By Ron Rop

RAVENNA – The Oakridge Eagles made the better of horrible playing conditions on Friday night at Citizens Field in Ravenna.

Despite five fumbles and playing in a driving rain and high winds, the Eagles posted a 48-13 victory over the host Ravenna Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs actually scored the game’s first touchdown, and after allowing seven straight scores to the Eagles, capped the scoring in the final minutes of the game.

“It kind of started out on a high,” Ravenna coach Justin Ego said in reference to a 70-yard run by Derek Finlay that came 5 minutes into the game. “We lost some steam against a very good team. Oakridge is always well coached, tough and physical. They just kind of pushed us back and we couldn’t get any traction going.”

Then the game of field position began to show and it seemed each and every time, it was Oakridge that gained the advantage. The ball was slippery, which was instrumental in causing 10 fumbles in the game, five for each team. The wind caused a 4-yard punt by Ravenna and several of their fumbles gave the Eagles quality field position not far from the end zone. 

“That’s understandable with these kinds of conditions,” Oakridge coach Cary Harger said. “You try everything to avoid it. Dry towels on everybody and what not, but it’s inevitable.”

Oakridge tied the game late in the opening quarter when Bryce Bisson scored on a 32-yard run. That drive began on the Ravenna side of the field.

The Eagles scored three more touchdowns in the second quarter starting with Bryson Stephenson’s 11-yard run.

The next Ravenna drive ended on the second play on a fumble that was recovered by Oakridge’s Jullian Primmer on the Bulldog 28. On the first play, quarterback Evan Miller found a wide open Braydon Peterson for a 28-yard touchdown pass.

Oakridge capped the first-half scoring on a 37-yard screen pass from Miller to Trever Jones. When Jones reached the end zone, the time had run out in the opening half.

Oakridge led 29-7 at the half.

Jones, who left last week’s game in the first quarter with a thumb injury, opened the second-half scoring on a 2-yard run. He later scored from 9 yards out and the Eagles led 42-7 after three quarters.

Zac Cribbins, who scored three times last week, found the end zone from 3 yard out to make it 48-7.

Ravenna’s Blake Homoly, who started the game at quarterback, scored on a 5-yard run after taking a pitch from backup quarterback Dylan May with 2:39 remaining.

Stephenson carried the ball 15 times for 92 yards for the Eagles. Jones had 15 carries for 75 yards.

“It was nice having Jones back,” Harger said. “It’s great to see Stephenson run that hard in these conditions. I was hoping Bryson would have a break out game and I think he did that.”

Finlay led Ravenna with nine rushes for 78 yards.

Stephenson led the Eagles’ defense with seven tackles. Primmer had six tackles and two fumble recoveries.

Blake Burns had four tackles and two fumble recoveries for the Bulldogs. Nick Mabrito led the way with 10 tackles. Finlay had nine.

Oakridge (5-3) hosts Montague next week while Ravenna travels to Hart.