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.