Oak Grove coach Pat Richard watched the painful process of a young team growing up, forged by fire, while having to find a way to say goodbye to six seniors who were heart-and-soul players for his 3-7 Panthers football team in a Class 3 60-14 district loss at Hogan Prep Saturday afternoon.
While the Panthers scored the first and last touchdowns of the game, there wasn’t much to cheer about in between as the 10-0 Rams scored 60 unanswered points.
Oak Grove recovered an opening onsides kick and senior running back Kenton Wilhoit scored on an 18-yard run and a two-point conversion to give the Panthers an 8-0 lead at the 9:57 mark of the first quarter.
The Panthers led 8-6 after one period, but three Oak Grove fumbles later, the Rams ran off 30 points in a row to take a 36-8 lead at halftime.
There was also a brief scare as quarterback Jaxon Althaus suffered a concussion following a hard hit at 6:06 of the second quarter. He did not return.
“That just made me sick,” Richard said when asked about Althaus’ injury. “He’s a great basketball player and was a heart-and-soul player on our football team, and then he gets hurt in the last game of the season with basketball practice starting in a week. We hope he is going to be OK.”
Althaus’ injury did not require hospitalization and he said over the weekend that he was recovering from headaches, blurry vision and memory loss.
The Panthers, with sophomore Marsh Brenden at quarterback, managed to score on their final possession as Brenden hit fellow sophomore Nate Foster on a 16-yard touchdown pass as time expired.
“We watched a lot of freshmen and sophomores grow up this season,” Richard said. “I just hate it for our seniors that we weren’t more successful.”
Hogan Prep’s Demetris Taylor led the Rams offense with touchdown runs of 12, 10 and 52 yards.
GRANDVIEW 27, VAN HORN 7: Van Horn won just one game last season.
The Falcons had four headed into Friday’s Class 4 District 6 opener and will finish the season with that after a loss to host Grandview.
Terrion Seddens rushed for 96 yards and the Falcons’ lone touchdown on 16 carries as they finished the season at 4-6. Izaiah Cosey ran for 94 yards on 23 carries and had two interceptions and 13 tackles on defense.
The Falcons kept it close early. After Grandview scored the opening touchdown, Seddens capped off a drive with a 1-yard plunge to tie it at the 7:30 mark of the first quarter.
Grandview scored again at the 10:06 mark of the second quarter and took a 14-7 lead into halftime.
The Bulldogs, who outgained the Falcons 495 to 167 yards, added a touchdown in each of the third and fourth quarters to pull away.