Orange & Black are the traditional colors associated with Halloween, but the Green & Gold dished out all the tricks and bagged all the treats Thursday night.
Breaking up a 7-0 game late in the first half, Ouachita Christian scored four touchdowns in a matter of three minutes, five seconds on its way to a 41-0 conquest of St. Frederick.
After the two sides huddled at midfield for the postgame prior, OCS coach Steven Fitzhugh and his family were called to the field for a brief ceremony commemorating his 200th career victory.
“Coach Fitzhugh is like our second father,” OCS offensive tackle/linebacker Grant Mashaw said. “It really means a lot for us to get this win for him.”
Motivation was the least of coach Fitzhugh’s concerns leading up to the game as the Eagles avenged last year’s 24-21 loss to the Warriors.
“We definitely had revenge on our minds,” Mashaw said. “St. Fred has a very good football team, and we have a lot of respect for them. We knew we would have to come in well-prepared.”
OCS (8-1, 6-0 District 2-1A) won the toss and opted to defer.
St. Fred (5-4, 3-3) started from its own 35 after the opening kickoff caromed out of bounds.
Ethan Hogan and Blake Pender smothered a first down running play for a loss of one, leading to an empty possession for the Warriors.
Will Ellender’s 52-yard punt rolled dead at the 5.
On third-and-one from the 14, Hunter Herring moved the chains with a six-yard carry.
Two plays later, Herring hit Tristan Wiley for 13 yards and another first down at the 38.
With the Eagles facing second-and-seven, Herring threw to Will Fitzhugh for a 59-yard touchdown. Samuel Harrell’s PAT put OCS up 7-0.
Starting from its own 35 for the second straight series, St. Fred crossed midfield on Pat Johnson’s 40-yard reception at the 33. Alex Rightsell’s completion into double coverage was by far the biggest play of the game for the Warriors, who generated only five first downs and 114 yards of total offense. OCScompletely took away the running game as St. Fred rushed for 25 yards on 24 attempts.
“It was a tough night for us offensively,” St. Fred coach Andy Robinson said. “Give OCS a lot of credit. We had some chances in the first half, but we didn’t convert on short yardage.”
On the two snaps following Johnson’s catch, Walker Morris and Christopher Holyfield stopped running plays at the line of scrimmage to bring up third-and-10.
Facing fourth-and-five after Nelson Sparks picked up five yards on a screen pass, the Warriors missed a 38-yard field goal.
St. Fred’s inability to move the ball would prove costly shortly before halftime.
Flagged for a block in the back, which negated Johnson’s 24-yard punt return, the Warriors set up at their own 12.
A false start and stops in the backfield by Kade Woods and Christian Gray helped bring up fourth-and-18 from the 4.
Taking over at the 33 after Ellender’s 29-yard punt, the Eagles soon doubled third lead.
In for Herring, who was having a problem with a contact lens, freshman Landon Graves fired a 19-yard pass to Will Fitzhugh in the middle of the end zone on third-and-11. Harrell’s extra point made it 14-0 with 2:50 to play in the half.
Things would get decidedly worse for the Warriors over the next few minutes.
Graves’ interception, which ricocheted off the hands of a St. Fred’s receiver, gave the Eagles possession with a short field at the 13.
On the very next play, Herring faked a handoff and dashed up the middle untouched as OCS opened up a 21-0 lead with 2:29 remaining in the half.
St. Fred punted the ball away after an empty possession, and the Eagles set up at their own 27 at 1:17 before intermission.
In a precisely-executed two-minute drill, the Eagles covered 77 yards on 10 plays, counting two spikes to stop the clock. Wiley set the drive in motion with catches of 41 and 17 yards before Herring dished to Extine for a one-yard TD toss with 10 seconds left to play in the half.
“They get the big third down conversion, then we turn the ball over inside our own 20,” Robinson said. “Next thing you know, they tack on another one right before the half, and it’s 28-0.”
OCS finished the Warriors off on the first play of the third quarter.
Fielding a sky kick near the left sideline, Extine broke away for a 69-yard touchdown and a 35-0 OCS lead.
The remainder of the game was played with a running clock.
Dillon Dougan’s 46-yard run late in the fourth quarter made the final 41-0.
“We just have to stick together and get ready for our next game, “Robinson said. “We’ll go back to work tomorrow.”
St. Fred wraps up the regular season at home Friday night vs. Delhi, while the Eagles finish up in Ferriday against Delta Charter on Friday.
SENIOR NIGHT: Senior Night honorees for the Eagles were Walker Morris, Jon Thomas Dixon, Christian Gray, Eli Extine, Will Fitzhugh Ethan Hogan, Garrett Folds, Jacob Ogden, Grant Mashaw, Will Carroll, Blake Pender and Chase Simmons.
“As far as our 12 seniors, most of them have been wearing Green & Gold since they were in elementary school,” coach Fitzhugh said. “Eli moved in from Georgia two years ago, Will Carroll went to elementary school here before he decided to play, and Christian came here in middle school.
“You want to put your best game together against your rivals. St. Fred has been really stingy defensively, and has been making plays offensively. To come out and play like this in all three phases on Senior Night is really special.”
Notes: OCS holds a 28-11 edge over the Warriors in the all-time series, which dates back to 1977. Ten of the Eagles’ 75 shutouts have come at St. Fred’s expense. The last thee times the Eagles blanked the Warriors), they went on to win the state championship (2011, 2012, 2014). … Gray (7 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack) and Hogan (7 tackles, 2 TFL) led the Eagles defensively against the Warriors. … St. Fred was 0-of-9 on third down conversion and 1-of-2 on fourth down. … Thursday was OCS lineman Will Carroll’s birthday.
By the Numbers
SF ……………..……….… OCS
5 ………. First downs …..... 14
24-25 .… Rushes-yards .. 19-126
89 …….. Passing yards ..… 214
17-7-1 … Passes (A-C-I) .. 21-10-0
6-32.7 … Punts-avg. …..…. 3-22.3
1-0 ……. Fumbles-lost …..... 1-1
6-47 ….. Penalties-yards ... 1-5
St. Frederick …….… 0 0 0 0—0
Ouachita Christian .. 7 21 7 6–41
OC—Will Fitzhugh 59-pass from Hunter Herring (Samuel Harrell kick), 5:29
OC—Fitzhugh 18-pass from Landon Graves (Harrell kick), 2:50
OC—Herring 13-run (Harrell kick), 2:29
OC—Eli Extine 1-run (Harrell kick), 0:10
OC—Extine 69-kickoff return (Harrell kick), 1:07
OC—Dillon Dougan 46-run (kick failed), 3:45
RUSHING—St. Frederick: Nelson Sparks 17-36. Ouachita Christian: Dougan 11-88-1, Herring 8-38-1.
PASSING (A-C-I-Yds-TD)—St. Frederick: Alex Rightsell 17-7-1-89-0. Ouachita Christian: Herring 20-9-0-195-2, Graves 1-1-0-19-1.
RECEIVING—St. Frederick: Pat Johnson 4-64, Beau Bennett 2-19, Sparks 1-6. Ouachita Christian: Fitzhugh 4-107-2, Tristan Wiley 3-71, Extine 2-32-1, Dougan 1-4.