Oak Glen Rolls in 1st Round
NEW MANCHESTER – Late in the fourth quarter during Saturday’s Class AA postseason contest, Oak Glen coaches, players and fans first heard that Hancock County turned gold on the West Virginia COVID map.
A loud ovation soon followed. Another huge celebration occurred moments after that because, for the first time in program history, the Golden Bears will host back-to-back playoff contests, just as long as the coronavirus pandemic does not wipe out the game.
First thing was first, and that came in the form of visiting Point Pleasant, the 12th seed. Fifth-seeded Oak Glen got off to a slow start offensively but picked things up after that, while the defense played stout throughout during the 42-0 victory.
“Our defense played lights out. Credit goes to our defensive coordinator, Chris Hill, and our defensive staff,” Oak Glen coach Ted Arneault said. “We executed at the start of the game, and it bought us time to get our offense moving. Once our offense started rolling, there was no way to stop it.
“Our special teams also played well. No big plays were allowed.”
The Golden Bears (7-1) really did not look like themselves offensive in the opening frame.
Quarterback Nick Chaney was rattled and came off the field limping. Paxton Shuman lost a fumble. A Hunter Patterson punt return for a touchdown was called back.
“We had a lot of penalties, especially offsides. Any time that happens, it can mess up your tempo, and our rhythm got disrupted on those first two series,” Arneault said. “Once we were able to settle down and get in our comfort zone, I’m very proud how we executed.”
Patterson could only be contained for so long. He did have a 22-yard catch and a 26-yard run on a fake punt in the first, but he really busted out of the gate in the second.
With 10:10 left before halftime, Patterson ran right up the middle for a 60-yard score. Then, after a holding penalty was called on the PAT try, the Golden Bears opted to go for 2. Patterson found his cousin, Gage Patterson, wide open on a trick play.
A little less than four minutes later, Shuman put the lost fumble behind him and transformed into a bulldozer. He ran for 43 yards on the ensuing drive and helped set up a 1-yard plunge from Chaney.
“Paxton’s obviously a key factor. He’s so durable and such a loaded tackle,” Arneault said. “No defense wants to tackle him 15-20 times a game. If we can get him going, that’s a good sign. He did his job, and so did the offensive line.”
Shuman finished the game with 93 yards on 14 carries, as well as helping out on the defensive line.
“I felt like my coaches trusted me, so I had to trust them back,” Shuman said. “It could’ve been my final game, so I had to leave it all out on the field with my heart.”
It’s been well-documented for the past month that Oak Glen’s defensive backfield needed work after Brayden Mineard went down against Weir. Hunter Patterson switched to safety, and the Golden Bears had to find two new corners.
What was not mentioned was the other safety position. That belongs to Kholton Goodlin. He intercepted an Evan Roach pass that set up a Hunter Patterson 36-yard TD run with 1:26 before halftime.
Leading 22-0 after the break, Goodlin returned the ensuing kickoff to Point Pleasant’s 28-yard line. Two plays later, Chaney found Gage Patterson for a 22-yard score.
“Goodlin had a really nice game,” Arneault said. “He had that nice kickoff return to help set up that scoring drive that arguably put the nail in the coffin. It really slowed down any chance they had to come back. Kholton also had a great game on defense and blocked really well on offense. He had an all around great game.”
A little more than four minutes later, Chaney threw a bomb roughly 40 yards down Point Pleasant’s sideline. Hunter Patterson then did the rest, reaching for the catch and out-running three defenders for a 75-yard touchdown.
Chaney finished 8 of 11 for 154 yards and three total scores.
“Nick was very efficient with the ball. That’s a credit to his film study,” Arneault said. “He’s very coachable, and I’m just thankful we get another week together.”
The final score came on a Matt Greenlief 59-yard run with 1:14 remaining in the third.
Jeremy Adams converted on 4 of 5 PATs.
Overall, Oak Glen ran for 351 yards, led by Hunter Patterson’s 134 on just eight carries. He also hauled in three passes for 107 yards.
The Golden Bears’ defense allowed 179 yards, including 111 rushing (though 40 occurred on the final play of the game).
“We played a heck of a game defensively,” Shuman said. “We had a good game plan. Our line and defensive backs were ready for it.”
REPRESENTING THE OHIO VALLEY
Oak Glen is the final team in the Ohio Valley still in the playoffs. Madonna fell to Greenbrier West Saturday night. Unfortunately, Wheeling Park, Wheeling Central and John Marshall are eliminated because of the COVID map.
“My heart breaks for them,” Arneault said. “For teams to work that hard and to have so many ups and downs, I’m not really sure the map was the right way to go to determine sports this year. It really messes with the kids’ emotions. My heart breaks for Ohio County and any team that had a chance to finish their season. I hope there is some sort of miracle in store for them. Maybe our governor or somebody else will step up and allow them to play. I know numbers are spiking, but I know the coaches have done the right things.”
Greenbrier West 58, Madonna 0
CHARMCO — 2 Greenbrier West scored 29 first-quarter points and held Madonna to negative total yardage deep into the third quarter in a victory in the first round of the Class A state playoffs.
The Cavaliers may have received a big blow when senior leading rusher Noah Brown was carried off the field in the second quarter with a lower right leg injury. He was immediately placed in a boot and did return to the bench area in the second half.
Greenbrier West quarterback Kaiden Pack completed 7 of 15 passes for 125 yards and three touchdowns. Cole McClung ran for 125 yards and a score on 11 carries.
The Cavaliers (9-0) will play No. 7 Ritchie County in the quarterfinals next weekend.