No Hunter Herring. No problem.
Herring sat out of Ouachita Christian’s 64-22 victory against Delhi last Friday night for precautionary reasons, but OCS is much more than a one-man show led by a University of Louisiana-Lafayette commit.
In fact, for a Class 1A school, most coaches would call OCS’ quarterback room a crowded one. Talented sophomore receiver Landon Graves assumed the starting quarterback role in place of Herring Friday night and completed 5-of-7 passes for 225 yards and three scores.
Not bad for a backup…
“Landon stepped in and did a great job managing the offense, which is no surprise,” OCS head coach Steven Fitzhugh said. “He had a great night, and I thought that was the best night our receivers have had all year catching the football.”
Junior receiver Tristan Wiley played physical with the ball in his hands during the victory, as he turned three receptions into 153 yards, which included a 62-yard touchdown.
Graves connected in the short-intermediate game and with his deep during the Eagles’ lopsided victory. Graves, who stepped in and helped lead OCS to its victory against Oak Grove as a freshman last year, surprised no one on the coaching staff with his performance Friday night.
"You're blessed any time you have a great quarterback," Fitzhugh said. "But to have two great quarterbacks is a true blessing. It's a great situation for us to have."
OCS senior running back Dillon Dougan followed up with his second consecutive strong performance, as he rushed for 89 yards and three touchdowns on seven carries.
OCS starters got to enjoy the view from the sideline in the second half after the Eagles took a 50-6 advantage into halftime.
For OCS to rack up 433 yards of offense, the big boys up front must have been doing something right.
“Our offensive line has been extremely consistent,” Fitzhugh said. “They just, again, received so much valuable experience last year. Four of the guys started all through the playoffs and three of them started most of the season last year.”
OCS freshman defender Noah Lovelady recorded two tackles for loss in the win, while junior corner Garrett Simmons recorded two tackles for loss and an interception in a reserve role. Julian Stephenson also had an interception for the Eagles in the victory.
Up next for OCS is a matchup against an unbeaten Cedar Creek team that has beaten Arcadia, Delhi and Tensas by a combined score of 124-12.
Meanwhile, OCS is coming off of a back-to-back weeks where the Eagles got to play its backups in the third and fourth quarter after beating Jena 49-28 in the first week of the season.
The Eagles will host the Cougars on senior night for a 7 p.m. kick Thursday.