Oakville Tigers defeat Northwest 42-7 to earn third playoff berth in four years

By ROBERT CHALUPNY

Oakville Senior High School football fans have much to cheer about now that the Tigers have earned their third playoff berth in four years with a lopsided 42-7 win over the Northwest Lions Friday night.

With Eureka trampling Fox 35-7 last week, the Tigers will focus on the Wildcats this week as both teams will compete for the district title.

Oakville head coach Arlee Conners is excited about his team making the playoffs, but said there is still plenty of work to do.

“I’m definitely happy to be in a position to where we qualified for the playoffs, but we’re still not satisfied with where we are,” he said. “We played a good game overall, but we are still not satisfied because we understand we can do things better and I think next week we’ve got Eureka, a very good football team.

Moe Lagrand started Oakville’s scoring in the Tigers’ first home game in four weeks.

Lagrand’s 4-yard run into the end zone put the Tigers on the board just less than four minutes into the game.

Oakville’s Javon Henderson then scored on a 21-yard pass from Andy Oliver at 5:35 in the first.

But the Tigers were just getting started as Derrick Brown wanted in on the action, scoring on a 3-yard run at 3:26.

And Oakville’s Ben Howard helped himself to a slice of the pie when he carried one in with just nine seconds left in the quarter.

The Lions got on the board with a touchdown from Matthew Fischer at 3:03 in the second quarter.

Oakville’s Jaron Henderson answered with a 13-yard reception from Oliver in the last minute of the first half, but he wasn’t done.

He intercepted a Lions’ pass on the next sequence for a touchdown to end the quarter and scoring for the game as both teams were silent in the second half.

The Tigers had a well-balanced attack as Oliver completed 12 of 16 for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Oakville also rushed for 153 yards on 34 attempts.

Conners told the Call he is optimistic about his team’s potential in the upcoming playoffs.

“We’ve been building through the season,” Conners said. “We’ve had definitely peaks and valleys, but I think we are at the point in the season where we know what we are doing and I think that’s across the board every unit we have.

“The kids understand what their responsibility is and I think they are executing right now and as long as we execute, I feel good about anybody we play against.”

Conners said his players will not only be hungry for the district title that’s on the line next week, but they also are looking to avenge last year’s matchup.

“That’s a team that really ran the clock on us, ran up the score on us last year and that’s one of those things that kids don’t forget. And a lot of those kids played in the same game. So it will definitely be a big game for us and we feel good about our chances to win,” he said.