By Mitchell Boatman
Oakridge led just 6-0 at the end of the first quarter, but began to pull away in with two scores in the second and led 20-7 at the half.
The Eagles tacked on one touchdown in the third quarter and two more in the fourth to complete the blowout victory.
Oakridge Coach Cary Harger was happy with the victory, but still sees room from improvement.
“We lost in the first round (the last two seasons), so it definitely feels good,” he said. “We weren’t as mentally into that first half as we should’ve been. We’ve got to come back and improve on that.”
Next up for the Eagles will be the Ithaca Yellowjackets, who have won five of the past six state titles in Division 6. Harger has been well aware of that potential matchup.
“We thought about that possible matchup and we look at it as we’ve got to play them, but they’ve also got to play us,” the coach said. “We’ve got a strong playoff tradition as well. We’re looking forward to playing in a district final game.”
As far as savoring Friday’s win, Harger doesn’t plan to let it linger.
“One night – if that,” he said, “One night is all I give them and then we tell them they’ve got to move on.”
Senior quarterback Brady Luttrull and sophomore running back Blake Masterman led the attack for Oakridge.
Luttrull accounted for nearly 300 total yards and three touchdowns, while Masterman had more than 100 yards and two scores on the ground.
Masterman is part of a three-man backfield for the Eagles, but got the majority of the workload on Friday.
“Formation-wise we tried to spread them out, to see what kind of coverage they were giving us,” Harger said. “We were trying to see what they were going to do against our run game and see what would open up passing wise.”
Masterman’s first touchdown, a 17-yard run, opened the scoring just 51 seconds into the game.
The next score didn’t come until the 9:50 mark of the second quarter, when Luttrull found Austin Smith for a 50-yard touchdown pass. The Grant defender fell on the play, giving Smith room to run after making the grab.
The Tigers got on the board just over two minutes later on a 40-yard pass from Trent Throop to Casey Geers.
Oakridge added some cushion with a five-yard touchdown run by Luttrull with 23 seconds left in the half.
The lone score of the third quarter came on a 26-yard touchdown run by Masterman.
Freshman Leroy Quinn added a one-yard touchdown for Oakridge on his first carry of the game in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles scored their final touchdown with 5:30 to go on an eight-yard TD throw from Luttrull to Jake Groendal.