Friday night’s 45-21 loss at Vianney was head coach Arlee Conners’ worst defeat in his three years of coaching the Oakville Senior High School football team.
The last time an opponent put more than 40 points on the board against the Tigers was Oct. 29, 2004, during a 56-35 loss at home to Mehlville under former head coach Steve Fanara.
“We were scrambling from the very beginning,” Conners said. “We lost our two corners earlier in the week, so we made Vianney’s quarterback look like Payton Manning out there. But we also made our share of mistakes.”
Vianney tamed the Tigers from the start as the Golden Griffins scored first on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Dalton Hewitt to James Gladstone with 9:50 to play in the first quarter. The Golden Griffins extended their lead to 14-0 in the first quarter on a 14-yard touchdown run by Mike Walsh with 4:56 left.
Walsh tagged the Tigers again during the second quarter when he scored on a one-yard touchdown run with 11:50 to go in the first half. Oakville finally got on the scoreboard in the second quarter when quarterback Phil Schneider connected with Justin Schoemehl on a 61-yard touchdown pass with 10:51 to play.
“We felt that they (Vianney) didn’t match up well with Justin because he was about a foot taller than their defensive backs,” Conners said. “Unfortunately, we just couldn’t get the ball to him enough.”
Vianney continued to haunt the Tigers as Gladstone and Hewitt connected on a 29-yard touchdown pass with 4:18 to go in the first half. Oakville’s woes only got worse as Vianney’s DeMarco Moorehead intercepted a Schneider pass for a 52-yard interception to give the Golden Griffins a commanding 36-7 lead. Vianney then recorded a safety with 31 seconds to play in the first half, bringing the score to 39-7.
Gladstone and Hewitt connected for their third touchdown when Gladstone hauled in a 71-yard touchdown pass with 11:06 to play in the third quarter.
But Oakville’s Schneider trimmed Vianney’s lead to 45-14 on a nine-yard touchdown run with 6:41 to play in the fourth quarter.
“Phil was pressed into the starting lineup and we like a lot of things that Phil can do,” Conners said. “We’re very happy with him and think he handled himself pretty well out there.”
Oakville’s third and final score of the game came with 3:30 to play in the game as Paul Taylor hammered in a five-yard touchdown run to bring the score to 45-21.
“Paul also had to play corner,” Conners said. “He has a lot of talent and has the potential to make some big plays.”
The Tigers’ schedule does not get any easier as they travel to Parkway Central for a non-conference meeting with the Colts at 7 p.m. Friday.