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John L. Braese
HILLSBORO – Coming into the first ever 2A 9-man championship game, the Oakland Oakers had a single blemish on their season record-a 16-24 loss to the Weston-McEwen TigerScots on Sept. 9.
The same two teams met once again on Saturday, Nov. 26, this time for a state title in the state’s new 9-man football division. A tough start to the championship game, a comeback in the second half that came up short ended with Oakland claiming the 2A title.
Weston-McEwen struggled early, allowing the Oakers to put the initial 22 points on the board. The TigerScots finally found their offense early in the second quarter, a 20-yard pass from Easton Berry to Kyren Miller with the 10 minute, 6 second mark. Just prior to halftime, Weston-McEwen added one more score on a 1-yard dive from Logan Nissel. However, the TigerScots entered the locker room at the half down by 20, 34-14.
The third quarter was a defensive battle with Oakland the lone team to place points on the board. Heading into the final 12 minutes, the Oakers led 40-20.
Weston-McEwen caught fire in the fourth, scoring three times. The first came on a 6-yard run by Maddox King with the second coming off a 16-yard pass from Berry to Aaron Nix. Spreading the scoring around, the final score came off a 1-yard run by Berry.
The final three scores were just too little, too late as Oakland avenged the loss on their otherwise perfect record for the title.
The Oakers ground game was punishing against the Weston-McEwen defense, putting up 391 yards of a total 548 yards. The TigerScots were balanced, putting up 182 yards on the ground to go with 198 yards passing for a total of 380 yards. The time of possession for the two teams was extremely balanced with Weston-McEwen holding the ball for 24:04 versus 23:56 for Oakland. Both teams scored every single time they hit the red zone.
King led the ground game for the TigerScots, handling the ball 19 times for 137 yards. Berry ended the game 13-for-22 passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Cameron Reich hauled in four catches for 73 yards and Maddox King had three catches for 43 yards.
Weston-McEwen calls the season a wrap with a 9-3 overall record and an OSAA ranking of seventh. With a large number of underclassmen on the roster, the TigerScots look to return the majority of the team next season. Graduation will see the departure of Wyatt Martin, Kyren Miller, Dylan Youncs, Cameron Reich, Logan Mohney, Ben Hubbard, Blake Harper, Finn Irvine, Otto Quaempts and Seth Lynde.
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