By Trevor Austin
Oakridge senior Corey Vanderputte did just that in the Eagles’ 40-15 rout of Big Rapids at Jack Schugars Field on Friday.
The senior ran for 199 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Eagles in the first round of the Division 5 district playoffs.
Vanderputte did his damage on just 16 carries, averaging 12.4 yards per carry with a long run of 42 yards. He also added a 23-yard scoring reception for Oakridge (7-2).
“The kids really rally around him. The line wants to block for him and make sure he has holes to run through and he can hit another gear,” said Oakridge coach Cary Harger. “It’s fun watching him run.”
Vanderputte also helped the Eagles hold their 28-0 shutout with an interception on the Eagles’ 4-yard line.
The Eagles came out of the gate fast and strong and never looked back putting strong pressure on the Big Rapids (5-4) offense, disrupting the Cardinal’s timing, making it difficult for them to find their targets.
“We were very pleased with the overall performance. Obviously, there’s still things we need to work on now that we earned another week,” Harger said. “We were happy with the fact that we continued to play all four quarters because we’ve been kind of hit or miss in different quarters of games.”
Oakridge moves on in their expedition to Ford Field to the district finals at Howard City Tri-County on Friday.
Quarterback Matt Danicek was 3-of-6 passing for 42 yards and a score while also adding a rushing touchdown.
Brenden Raymond led the Eagles’ successful ground game with 99 yards on 13 carries with a score.
Danicek made five tackles with one for a loss while breaking up two passes.