Oak Glen Golden Bears Rout Warriors in First Round of Class AA Playoffs
NEW CUMBERLAND — Despite a perfect regular season, Oak Glen only received the sixth seed in the Class AA playoffs and one guaranteed home game.
Maybe its opponents weren’t good enough to draw more points. Maybe the other five teams are simply better in the minds of the WVSSAC committee. Maybe, and most likely the reason why, Oak Glen’s schedule simply was too “weak.”
Well, the Golden Bears know what others are saying and went out Saturday afternoon with a chip on their shoulders. Hosting a playoff game for the first time in school history, they cruised to the next round by disposing No. 11 Wyoming East, 55-13.
“We know our schedule. That’s something everybody criticizes us for because everybody just looks at records,” Oak Glen coach Ted Arneault said.
“But, if you look at the teams we played, they have quality wins. We don’t feel like we’re not playoff tested. That’s everybody else that thinks that way. We came into this game thinking we are playoff tested.
“We proved that (Saturday). We can go down, really work our butts off for Poca and put together another great game plan.”
The Golden Bears (11-0) head to Poca next week face the third-seeded Dots, who defeated North Marion, 42-27, on Saturday. As of Saturday afternoon, Arneault did not know if he would choose Friday night or Saturday afternoon as the date.
The Warriors (8-3) received the opening kickoff and drove down deep into Oak Glen territory. However, the drive stalled when Wyoming East fumbled. Gage Patterson collected the loose ball and raced 89 yards for a touchdown.
“I picked it up and knew I was taking it to the house,” Patterson said.
The two-point conversion failed, leaving the score at 6-0 midway through the first.
“Wyoming East came in with a good game plan and gave us some trouble early on in the first quarter, but our defense held up,” Arneault said. “They were just outstanding. Props to them for the turnovers, holding the explosive plays and making stuff happen today.”
The Golden Bears’ first offensive possession began in late in the first and concluded on the first play in the second quarter. Hunter Patterson hauled in a 25-yard TD pass from Nick Chaney. Michael Lemley then caught the two-point conversion to increase the advantage to 14-0.
That would be the first of four total scores in the second quarter.
With 7:56 left, Gage Patterson caught and ran for a 61-yard touchdown, while also hauling in the two-point conversion. Oak Glen led, 22-0.
After the Golden Bears stopped the Warriors again, they drove deep into Wyoming East territory with less than two minutes left in the first half. This time, though, Chaney threw an interception to Chase York, and he returned it 75 yards for a score.
With one minute to go before halftime, Oak Glen gave it another shot and drove into Wyoming East territory again. On fourth-and-10 with roughly 10 seconds remaining at the Warrior 26-yard line, Chaney lobbed a pass into the end zone. Brayden Mineard reached high above two Warrior defenders for the score and gave his team a 28-7 halftime lead.
“That was huge. That goes to our preparation in practice,” Arneault said. “We do a team takeoff where we try to get plays going fast and try to get out because that was a situation where we only had a minute to score, so let’s get out there and score. You can’t just take a knee every time.
“Kudos to Brayden Mineard. He’s normally not our offensive starter. Seth Mozingo hurt his back, and we kept him out for the rest of the game. Brayden stepped in and caught a huge pass for us at the end of the first half.”
The third quarter was all Oak Glen, scoring three times and leading 49-7 at the end of it. Hunter Patterson had a 43-yard passing touchdown from Chaney, Lemley’s pick-six covered 78 yards and Paxton Shuman ran for a 6-yard score shortly after an onside kick. Matthew Wright converted on all three PATs.
“We tried to mix things up. That was the key to success,” Arneault said. “Offensively, we need to mix it up by passing and running in different formations and give them different looks. We can’t be one dimensional and predictable.”
The final two scores in the fourth came on Landon Beatty’s 1-yard plunge and a long Warrior TD pass.
With the explosiveness the Pattersons, Lemley and Chaney possess, Shuman was the one called upon to grind out the yards and keep the clock running. He carried the ball 14 times for 110 yards.
“With our offense, it’s pick your poison,” Arneault said. “Do you want to stack the outside perimeters away and take the Pattersons away, or do you want to stack up the middle? We have a big boy that can run. Our offensive line, you also have to give them props. They tend to out-perform every single week.”
Four of Chaney’s seven completions went for scores, totaling 193 yards in the process with two picks. Hunter Patterson ran for 73 yards and caught two passes for 73 more yards and two scores. Gage Patterson added 82 receiving yards on just three catches. He also tallied eight tackles and the fumble recovery for a TD. Lemley totaled two interceptions.
Oak Glen piled up 450 yards of total offense, as opposed to 270 for the Warriors.
NOTE: Mike Brown contributed to this story.