OCS vs Sterlington - 2021 BayouJamboree

Played at Malone Stadium, Monroe, La. 27Aug2021. Photo by TOM MORRIS/The Ouachita Citizen. c.TomMorrisPhotos.com. All Rights Reserved

The last time Ouachita Christian defeated Oak Grove three things were true.

The first thing was Landon Graves made his first start as the Eagles quarterback back in 2019.

The second thing was Tristan Wiley recorded a long touchdown reception and gained the confidence needed to be a breakout player for the Eagles.

And the third thing was, well, the Eagles won their remaining games en route to winning a state title.

Can OCS repeat that third thing? Well, the Eagles are certainly off to a good start after Graves and Wiley helped lead the Eagles to a 35-21 victory in front of the largest crowd gathered at Oak Grove since 2018.

"I've been up since about 5 o'clock this morning," OCS head coach Steven Fitzhugh told The Locker Room on 105.7FM Saturday morning. "You get that adrenaline rush like that, and it's hard to sleep." 

The Eagles struck first blood Friday night when Chad Strickland picked up where he left off last week and scored the first of his four touchdown runs. Strickland, who rushed for 200 yards on 31 carries in the win, scored from four yards out in the first quarter before the Tigers took a 7-6 lead on the ensuing possession.

"He’s not a real big guy, but he’s got good explosion," Fitzhugh said. "Oak Grove has an outstanding defense with (Kaleb) Proctor and (Kam) Franklin…. They’ve got some good sized kids and they're physical. (Strickland) took some hits, but he would just pop right back up and be ready to go to the next play. He continued to run well, but I thought his toughness took a step forward last night."

Fitzhugh said it was the first time all five starting offensive lineman played for the Eagles since the preseason scrimmage. 

OCS regained control in the second quarter on another four-yard score from Strickland before Oak Grove’s Kam Franklin tied the game before halftime with an 81-yard kickoff return for a score.

Graves and Wiley made their mark in the third quarter. Graves connected with Wiley on a 57-yard score to put the Eagles back on top, 21-14, before Oak Grove tied the game late in the third quarter on a pick six by Franklin. 

Strickland scored two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to close out the win for the Eagles.

Graves completed 7-of-20 passes for 134 yards in the win, while Wiley had four receptions for 126 yards and a score.

Up next for the (2-0) Eagles is a home contest against district foe Sicily Island. Big matchups against Cedar Creek and St. Frederick loom after that. 

"Cedar Creek and St. Frederick are always well coached. We've got some battles on our hands over the next few weeks," Fitzhugh said. 

Award-winning sports writer for columns and features since joining the field in 2013. As the first-ever featured columnist of the month at Bleacher Report, Martin cut his teeth with online media before joining the newspaper business in 2014.

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