The Oak Hill Academy Raiders (3-2; 1-1) had 277 total offensive yards on Friday night agains the Winona Christian Stars.
After winning their first two games, the Raiders suffered back-to-back losses, including a district game last Friday against Manchester. Oak Hill had lost the focus and discipline it had the first two games against Newton County and Winston.
That was not the case on Friday night. Oak Hill won handily 21-6 against the Stars.
“This was a very important win for us,” said head coach Daniel Merchant after the game. “We had one of our best weeks of practice we’ve had all year.”
That certainly showed, as the Raiders did not fumble or throw an interception the entire game. Penalty yards against Oak Hill were almost non-existent throughout the game.
The defense was stellar, just like it was in weeks one and two.
Oak Hill had to battle early on for offense. Winona’s defense was up to the task in the first half, holding Oak Hill to only one touchdown.
Early in the second quarter, Oak Hill attempted to get on the board by way of a kick, but the field goal attempt was blocked. In the middle of the second, a Drew Riley interception came to nothing.
Winona was still generous. On its next drive, the offense coughed up the ball again, and A.J. Iseley jumped on top for the fumble recovery.
This time, Oak Hill would capitalize. After a gain of three yards by Drake Riley, Conner Baird went to the air and connected with Kurt Huffman for a touchdown with 1:49 to play in the half. The point after made it 7-0.
The low-scoring first half was answered by an offensive second half for the Raiders. On their first possession out of the locker room, Oak Hill had three first downs, and took nearly three minutes off the clock before Jeb Stevens powered his way up the middle for a touchdown from four yards out. That made it 14-0.
The ball would change hands a couple of times in the next six minutes, but Oak Hill finally pushed into the end zone again with 3:10 to play in the third. Once again, Jeb Stevens shot up the middle for a six--yard touchdown to make it 21-0.
Winona would eventually get into the end zone, before missing a two-point conversion in the third. The fourth was dominated by Oak Hill, and the offense burned our the Stars’ chances by running out the clock.
Baird finished the game 4-for-7 in the air for 42 yards. Drew Riley also had a 19 yard pass.
Jeb Stevens carried the ball 14 times for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Drake Riley had 15 carries for 90 yards, and Samuel Harrell ran eight times for 51 yards.
On the defensive side, Iseley had a tackle to go along with his fumble recover.
Drew Riley had two interceptions, three tackles and a sack. Joseph Caskey had four tackles, and Riley Pierce, Drew Riley and Drake Riley had three tackles each.
Dakota O’Bryant and Kurt Huffman had two tackles.
The Raiders will hit the field next week in a homecoming showdown with conference rival Canton Academy.