Yes, Ouachita Christian was paired against an overmatched homecoming opponent Friday night. But give the Eagles credit for doing what they were supposed to do in a 49-0 victory over Tensas High.
Unfazed by a steady rain and the absence of three starters, the Eagles piled up 430 yards (296 rushing, 134 passing) of total offense, and the defense was equally dominant.
“It was a good night,” OCS coach Steven Fitzhugh said. “I was kind of concerned because of the weather and it being homecoming week. I told the guys, ‘We want to make sure we do this right.’”
OCS got it right, all right.
“Hunter Herring was 14-of-19 passing. We threw the ball well, and the receivers caught it in the rain. Dillon Dougan had a good night running the ball. For those conditions, the offense played a good, sharp game, “Fitzhugh said. “Defensively, our guys did a good job of tackling. Tensas was athletic, and we were able to stop the big play.”
In control from the get-go, the Eagles set the tone with an 11-play, 77-yard drive, which covered 5:10. Dougan took it in from 10 yards out on fourth-and-goal from the 10, and also ran the 2-point conversion to put the Eagles in front 8-0.
Dougan was just getting started as he finished with 194 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. It was the second-highest rushing total of the 6-0, 185-pound senior’s career as he went over 200 yards vs. Delhi as a freshman.
Tensas began its first series from the 20 after Christopher Holyfield’s kickoff went for a touchback. Three straight plays went for negative yardage as Kael Skipper, Will Carroll and Ethan Hogan made stops in the backfield.
Eli Extine’s 15-yard punt return enabled the Eagles to start their second series from the Tensas 30.
Six plays later, Herring flipped a three-yard TD pass to Extine as OCS upped its lead to 14-0.
A safety on the Panthers’ next offensive snap made it 16-0.
Following the free kick, Herring connected with Thomas Culp for a four-yard TD toss on the first play of the second quarter.
OCS then stopped the Panthers on downs at midfield, leading to Herring’s short touchdown pass to Extine, and a 28-0 bugle.
Tensas was back on offense for just two plays before Holyfield’s fumble recovery turned the ball back over to the Eagles at the plus-47.
OCS needed just two plays to cash in as Herring completed back-to-back passes to Tristan Wiley for 23 and 24 yards.
Dougan’s 10-yard run brought the score to 41-0 at halftime.
Taking over at quarterback moments after intercepting a pass on defense, Landon Graves fired a 12-yard touchdown pass to Culp to wrap up the scoring.
Offensive tackle/linebacker Grant Mashaw, running back/free safety Will Fitzhugh and fullback Van David Matherne were held out of the game with injuries.
“We are hoping they recover in time to play this week,” said coach Fitzhugh, referring to Thursday night’s Senior Night game against St. Frederick.
Rather than heading to the locker room with the team at halftime, coach Fitzhugh participated in halftime homecoming festivities. He and wife, Janna, escorted their daughter, freshman maid Emily Kate, during the traditional homecoming ceremony.
Coach Fitzhugh’s well thought out plans went off without a hitch. In lieu of the standard coaching attire, he wore his dress pants, shirt and tie underneath his rain gear. At halftime, he headed to the concession stand where he exchanged his boots and rain coat for dress shoes and a coat.
The halftime ceremony was a unique experience for coach Fitzhugh, who has been involved in the game as a player or a coach for most of his life.
“That was the first time I had ever seen one of those,” he said. “It was pretty neat.”
Notes: Senior wide receiver/defensive back Christian Gray and his father, Mike Gray (OCS Class of 1985), served as the Eagles’ game captains. … Will Fitzhugh and offensive tackle Garrett Folds represent OCS on the LHSAA’s Academic All-State football team. … The Eagles improved their turnover margin to plus-20 (25-5). … OCS has outscored its foes 224-58 in the first half this season — 114-28 in the first quarter, 110-30 in the second quarter. … Friday night’s victory moved Fitzhugh’s career coaching record to 199-74. … OCS improved to 40-4 in homecoming games. … The shutout was the 74th in school history for the Eagles.
By the Numbers
THS …………………….……… OCS
9 ……..…… First downs ……..… 26
18-18 …… Rushes-yards …… 29-296
98 …….….. Passing yards …… 134
21-12-1 … Passes (A-C-I) … 21-15-0
2-32.5 ….. Punts-avg. ……….. 0
1-1 ……..… Fumbles-lost …….. 1-0
6-35 …….. Penalties-yards …. 3-40
Tensas ….. 0 0 0 0—0
OCS …… 16 25 8 0—49
OC—Dillon Dougan 25-run (Dougan run), 6:50
OC—Eli Extine 3-pass from Hunter Herring (run failed), 1:28
OC—Thomas Culp 4-pass from Herring (Samuel Harrell kick), 11:50
OC—Extine 1-pass from Herring (kick failed), 5:00
OC—Tristan Wiley 24-pass from Herring (Harrell kick), 3:28
OC—Dougan 10-run (kick blocked), 1:00
OC—Culp 12-pass from Landon Graves (Chase Simmons run), 3:59
RUSHING—Tensas: Treshaun Wiggins 3-24. Ouachita Christian: Dougan 16-194-2. Graves 5-55, Chad Strickland 1-21.
PASSING (A-C-I-Yds-TD)—Tensas: Trenton Scott 22-12-1-98-0. Ouachita Christian: Herring 19-14-0-122-4, Graves 2-1-0-12-1.
RECEIVING—Tensas: Jermarkus Johnson 4-30, Claude Reed 2-32. Ouachita Christian: Wiley 4-64-1, Culp 3-34-2, Extine 4-20-2.