Chrisman gets past Oak Park

By Shawn Garrison The Examiner
Posted: October 20, 2012 - 1:10 AM

Despite totaling just three wins in the regular season, the William Chrisman football team couldn’t have much more momentum than its built going into the postseason.

On Friday, the Bears tallied 19 fourth-quarter points to roll to a 39-22 Suburban Middle Seven Conference victory over Oak Park at Independence All-School Stadium. After snapping a 17-game losing streak earlier this season, Chrisman closed the regular season with three wins over the final five weeks and two in the last three.

Now, a program that seemed hopeless just a few weeks ago is full of swagger.

“The first year we were here we peaked too early,” said Chrisman coach John Crutcher, whose team went 5-5 but lost three of its final four in his first season in 2010 before a winless 2011. “Last year we didn’t peak at all. And this year, we’re finally peaking at the right time.”

The latest triumph had a different look than the first two. After averaging 334 passing yards in wins over Belton and Truman, the Bears’ aerial game sputtered in the first half as Dylan Cole tossed a pair of interceptions. He did complete a 14-yard touchdown to Dalvin Wilkerson on the opening drive, but Chrisman (3-6, 2-4 conference) trailed 8-6 at halftime.
At the intermission, Bears offensive coordinator Allen Supplee decided it was time to put more emphasis on the ground game.

“Coach Supplee came in and he was like, ‘All right, we’re just running the ball,'” said Chrisman senior Kreig Jarnagin, who rushed for 73 yards on nine carries in the second half. “‘We’re going to do this like a man.’”

The approach was effective as the Bears scored on an eight-play, 65-yard drive – all on the ground – on their first possession of the second half that was capped by Cole’s 7-yard TD run to put Chrisman up 14-8.

After a Northmen three-and-out, Chrisman scored again to take a 20-8 advantage after chewing up 55 yards on six consecutive runs with Jarnagin finding the end zone on a 10-yard scamper.

“This was the first time we really ran the ball,” Crutcher said. “That was our whole deal tonight. We had to find a running game. We threw a couple passes early that we didn’t make real good reads on, but we knew we could handle them with the run.”

Jarnagin led the Bears in rushing while Wilkerson added 43 yards on 11 carries. Chrisman totaled 170 yards on 31 attempts.