Oak Grove pounds Excelsior Springs
By Ryan Edwards PrepsKC staff writer
Oak Grove capped off the regular season with a dominating performance against Excelsior Springs Friday night, winning 56-13.
The Panthers, who came into Friday’s contest 7-1, used its high powered offense led by, junior quarterback, Austin Blackston. On the night, Blackston was responsible for four touchdowns; he passed for two, and ran for two other scores.
“I thought he (Blackston) ran the offense real well, and he ran the football real well,” Oak Grove head coach Pat Richard said. “He makes our offense go.”
However, the game didn’t start out the way the Panthers planned. The Tigers’ offense only needed three plays, on the game’s opening drive to find the end zone. Senior quarterback, Austin Creason took the quarterback keeper and diced up the Oak Grove defense for a 76-yard touchdown, giving the Tigers the early 7-0 lead.
After both teams traded three and outs, the Panthers answered quickly with a big play of their own. Blackston found a wide open Tanner Kanak who got behind the Tigers defense for a 50-yard touchdown reception, tying the game at 7-7.
After the Panthers’ defense forced a three and out, the offense was able to put a long drive together that was capped off by senior running back Tyler Brown, who scored his first of two touchdowns on the night giving the Panthers the 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.
On the Tigers next possession, Oak Grove forced a three and out. However, the Tigers caught the Panthers special teams unit off guard by converting a fake punt on fourth and six, but the play was nullified due to an illegal procedure penalty , forcing the Tigers to punt instead.
After an Oak Grove fumble, which was recovered by the Tigers, at the Oak Grove 49 yard line, the Tigers wasted no time scoring. With 11:12 left in the first half, Creason got the Tigers within one after he connected with senior wide receiver, Nick Masoner, for a 36-yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked and the Panthers led 14-13.
The Panthers would go on to score two more times before half time, thanks in part to Blackston who scored from 21-yards out on fourth and six and on a four yard pass from Blackston to Kanak, to give the Panthers a 28-13 lead at the break.
The Panthers were able to break the game wide open, in the second half. The Panthers got touchdowns from, Tyler Brown (one yard run), Ethan Fugitt (60 yard run), Austin Blackston (five yard run), and Kyle Martin who rounded out the scoring with a 20 yard run.
“I’m proud of the way my team played tonight” Pat Richard said about his team’s 56-13 victory. “We talked about playing with a playoff type of energy tonight and I thought we did.”
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