OROVILLE – The Oroville High School Homecoming Week started and ended with football wins.
On Monday the Hornets traveled to Entiat to play the Tigers in a game that was moved from Friday Oct. 26 to Monday, Oct. 29.
“Entiat called early last week to say that they would have to forfeit the Friday game because they didn’t have enough eligible players,” said Oroville Head Coach Tam Hutchinson. “They said they could field a full team by Monday, so our options were to take the win by forfeit, or wait till Monday. We choose to play football.”
Oroville won the Monday night game by a score of 15 to 6. The Hornet offensive line dominated the Tigers throughout the game, pushing them up and down the field, unfortunately mistakes and fumbles stopped the Hornets, resulting in the low score.
“We had four fumbles inside their 20 after marching down the field. Three of these resulted in turnovers. The fourth one we were able to recover which led to a 28 yard field goal by Matt Kelly,” Hutchinson said.
The defense did a good job of containing the Tiger’s spread offense. Entiat’s only score came on a first half 91-yard pass-run play that caught the Hornets out of position. “We gambled and it backfired on us,” said Hutchinson. “We shot all our linebackers up and they threw a short pass under in the middle, catching us out of position. A bad call on my part. Other than that the defense played good all night.”
On offense the Hornets moved the ball well. Freshman running back Nicky Perez had just over 160 yards rushing for the night.
“Our biggest problem was holding onto the ball,” said the coach. “Entiat couldn’t stop our backs so they kept trying to grab the ball.
“On one run, Nicky went 10 yards with what looked like the whole Tiger team around him, but nobody would tackle him, they just kept trying to pull the ball away, which they eventually did. I asked the officials why they hadn’t blown the whistle, they said the runner was dragging them all and his forward progress never stopped. This was the first time I had ever seen anything like that.”
On Friday, the Hornets had there annual Homecoming Game, which this year was against the Manson Trojans. After taking the opening kickoff to their 38 yard line, the Hornets marched 34 yards in eight plays down to the Manson 28 yard line. On first and ten, Oroville sophomore quarterback, Preston Iverson threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Senior Matt Kelly in the left corner of the end zone.
On the point after touchdown (PAT) attempt, the snap was high over the holders head. Kelly picked up the ball on the first bounce and raced around the right side for the two point conversion.
On their second possession, Oroville again marched down the field, this time to the 17 yard line, where Iverson threw another touchdown pass. This time it was to senior Justin Miller who caught it near the right sideline on about the three and carried in for the score. Kelly’s kick was good and the Hornets were up 15 to 0 with nine minutes left in the first quarter.
On the Hornets third possession, they moved the ball down to the 15 yard line. Two penalties in a row brought the ball back to the 35, where they turned it over following a bad pitch and fumble. The defense then held Manson to just six yards, forcing them to punt. Senior defensive end, Carlos Herrera got a hand on the punt, causing it to go just two yards over the line, where sophomore linebacker Tyler Clark caught it.
Two plays later Iverson scrambled around left end for a 38 yard touchdown run. Kelly’s kick was good giving Oroville the lead 22 to 0.
As the first quarter came to an end, the rain started coming down unexpectedly. With no towels on the field to dry the ball, both teams had a hard time holding on to it as it squirted around, with the teams trading possession back forth.
The first play of the second quarter was a 38-yard field goal attempt into the wind by the Hornets’ Kelly. The kick was long enough, but just wide left. The rest of the second quarter was much like the first with Hornets scoring two more TDs. The first, a two-yard run by Blaine Wagner and the other a 29-yard run by Nicky Perez.
For the night, Perez had 124 yards on 10 carries. Iverson was three out of four passing for 56 yards, while rushing 88 yards on 10 carries. Wagner had an interception he returned 32 yards. Justin Miller and foreign exchange student Rasmass Larsen also each had an interception. Herrera, Jose Velasco and Charlie Demartino were leading tacklers. Senior defensive tackle, Randy Wise, knocked down two passes, recovered a fumble and had three unassisted tackles.
“It was a good win for us and a great way to end a fun week. The student body participation has been great all week and they were super tonight! As for the game itself, I was pleased with the defense and the intensity the starters showed in the first half,” said Hutchinson.
The next scheduled game for the Hornets is on Friday, Oct. 10 in Bridgeport.
“We still have a lot of areas to improve in. I’m really pleased that I was able to get a lot of players into the game for an extended period,” Hutchinson said about the Homecoming Game.