Oakville falls to Lafayette 21-7

Tigers to take on Fox Friday night

Oakville quarterback Andy Oliver, 15, completes a pass to Kyle Hearn in Friday nights game against the Lafayette Lancers.
Megan LeFaivre-Zimmerman photo

Photo by Megan LeFaivre

Oakville quarterback Andy Oliver, 15, completes a pass to Kyle Hearn in Friday night’s game against the Lafayette Lancers. Megan LeFaivre-Zimmerman photo

By Robert Chalupny

The Oakville Senior High School varsity football team has a record of 2-3 at the halfway point of the season after Friday’s 21-7 loss to the 4-1 Lafayette Lancers.

The loss was the second in a row as the the Tigers fell to division rival Eureka (4-1) the previous week, but head coach Arlee Conners believes his squad can get things moving again in the right direction. He cited some injuries and a quality opponent as the two major factors in the loss to Lafayette.

“Defense, they were on the field too long,” Conners told the Call. “In previous games, offense had been moving the ball pretty well and we didn’t get a lot of first downs.

“Defense, they did a real good job most of the game, but after so long they kept bending, kept bending and eventually there’s only so much you can bend before you break. To me, I think they got kind of wore down because they were on the field too long,” he said. “We were missing a couple of offensive lineman, which really didn’t help and that kept our yardage situation in a bad spot for us.”

Conners praised his players’ work ethic.

“The biggest thing is were were missing some guys on the offensive line. We had some guys that were trying, but they just weren’t getting it done … I can’t complain about those guys. I mean they come to practice every day, so they know what they are doing. They just didn’t get it done.”

The injuries plaguing the offensive line, which has been a key component to the Tigers’ offensive success so far this season due to veteran leadership, is nothing to worry about, according to Conners.

“We’ll get fixed next week one way or the other,” he said. “We’ll either get those guys back or we’ll find one of those guys and they’ll get the job done for us.”

The Tigers have seen some adversity and some tough opponents in the first half and the schedule doesn’t get any easier on the back five. So fans will have to hope that they learned enough from the experience of the front five to win more games and keep winning.

Conners said the first half of the season has been very productive in shaping the team.

“The first half I think we have an identity. We know what we can do well and football is one of those games where your injuries really hurt you,” he said. “And that’s what we are going through right now, but I think we can, going forward, continue to push our guys with the effort and the focus. It’s getting a lot better … We feel good about what we can do, going the rest of the way.”

Looking ahead, Oakville will face Fox Friday night on the road, then Mehlville and Northwest the following weeks. All of the teams all have one thing in common — they are all 2-3 and all want to prove themselves.

Oakville will need to use those contests as stepping stones to get ready for the district opener against SLUH.

“We definitely need to bounce back after two tough losses. You know, the guys area little down with their emotions and things like that,” Conners said. “So I think they need to have some success so that they can get that confidence again and get ready for a good push toward playoffs.”