Oakridge uses ground game to put a 59-29 playoff thrashing on Belding

By Andrew Johnson
LocalSportsJournal.com

EGELSTON TOWNSHIP – Calling the Oakridge offense explosive may be a slight understatement after its performance in a 59-29 drubbing of Belding in a Division 5 pre-district playoff game Friday night.

Koleman Wall, Leroy Quinn and Jalen Hughes all finished with over 100 yards rushing in the Eagles’ victory.

Oakridge finished with 400 total yards rushing on 37 attempts, for an average of 10.8 yards per carry.

“They did their thing,” said Oakridge head coach Cary Harger about his three-headed rushing attack. “All season they’ve had a definite drive to achieve and to show off what they can do.

“They’re all athletes that can thin out a defense, and it makes them (opposing defenses) susceptible.”

Koleman Wall rushes the ball for Oakridge. Photo/Leo Valdez

The offense got going early for the Eagles, who drove 72 yards before a one-yard touchdown run by Wall that gave Oakridge a 6-0 lead with 6:27 left in the first quarter.

On their next drive, the Eagles needed only one offensive play to grab a 13-0 lead when Wall found Hughes on a 64-yard touchdown pass with 4:32 left in the first quarter.

Oakridge scored again on its next possession when Hughes punched in a three-yard touchdown run, making the score 20-0 with 1:17 remaining in the first.

Wall scored on a six-yard run to give Oakridge a 27-0 lead with 8:11 left in the second quarter.

Belding finally broke through with a 14-play drive that covered 51 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown pass from Cole Reeves to Riley Hart. Oakridge led 27-7 with 1:54 left in the half.

But the Eagles punched back on their next offensive play with a 49-yard touchdown run by Wall, making the score 33-7 at halftime.

The Eagles scored twice in the third quarter with a nine-yard run by Quinn and a 44-yard TD dash by Corey Vanderputte.

In the fourth quarter, Belding’s Riley Hart punched in two rushing touchdowns within a minute to cut the Eagle lead to 41-21 with 8:24 left.

But the Eagles responded quickly, with Hughes busting a 49-yard touchdown run on the first play of the following series, extending the lead to 47-21.

No. 20 Leroy Quinn takes the handoff from QB Coleman Wall. Photo/Leo Valdez

Ethan Carmean rounded out the Oakridge scoring with a 17-yard touchdown run, giving the Eagles a 59-21 lead with five minutes left.

Belding scored on a Tobyn Will seven-yard run with 27 seconds left.

Wall led the Eagles’ rushing attack with three touchdowns and 113 yards on 10 carries. Quinn finished with 106 yards and one score on 12 carries and Hughes added 102 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.

“They were great,” Hughes said about the Eagles’ offensive line. “The whole line was working great and every time I got the ball, I had a humongous hole to run through.”

Hughes added had two interceptions while Cole Harger totaled 12 tackles, including a sack. Blake Masterman also had nine tackles on the night, including two for loss.

The Eagles will be on the road next week against Hudsonville Unity Christian in a district final match-up. The date, site and time of the game is to be determined.

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