Oakridge football team gets back on track with a 24-6 victory over rival Ravenna

By Dave Tomczak

EGELSTON TOWNSHIP – The Oakridge football team didn’t stay down for long.

One week after a tough loss to Whitehall, the Eagles pulled together for a 24-6 victory over rival Ravenna on Friday in West Michigan Conference action.

Oakridge didn’t waste any time taking out its frustration on the Bulldogs.

On the games’ opening drive, Oakridge faced a third-and-11, when quarterback Koleman Wall hit Blake Masterman for a 54-yard pass play that set the Eagles up at the Bulldog 11.

Two plays later, Leroy Quinn scored from five yards out to give Oakridge a 7-0 lead.

With neither team managing much offense over the next eight minutes, Ravenna coach David Smith gambled on a fourth-and-one play deep in his own territory on the final play of the first quarter.

Blake Masterman rushes past Ravenna defender Matt Marek. Photo/Leo Valdez

The gamble backfired when quarterback Brandon Millis was stuffed at the line of scrimmage, giving Oakridge the ball at the Bulldogs’ 23.

“We had a breakdown on offense on the play,” Smith said. “We are a young team, in a football sense, and we had to play a perfect game when we’re outgunned like we were. We had a few miscues and they capitalized on them.”

The Eagles’ Jalen Hughes rambled 25 yards to the 1-yard line, only to fumble into the end zone. But offensive lineman Jaden Parker jumped on the loose ball, and the extra point gave Oakridge a 14-0 lead.

Ravenna’s offense rebounded on the ensuing drive, converting on another fourth-and-1 opportunity, then cutting the lead to 14-6 on Camron Passenier’s 51-yard touchdown run one play later.

Trailing by a touchdown, the Bulldogs took the opening drive of the second half into Oakridge territory, but on their third play of the drive, Millis lost the ball and Quinn recovered at the 48.

“That was a huge momentum swing for us, and that’s what we wanted,” said Oakridge coach Cary Herger. “We played really well against the run, and they run a lot of different (offensive sets), but that’s what we practiced and prepared for.”

Oakridge QB Koleman Wall fights past Dane Denhof on the keeper. Photo/Leo Valdez

Oakridge responded with a seven-play drive that took five minutes off the clock and resulted in a 26-yard field goal by Jaxon Fri. The Eagles led 17-6 lead after three quarters.

Masterman finished off the scoring for the Eagles, darting in from nine yards out with 4:38 left in the game.

Oakridge, which improved to 4-1 on the season and 3-1 in conference play, finished the game with 283 yards of offense, incluing 196 on the ground.

Quinn led the Eagles with 94 yards on 18 carries, Hughes finished with 43 yards, and Wall had 87 passing yards.

Cole Harger led the Oakridge defense with eight tackles and had one of the team’s five sacks.

Ravenna finished with 110 total yards, including 106 on the ground. Passenier had 87 yards on 14 carries for the Bulldogs, who fell to 2-3 overall and 2-2 in the WMC.

Nick Ely and Brendan Postema had 10 tackles apiece for the Bulldogs.

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