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Friday night gave the Oak Hill Academy Raiders (4-5; 1-3) something the team needed desperately. It was a 37-14 victory over New Site.
It had been nearly a month since Oak Hill came out on top in a match. That was a non-district home game against Winona on September 14.
Over the next three weeks, the Raiders fell consecutively to Canton (district), Leake (district) and Heritage. In the last two games, Oak Hill had been out-scored 84-0.
This weekâ€™s game against New Site was not a district match, but it was as important as one. The struggling Raiders offense needed to score a lot of points, and the defense needed make plays. The team needed a confidence builder going into the final two weeks of the season.
The game was one of rushes. The Raiders threw the ball only twice all night.
They were definitely in their element, as three different rushers accounted for more than 40 yards each.
The Raiders jumped on the board for 12 points in the first quarter. New Site accounted for one touchdown and six points.
Oak Hillâ€™s defense held steady through the second quarter allowing zero points, and the offense added another touchdown to put some distance between the two teams going into the half.
Oak Hill was on top 18-6.
Things got better for Oak Hill in the third quarter with 13 points being added in the frame, while the defense held New Site to a goose egg again.
The fourth quarter was 8-6 in favor of New Site, but the damage had already been done by the Raiders, and they prevailed by 33 points.
Samuel Harrell accounted for 80 rushing yards on the night in just three carries. His longest run was 57 yards for a touchdown.
The lone pass reception between quarterback Riley Pierce and receiver Bradley Allen was a 15-yard touchdown throw.
Drake Riley had 76 yards on the ground, including a 49 yard run and a touchdown. Drew Riley had 44 yards and a touchdown. Jeb Stevens rushed four times for 17 yards on the night.
Drew Riley led the team on the defensive side of the ball with 10 tackles. Drake Riley had six tackles, and Paxton Trull and Dakota Oâ€™Bryant recorded five takedowns.
A.J. Isley had seven tackles, and Palmer White had five.
Joseph Caskey had five tackles, including the teamâ€™s lone sack.
Blake Henley had three tackles, and Steven Drago and Lane Clark recorded two each. The team had 56 tackles on the night.
The Raiders will be back at home next week to take on Kirk Academy. They will be trying to build on the momentum as they prepare for a final week road district match against Immanuel.