Oakridge ends a great season with a heartbreaking 22-16 Division 5 playoff loss to Hopkins

Local Sports Journal

The Oakridge football team managed to put together a great season with a lot of young players this fall.

But it came to an end Friday night with a painful 22-16 loss to Hopkins in a Division 5 pre-district game.

Oakridge, a state semifinalist last season and the West Michigan Conference champion this year, finished 8-2.

“We had some missed opportunities,” said Oakridge Coach Cary Harger, whose team failed to score twice from the red zone. “We knew it was going to be a physical game for us. Missed passes, missed blocks on offense and untimely penalties put us in bad situations to worse situations.

“I told the kids, qualifying for the playoffs is a lot different than winning in the playoffs. But we achieved a lot more than what people would give us at the beginning of the year.”

Hopkins opened the scoring in the first quarter with a one-yard touchdown run by Ryan Pierce. The two-point conversion was good, giving the Vikings an 8-0 lead.

Oakridge tied the score in the second quarter with a one-yard touchdown burst by Billy Drummond, followed by a two-point conversion pass from Brady Luttrull to Nate Wahr.

Hopkins went up 16-8 in the second quarter with a 34-yard touchdown run by Quincy Collings. Sid VanderTuin added the two-point run.

The third quarter was scoreless. Hopkins jumped out to a 22-8 lead in the fourth with a one-yard scoring scamper by VanderTuin.

Oakridge added a late touchdown with a six-yard pass from Luttrull to James Cooper III, then added two points on a run by Luttrull, but couldn’t get any closer.

Hopkins had a 345-241 edge in total offense.

Lutrull completed 14 of 28 passes for 136 yards. Cooper had seven catches for 64 yards. Caleb Cook paced the Eagle defense with 13 tackles.

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