Oskaloosa Remains Perfect with Late Defensive Stand

by Wade Steinlage

Oskaloosa–The Indian football team kept its record unblemished, surviving a scare from Burlington to win 24-19 in non-district play Friday.

Oskaloosa (3-0) bent a bit as it was outgained 373-235, but did not break in its first tight matchup of the fall. The Greyhounds (2-1) suffered their first defeat, despite a massive night from Bryant Williams who rushed 24 times for 319 yards and three touchdowns.

The hosts countered with a strong rushing performance from Darryl Fane, who gobbled up 94 yards on 18 carries, and a solid passing night from Keaton Flaherty, who was 12-for-24 for 146 yards and two scores.

Burlington received the opening kickoff and quickly went on top, marching 59 yards in 3:30 to lead 7-0.

Fane then took just 13 seconds to provide the Indians’ answer, returning the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for the touchdown. He found a seam on the right side and perfect blocking ahead allowed him to make it 7-7.

The visitors jumped on the back of Williams and the standout put his team back on top with a 48-yard scamper. The extra point was missed, but the Greyhounds still led 13-7.

A quick punt by Oskaloosa put the defense back on the field, but after another huge run from Williams, Burlington was shut down. Ryan Hafner, with help from Donivan Tighe and Tatum Westercamp, stopped a second push from the Greyhound quarterback on fourth down and the Indian offense was back in business.

After pushing into the Burlington redzone, it appeared the Indians might come up empty, but on 4th-and-13 from the 26-yard line, Flaherty lofted the pigskin into the back corner of the endzone and Waylon Bolibaugh hauled it in. The extra point from Dawn Braden was good and Oskaloosa claimed the lead for the first time, and for good, at 14-13 early in the second quarter.

Both sides were stopped in their next drives, but the home team would not be denied points in the waning moments before halftime. Although they could not punch it in, the Indians were able to extend their lead to four as Braden connected on a 25-yard field goal for a 17-13 halftime advantage.

The lead grew to double digits just 2:13 into the second half when Flaherty and Bolibaugh hooked up again, this time from 31 yards away to put the hosts up 24-13. Bolibaugh finished the night with four receptions for 93 yards.

Both halves were packed with early scoring, and mirroring the former half, the latter 24 minutes also tapered off as the Indians looked to salt the game away.

Unfortunately, the Greyhounds did not go quietly with Williams breaking free for the biggest play from scrimmage, darting 93 yards to the endzone and pulling Burlington to within a score late in the third period. The two-point conversion failed and it was a five-point edge for the Indians.

With little working in its next possession, Oskaloosa was in danger of giving up the lead, but the defense stopped the Greyhounds deep in their own territory. Then, in what could have been a major momentum-changing moment, Burlington’s fake-punt attempt was snuffed out and the Indians were just 16 yards away from putting the game on ice.

Two fumbles, including one on 4th-and-1, crushed those hopes and the visitors still had life with 5:22 remaining in regulation. Burlington, headlined by a 46-yard rush by Williams, moved onto Oskaloosa’s side of the field, but the Greyhounds shot themselves in the foot with a penalty. Then on 4th-and-25, Braden locked it up by sacking the quarterback and the Indians enjoyed the spoils of the victor for the third Friday in a row.

Colin Snitker was active all night, posting 17 tackles to pace the defense. Christian Cavan added eight, while Braden, Ikaika Opheim, and Tatum Westercamp each finished with seven stops. Braden topped Oskaloosa with 2.5 tackles for loss.

“I am proud of our guys,” Head Coach Brett Doud said. “This was a test that we needed versus a very tough and physical Burlington team. We needed to prove to ourselves that we can play for a full 48 minutes. I felt this test was a step in the right direction for sure.”

“Our defense played extremely gritty tonight,” Doud added. “With the exception of a few big plays, we played great team defense versus an extremely good running team.”

Oskaloosa travels to Keokuk next Friday as it wraps up non-district play with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

Posted by on Sep 13 2021. Filed under Local News, School Activities. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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