Oakville Tigers lose 10-point lead, possibly playoff spot in 14-13 defeat to Northwest

By MARK McNAMARA

The Oakville High School Tigers lost a 10-point lead and possibly a playoff spot in a 14-13 defeat Friday at Northwest High School.

“A win could have put us in the playoffs. We were playing against a team that hadn’t won a game and we just continued to struggle. That had to be the all-time low for this program since I’ve been here,” Oakville head coach Arlee Conners said.

To qualify for the Class 6 football playoffs, Oakville (2-7) needs winless Fox High School to beat Northwest by a large enough margin Friday.

Northwest (1-8) recorded its first win of the season by beating the Tigers for the first time since 2004. The Tigers scored on a 35-yard run by senior running back Darrion Moore to take a 7-0 lead.

Senior kicker Andrew Messmer put the Tigers in the driver’s seat with a 32-yard field goal to give them a 10-0 lead, but then things turned messy for Oakville.

Northwest cut the lead to 10-6 on a two-yard run by quarterback Matt Miniea.

Moore and Tigers junior quarterback Javon Henderson suffered injuries and the Tigers’ offense fizzled.

“I didn’t think we played that well last week (in a win against Fox) either, and it continued this week. The first time we had the ball, as usual, we rolled down and got a score and stalled the rest of the way,” Conners said.

Messmer tacked on a 27-yard field goal to Oakville’s lead to make the score 13-6, but missed a field goal earlier in the game.

Northwest took the lead on a three-yard touchdown run by Nick Peeples and a two-point conversion pass from Miniea to Nick Peeples.

The Tigers were driving in Northwest territory in the final minute before sophomore quarterback Brendan Jost threw an interception as the Tigers tried to get into field-goal range with 14 seconds left in the game.

Oakville plays at Eureka High School (8-1) at 7 p.m. Friday in both schools’ final District 1 game. Regardless of a win or loss, the Tigers still can earn one of the two playoff spots for their district.

“I want to see some pride,” Conners said. “That’s what we’re looking for against Eureka, who is in the playoffs.

“They’re going to look to try to keep moving. I look for some guys to step up and show some pride.”