No. 1 Oakridge makes quick work of Grant in Division 5 football pre-district

By Andrew Johnson
LocalSportsJournal.com

EGLESTON TWP. – A playoff-opening 28-7 win over Grant on Friday night may not have seemed like a typically dominating Oakridge win, but the victory was never really in doubt.

The domination started from the very first possession for Oakridge, the top-ranked team in the state in Division 5.

Leroy Quinn capped off a 70-yard, 18 play opening possession that took 9:10 off the clock with a one=yard touchdown run, giving the Eagles a 7-0 lead with 2:50 left in the first quarter.

During the possession, the Eagles converted on fourth down twice.

After forcing a three-and-out on the first Grant possession, Oakridge took over at its own 42 yard line.

Jacob Danicek makes a cut for Oakridge. Photo/Jason Goorman

The Eagles marched 58-yards over 12 plays and five minutes before Corey Vanderputte scored on a four-yard touchdown run, giving the Eagles a 14-0 lead with 7:05 left in the first half.

The score remained 14-0 until the Grant forced an Eagles fumble and Orion Evans picked the ball up and dashed 47=yards for a score, cutting the Grant deficit to 14-7 with 1:52 left in the half.

The score remained 14-7 at halftime due to Grant blocking a 36-yard Eagle field goal attempt on the last play of the first half.

The Oakridge defense forced yet another three-and-out to begin the second half before the offense took over on its own 29-yard line.

On the eighth play of the ensuing Eagle drive, quarterback Ethen Dailey scored on a five-yard keeper, extending the lead to 21-7 with 5:27 left in the third quarter.

With 7:44 left in the fourth quarter, Quinn broke loose for a 25-yard touchdown run to cap off his night and give the Eagles a comfortable 28-7 lead.

“It feels amazing,” said Quinn about getting a playoff win on what could be his last home game. “If it’s my last time, I’m glad we won. We knew we could do it and we did.”

Grant was held to 46 yards on 30 plays while Oakridge rushed for 271 yards, including 147 yards from Quinn.

“The defense played great,” said Oakridge Coach Cary Harger. “We had great recognition of what they were going to do and we communicated great. It was an outstanding performance.”

Dailey finished 10-for-14 passing for 99 yards while Vanderputte rushed for 83 yards on 17 carries.

Oakridge advances to the Division 5 district finals next week. The Eagles will visit Kingsley, which defeated Reed City 48-36 in a pre-district game on Friday night.

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