Oakville football team opens season with 31-6 thumping of North County


For the Call

One game doesn’t make a season, but the Oakville Senior High School football team opened the 2005 campaign with a thunderous bang Friday night.

The host Tigers routed North County 31-6 in the team’s season opener, which was a complete about-face from the 24-10 loss in last year’s opener to the Raiders.

Oakville head coach Arlee Conners was happy with his team’s performance, but be-lieved some fine-tuning lies ahead.

“It’s definitely exciting,” Conners told the Call about the victory. “We evaluated the tape we got on them and we saw some things that we would be able to do. I thought we did a pretty good job, but we still have some room for improvement.”

The Tigers (1-0) jumped on North Coun-ty from the start as junior running back James Jones scored on a one-yard touchdown run with 9:53 left in the first quarter.

“James is a player we expect a lot of good things from,” Conners said. “He’s a tough kid that should make a lot of noise in the Suburban West Conference.”

North County immediately responded with an 80-yard kickoff return by Nick Neeley with 9:41 left in the first quarter to bring the score to 7-6.

Oakville’s Brandon Dillard brought the score to 13-6 after a one-yard touchdown run with 3:12 left in the first half. The senior running back scored again with 1:57 left in the first half as he hammered away a 75-yard punt return.

The Tigers scored a two-point conversion after Dillard’s touchdown run as senior quarterback Sam Kriegel connected with Mike Leigh.

Dillard had 127 total yards offense for the Tigers.

“Brandon’s another one of those guys we expect a lot out of this season,” Conners said. “I think he realizes that this is his last go around at Oakville and he understands what we expect of him.”

Jones scored again for the Tigers on a 59-yard run with 10:19 left in the third quarter to bring the score to 28-6 after a Scott Reed extra point.

Reed also would connect on a 21-yard field goal with 7:24 left in the fourth quarter to seal the Tigers’ decisive win over North County.

“Scott Reed is an interesting situation,” Conners said. “He’s a sophomore that shows a lot of promise and we went to him to give him the opportunity. I think he did really good for us.”

The Tigers are back in action this Friday night as they play host to Lindbergh in an important Suburban West Conference meeting between the two schools.

Oakville walked away with a 21-20 victory last year over the Flyers, so it’s not a stretch to believe that the Flyers will have revenge on their minds.

“I think that this is definitely a special situation,” Conners said. “Lindbergh is a south county rival and a Suburban West Conference game. It’s going to be all about who wants it the most. This game is going to tell a lot about where we’re going as a team.”

Oakville’s meeting with the Flyers is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.