By Travis Whitton
For The Herald Bulletin
CONVERSE, Ind. —
The showdown between two teams in a grudge match on Sept. 20 before Oak Hill pulled out a 14-7 overtime thriller turned into a much more offensive affair in Friday's sectional finals against Alexandria.
The Golden Eagles played smash mouth football by running the ball down the throats of Alexandria as they scored on their first two offensive possessions.
They got a five-yard touchdown from their 235 pound fullback Ethan Bowland at the 7:08 mark of the first quarter and 23-yard scoring run from Zach Daniels. The two scores proved to be crucial as Oak Hill walked off the field with a 35-14 victory on their home turf to win the sectional 36 crown on a brisk November evening.
Evan Hodges got the Tigers back into the game in the second quarter by capping off a 13-play, 74 yard drive, running in a touchdown from four yards out to make things interesting at 14-7 with 9:44 before the intermission.
Kicker Riley Johnson booted a 38- and 34-yard field goal, respectively before the half stretching the Golden Eagles’ lead to 10 points at 20-7.
Anthony Thomas caught a 23-yard strike from Blaize Kelly in the third quarter making it 20-14 midway through the third quarter, but Mason Althouse and Bowland each galloped into the end zone in the third quarter to make it 35-14 heading into the final stanza of play.
Neither team could muster a touchdown in the fourth, and Oak Hill walked off the field hoisting the sectional crown.
Hodges led the rushing attack for the Tigers by toting the ball 14 times for 39 yards and a touchdown, and Thomas got the other score on the pass from Kelly who threw for 257 yards on the night.
Jonah Jerrils led all receivers with four catches for 76 yards, and Alexandria’s leading receiver all season, Drew Johnson hauled in five for 67 yards. Kelly went 19-for-35 for the 257 yards and a score but was picked off twice in the game.
The Golden Eagles were led by Nate McPike’s 24 rushes and 125 yards, while McDaniels also went over the century mark with 16 totes for 110 yards and a score.
Bowland had 12 carries for 72 yards two touchdowns and two 2-point conversions.