Happy homecoming for Vikings

Defense leads Oakmont to victory
By: Brett Ransford, Press Tribune Correspondent
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It looked like a close game early, but on homecoming night Oakmont was determined to put on a show as the Vikings bashed Mesa Verde 34-13. Oakmont’s second win in a row at home wasn’t pretty, but it was effective. The Vikings moved away from passing plays for the majority of the game, choosing to attack the Mavericks on the ground. Oakmont’s first touchdown was in the first quarter as quarterback Alex Ford pushed through on a quarterback draw on third-and-inches to even the game at 7-7. Wide receiver Fred Mobley took a short dump pass from Ford and turned it into a touchdown. Mobley fought through a few defenders near the 3-yard line with .6 seconds left in the first quarter. He finished with 58 yards on four receptions and a touchdown. Easily the top play for Oakmont was Michael Garrison’s 85-yard touchdown return on an interception. “I saw the quarterback going out with nowhere to go,” said Garrison. “When I saw that ball go up I knew I couldn’t just let it go. I’ve had a hip injury for the past two weeks that’s been hurting me, but in a situation like that you can’t be thinking about it. It was just mind over matter.” One mind that definitely matters is that of running back Alex Cook. It was another successful game for Cook with two touchdowns on 80 yards rushing. He had fifteen rushes and felt much better now that his lingering knee injury has subsided. “Our offensive line could block the whole game,” said Cook. “I feel better of course. This game the rush was working better, but I have to thank the o-line for that. I just ran.” Ford was 11-of-23 with 123 yards and also ran for a score. “They tried to take away the deep ball a lot so we tried to go underneath it by running,” Ford said. “The middle was wide open all night long. The o-line got it done and in the second half we made some adjustments and started pounding them. When they only have five in the box, of course we’re going to run it.” James Selfridge and big man Hunter Watkins anchored the offense from the front line, which was especially impressive considering captain and senior lineman Brandon Peacock was out with an injured knee. Sophomore Tyler Alsey was called up to fill the gap and didn’t miss a beat. Justin Caliste had 129 return yards. Even in the waning minute of the fourth quarter Caliste took what should have been two or three tackles near Oakmont’s 10-yard line and managed 22 yards on the return. “We had a lot of penalties,” said head coach Tim Moore. “But the good thing is that we still get the win. I was pleased with our execution on special teams as well as our defense doing an excellent job.” On defense Andrew Tucker broke Mesa’s offense. He had two sacks for a total loss of 14 yards. Henry Okoroike had five tackles, preventing Mesa’s only offensive standout, tailback Sir Johnson from getting going. Coach Moore said his team has to rely on seniors like Tucker and Okoroike to set the tempo. “When they come off the edge hard or come up the ally and make those big hits, that’s what spurs these guys on,” Moore said. “We had good pressure on the quarterback, a ton of tackles for loss and sacks and then that big play by Garrison which was a huge boost for us early on. All week the main issue was being more aggressive but also being smart and we definitely did that tonight.” The Vikings (2-1) continue their home stand next week against Antioch (1-2).