Oakridge routs Montague 44-0 in West Michigan Conference opener

By Lucas Rains
Local Sports JournalShoreline football instory art

If offense is your thing, then you would have enjoyed Friday night’s matchup between Oakridge and Montague.

Actually, the Eagles dominated the contest on both sides of the ball on their way to a 44-0 win.

Both teams entered the game with 0-1 records after tough defeats last week. Oakridge seemed to be on a mission to bounce back from its 31-0 loss to Grand Rapids West Catholic. They bounced back and then some in the first West Michigan Conference matchup of the season.

“It was huge for us tonight,” Oakridge head coach Cary Harger said. “To come back this week, we worked really hard on fixing those mistakes from last week. We knew we had to come out and make a big statement game and play mentally stronger football. I think we did that, so we just need to keep improving every week.”

It was a two-man show for the Eagles; sophomore quarterback Brady Luttrull and junior running back Kolin Chahorski leading the way.

Luttrull scored four touchdowns, three coming through the air. He threw for 259 yards and ran for 85 more. Chahorski rushed the ball 13 times for 172 yards and two touchdowns.

Oakridge as a team averaged nearly 10 yards per carry, gaining 309 yards on 33 carries.

“They played really well,” Harger said of Luttrull and Chahorski. “Brady threw some great passes and was very, very heads up. He was scrambling tonight and was very impressive running the ball. He just does a great job back there for us.

“Kolin had a great night running the ball as well. He found his way through the line and we blocked really well for him tonight. Once he broke through, he just found that other gear.”

Oakridge outgained Montague 571-83 in total yardage, thanks to an explosive offense and a defense that allowed just two yards on the ground. Wildcats’ quarterback Jacob Buchberger threw for 81 yards and as a team, it earned just six first downs in the contest.

“I take full responsibility for how we play and we didn’t play well so I’m going to have to fix that,” Montague head coach Pat Collins said. “We’re a better team than what we showed and that’s the disappointing thing. Oakridge did an awesome job, played well and showed what kind of team they are. What we have to do is focus on us.”

Oakridge’s offense started early and often, scoring 22 points in the first quarter. Montague got the ball to start the game and tried to air it out. Despite getting a first down, Buchberger was sacked for a 10-yard loss to stall the Montague drive.

James Cooper III fielded the Wildcats’ punt and returned it 21 yards. Luttrull showed off his arm on Oakridge’s first drive, hitting Nate Wahr for a couple of long completions. The second was a 46-yard strike on a slant that Luttrull fired between defenders for an easy score. The PAT bounced off the upright, so the Eagles led 6-0 early.

Following a Montague three-and-out, Oakridge began right where it left off, scoring another touchdown on a short two-minute drive. Luttrull found Cooper III wide open down the sideline to start the drive for a 30-yard. Chahorski capped the drive off when he broke multiple tackles on a run up the middle for a 16-yard touchdown run. Luttrull threw to Wahr to complete the two-point conversion, giving Oakridge a 14-0 lead.

The Oakridge defense clamped down again, forcing a second straight three-and-out. On the ensuing drive, Chahorski ran through a gaping hole up the middle, leading to a huge 63-yard touchdown run. Luttrull ran in the two-point try to extend the Eagles’ lead to 22-0 in the first quarter.

Oakridge got the ball back at the beginning of the second quarter and didn’t take much time to score again. Chahorski started the drive with long runs of 32 and 14 yards. Luttrull found Cooper III for a 15-yard touchdown pass and then threw to Chahorski to complete the two-point conversion. The score remained 30-0 in favor of Oakridge.

It seemed like Montague finally had a little bit of momentum halfway through the second quarter. Luttrull’s pass was intercepted by Drake Roesler, which led to the Wildcats’ most productive drive of the night. Buchberger led the charge, completing multiple passes to give Montague a first-and-goal. However, Cameron Brayman fumbled and Oakridge’s Xavier Craig recovered on the 4-yard line.

The Eagles took advantage when Luttrull completed a beautiful play-action pass on third-and-long to Robert Taylor to give them the ball at midfield. A few plays later, Luttrull found Chahorski on a screen pass that was blocked to perfection and sprung him for a 37-yard score. After the PAT, Oakridge led 37-0 going into the half.

Oakridge got the ball to start the second half and drove the field on a four-minute, 75-yard drive. Luttrull capped off the drive with a 34-yard touchdown scamper where he weaved in and out of Montague defenders into the end zone. After the PAT, Oakridge led 44-0 and would go on to win by that same score.

On the defensive side of the ball, Tyler Thomas led the charge with 11 tackles and a sack for Oakridge. Kaleb Cook added four tackles and a pair of sacks, which helped minimize the Wildcats’ offensive output.

For Montague, Brayman led the way with 10 tackles.

Montague will look to bounce back from its first 0-2 start since 1999 when it faces off against Ravenna next Friday. Oakridge will go on the road for the first time this season against Hart.

“It’s another opportunity to improve and eliminate mistakes,” Harger said. “For us, it’s the first big road trip of the year so we have that to focus on. It’s another mental hurdle for a young team so we want to make sure that we take care of that aspect of it.”

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