Oak Grove outlasts O'Hara
By Mike Lavieri PrepsKC staff writer
Oak Grove High rarely threw it Thursday night, and one of the few times it did, it set up the first score of the game in the Panthers’ 21-16 victory at O’Hara High.
Quin Schnieders found himself wide open to begin the second quarter. At first it seemed like a trick play, but Oak Grove (2-0) coach Pat Richard said Schnieders started on the wrong side and sprinted over to where he was supposed to be. The O’Hara (1-1) defenders didn’t recognize it until Schneiders was about to catch the ball.
“I’m not smart enough to come up with something like that,” Richard said when asked if it was a trick play that allowed Schnieders to be wide open.
Schnieders was rewarded four plays later when Chance Alexander found him for a four-yard touchdown.
That shouldn’t have been the first score of the game as O’Hara’s Jordan Supplee dropped a sure touchdown. He started moving toward the end zone before he had the ball.
He made up for it in the third quarter, when he caught at 32-yard post from Matthew Johnson to give the Celtics a 8-7 lead after a converted two-point conversion.
O’Hara coach Jim DeMarea said the reason his team went for two is because it doesn’t have a kicker at the moment.
“We’re working on that,” DeMarea. “We’ve been blessed in the past having the same kid for three years.”
But it worked out for the Celtics as they converted both two-point attempts.
Oak Grove answered with a touchdown of its own in the third quarter as Jake Harrenstein dove over from the one.
“I’ll do the job when the coach tells me to do it,” Harrenstein said after one of his few carries of the evening..
O’Hara seemed to have stopped Harrenstein on his final score, but a second effort and some help pushed him into the end zone.
“All I remember is one of the O’Hara linebackers hitting me in the side and it might have given me another push,” Harrenstein said. “I kept my feet moving and we were able to get in.”
After falling behind 15-8, the Celtics scored on a six yard pass from Matthew to Austin Evans on fourth and four.
O’Hara had a third and three, but a negative result gave the Celtics fourth and 11 from the 13. Johnson dropped back to pass on fourth down, but Oak Grove was called for pass interference setting up the scoring play.
On the two-point conversion, O’Hara scored, but was called for holding and was pushed back to its 16. It went for it again, and Johnson threw it to the left side of the end zone for Evans who came down with the ball easily.
“Evans makes another great play,” Richard said, “and we responded.”
It took the Panthers less than a minute to score the finals points of the game, though. Kenton Wilhoit rolled in to make 21-16. Richard felt obligated to go for two to keep the score a 7-point game, but they failed to convert as Alexander fumbled the snap.
O’Hara had one final chance with about 2:30 left, but had to go the distance of the field as a punt pinned the Celtics inside their own 10.
The Celtics had the ball at the Oak Grove 49 needing two yards, but was stopped short.
Richard said if they continued to run a double tight set, then he thinks they would have been fine, but given how early it is, he’s trying to find things the Panthers are good at.
The last three games between these two teams have been close, with Oak Grove holding a 2-1 advantage.
“Every game is a dang war with these guys,” Richard said. “They’ve got great kids, great coaches. It’s really a blessing to play those guys early in the season because it really gives you a test as to where you are as a team and as coaches.”
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