Football Team Gets First Win Of Season At Elwood

Posted on September 9, 2018 in Fall Sports, Football

By CHUCK LANDIS – clandis@chronicle-tribune.com
A young Oak Hill football team collected its first victory in the heavy rain Friday evening by blending stellar defense with a strong rushing attack.

Josiah Columbus rushed for two touchdowns before he was injured and Jon Holz and Clayton McCorkle also ran for scores in the Golden Eagles’ 28-0 Central Indiana Conference victory over host Elwood. Meanwhile, the defense limited the Panthers to 106 total yards and record a shutout.

Oak Hill (1-3, 1-1 CIC) had been competitive into the fourth quarter of its three previous games and coach Bud Ozmun said his team took a step forward against the Panthers. The Eagles did have two fumbles end drives, but the defense atoned for those turnovers by intercepting Elwood quarterback Seth Mirales four times.

“(Friday) was an evolution of team and progress we have made,” Ozmun said Saturday afternoon. “We had done positive things in the other three games and in the end we had a bad snap or missed a tackle late and you could chalk it up to inexperience or being early in the season.

“Each week we have gotten better and last night we played by far our overall best game when it came to the mistakes – not missing as many tackles or missing blocking assignments – and not having turnovers,” he added. “We went through some growing pains early and still have a few coming up, but I feel like they are a lot less and our consistency is a whole lot better.”

Elwood (0-4, 0-2) under first-year coach Chuck Foga has allowed 53.0 points a game this season while scoring 21 points, and the Panthers could only sustain one drive against Oak Hill. Mirales generated much of their yardage with 89 rushing yards on 19 attempts and was 2-of-15 passing for 14 yards and the four interceptions.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Eagles struck at 11:08 of the second on Columbus’ 25-yard TD run. Columbus later scored his second TD on a 1-yard plunge just 54 seconds before halftime for a 14-0 lead.

Columbus, who also plays middle linebacker, sustained a deep muscle bruise to his leg during the game, according to Ozmun, and his status for Friday’s game against Eastbrook at Ball State University is yet to be determined.

It remained 14-0 until Holz broke open for a 14-yard TD with 11:05 to play and McCorkle followed three minutes later with a 19-yard scoring run.

Oak Hill rushed for 238 yards and sophomore Blake Fox was the top rusher with 100 yards followed by Columbus with 52 on just four attempts (13.0 average) and Holz with 49. McCorkle, the Eagles’ sophomore quarterback, ran for 32 yards and was 5-of-7 passing for 37 yards. Mark Servier was a perfect 4-for-4 on PAT kicks.

Elwood finished with 92 rushing and 14 passing yards as the Eagles shut out an opponent for the first time since Oct. 8, 2017 against Madison-Grant (43-0).

“It was exciting for the kids to not only get the win but also get the shutout and that is a bonus,” Ozmun said. “… Everyone feels good about both sides of the ball.

“We had not given up a lot leading into (Elwood),” he added. “Blackford put up two (touchdowns) later in the game and Southwood put one up really late in the fourth quarter. The defense has been playing well and they get the shutout and I’m really pleased and proud of those guys.”

Oak Hill gives up a home game to play county rival Eastbrook at 1 p.m. Saturday as part of CIC Day at Ball State, an every four-year event. Since opening the season at home, the Eagles are in the midst of playing six straight on the road or neutral sites.

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