Editor’s Note: As we wait for sports to resume locally, we’ll take a look back at the Top 10 high school football games since 2015. Every week will feature a look back at the top games played amongst our parish teams.
No. 7: OCS vs. St. Frederick (2018)
I love a good story involving food and football. I am American after all.
So when head coach Andy Robinson unveiled the origin of the gimmick play that was used to fuel a 24-21 comeback victory against arch rival Ouachita Christian, he had my full attention. Of all places, a Subway restaurant is where Robinson got the idea for a reverse flea flicker that would swing the momentum in favor of his Warriors.
That play sparked a fourth quarter comeback that allowed St. Frederick to pick up its first win against OCS since 2002. So what exactly happened at Subway?
Well, Robinson was meeting with former Ouachita head coach and current Troy assistant John Carr five days ahead of that pivotal district clash.
“I told him I needed something that might work tonight, and he gave me something,” said Robinson after the Warriors’ huge home victory in 2018.
Just as Carr drew it up on a napkin in Subway, St. Frederick quarterback Andy Williams found James Maryonne on a 27-yard pass after a reverse flea flicker placed the ball back in the hands of Williams. Robinson dialed up the trick play with his team down 21-14 in the fourth quarter, and that 27-yard strike placed the Warriors inside the red zone with under six minutes to play.
Williams scored a few plays later on a 13-yard run that ultimately tied the game, 21-21. St. Frederick then got the stop it needed to set up a 31-yard game-winning field goal from Will Ellender with 1:27 remaining.
OCS had one last shot at pulling off an unforgettable victory, but Warrior defender Pat Johnson jumped a route to record his third interception of the game, and more importantly, secured the victory for his club.
So about this game… The gimmick play made for a fun story that I obviously love to tell, but Johnson’s performance against OCS on that night can be compared to any performance I’ve seen at the high school level. Johnson was superhuman that night. He had two touchdown receptions (showcasing the strength and speed to reel off big plays), had those three previously mentioned interceptions and forced a fumble. A lot of players can play a full season without racking up those statistics. Johnson did all of that in one game against one of the toughest opponents on the schedule. Of all the plays Johnson made that day, though, there’s one I won’t soon forget. With St. Frederick down 14-6 in the third quarter, Johnson high pointed the ball in double coverage against Will Fitzhugh and Eli Extine (two elite OCS athletes) and finished the play with a 56-yard touchdown catch. Johnson had 136 receiving yards to go along with his two touchdown receptions.
“Pat probably had the best St. Fred performance I can remember against us,” said OCS head coach Steven Fitzhugh after the game. “Offensively and defensively, he made plays all over the field. He did a great job. And Andy at quarterback made things click.”
Plays were made all over the field that night. The Bennett brothers might as well have been the Bash Brothers from “The Mighty Ducks” trilogy. Before Johnson’s final interception, Gordon Bennett recorded a sack on first down, and Beau Bennett pressured OCS quarterback Turner Carr into an incompletion. On offense, Williams had himself a game too. He passed for 210 yards and rushed for another 133 yards in the victory.
Even in the loss, OCS had many standouts in the game. Will Fitzhugh and Aiden Ham recorded interceptions and Ethan Hogan forced a fumble and recovered it.
This back-and-forth battle that ended in a game-winning field goal (which is somewhat of a rarity at the high school level) gave Robinson a memorable victory in his first season as head coach at St. Frederick. The Warriors finished the season with a 9-3 record (6-1 district record) and a playoff victory in 2018. Not bad for a first year, huh?
As for OCS, this loss was just one of many heart-breaking losses for the Eagles in 2018. Don’t feel too bad for the Eagles, though. They turned those fortunes around in 2019 with another state championship victory.
Next week we’ll dive into a local player calling his own number with the game on the line…