Oakville football Tigers hold Lafayette scoreless in second half, but fall 21-18

By STEPHEN GLOVER

In what easily could be considered as its best effort of the season, the Oakville Senior High School football team kept Lafayette scoreless during the second half Friday night in a 21-18 loss to the Lancers.

“I thought we played a lot more consistent than we’ve done in other games,” Oakville head coach Arlee Conners said. “I thought we played solid and we didn’t turn the ball over that much. We ended up having 23 first downs in that game and we fought them to the end.”

Oakville (0-7, 0-6 Suburban West) fell behind 7-0 when Kyle Green scored on a three-yard touchdown run with 6:45 left in the first quarter. The Tigers trimmed the Lancers’ lead to 7-3 when Ben Hoffmann nailed a 28-yard field goal with 20 seconds left in the first quarter. Hoffmann’s field goal was his first of the season.

“Ben’s playing at both kicker and receiver for us this season,” Conners said. “He also ended up having six catches for 83 yards, so he’s been pretty solid for us.”

Lafayette extended its lead to 14-3 when J.T. Miller hit Ian Moore for a 73-yard touchdown pass with 11:50 left in the second quarter. Miller completed eight of 12 passes for 151 yards and one touchdown.

The Lancers continued to hammer the Tigers early in the second quarter when Tyrone Stainback burned the Oakville defense for a 44-yard touchdown run. But Oakville got it together in the second half when quarterback Joe Plassmeyer hit Tony Pucci for a 15-yard touchdown pass with 7:32 left in the third quarter. Hoffmann hit the point-after touchdown to trim Lafayette’s lead to 21-10.

“That was our first drive coming out of halftime and we came down and pounded it in for the touchdown,” Conners said. “That touchdown did us a lot of good for our confidence.”

Pucci racked up seven receptions for 96 yards and one touchdown.

“Tony’s starting to come around and being the player we thought he could be,” Conners said. “It’s never too late for a guy to start improving.”

The Tigers made things interesting with 2:50 remaining in the fourth quarter when Plassmeyer connected with Mike Cyliax on a one-yard touchdown pass. Plassmeyer hit Pucci for the two-point conversion to bring the score to 21-18.

“When we marched down and got the touchdown and the two-point conversion it was a testament to how hard our guys were playing,” Conners said. “It was crazy because we were trying to get ourselves in a position to tie or win the game and we were right there.”

Plassmeyer completed 23 of 47 passes for 316 yards and two touchdowns.

“Joe continues to get better in every game,” Conners said of Plassmeyer. “He continues to grow as a player and is battling every night out there.”

Cyliax’s touchdown was his second of the season as he recorded five catches for 77 yards and one touchdown.

“Joe was able to find Mike all night long,” Conners said. “To his credit, he was able to make some pretty tough catches.”

The Tigers will try to grab their first win of the season at 7 p.m. Friday when they travel to Northwest (1-6, 1-5 Suburban West). The game against Northwest marks the first round of Class 6, District 1 play that features Oakville, Northwest, Fox and Seckman. Only the top two teams advance into the playoffs, which means the Tigers still have a chance to advance.

“Fortunately, those first seven games won’t be held against us,” Conners said. “We definitely are looking forward to the opportunity ahead of us.

“But what we need to do is not worry about what the other teams are doing and just take care of business on our own.”