered for the Tigers with a 21-yard scoring run.

Bisesi threw his third touchdown pass with just less than three minutes left in the first half, but Moore gave Oakville a 21-19 halftime lead with an eight-yard touchdown run.

Senior kicker Andrew Messmer kicked a 30-yard field goal with 4:26 left in the third for Oakville’s final score.

Lafayette bumped its 25-24 lead to 39-24 with two fourth quarter touchdowns.

Moore rushed for 93 yards on 21 carries to lead the Tigers, who altered their depth chart before their seventh game.

“We changed a lot this week. We changed three of our offensive lineman and our fullback and linebacker (senior James Lupo) didn’t play. We missed him on both sides,” Conners said.

The recent playoff history of Oakville and Fox runs deep. Last season, the Tigers beat Fox in district play and the state quarterfinals. In 2008, the Tigers beat Fox in district play, but lost to Fox in the quarterfinals.