Late touchdown seals Vikings fate

Oakmont gives up nine-point lead in fourth quarter
By: Brett Ransford, Special to The Press Tribune
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Chalk it up to a game it had and then lost. Oakmont crumbled in the final minutes of its season opener at Foothill Friday night, losing 16-12. At the end of the second quarter Oakmont held a 6-3 advantage. Despite a scoreless third the Vikings drew first blood in the fourth pushing their lead to 12-3. The game was won in the final two minutes of play. With 1:37 left the Vikings defense allowed Shavonce Raiford to bash into the end zone and clinch the win. It wasn’t all bad for Oakmont. Quarterback Alex Ford was productive when it mattered and gave up no interceptions. He found Fred Mobley wide open in the corner of the end zone in the first minutes of the fourth to take a nine-point lead that looked like the game-winner. With so much time left in the quarter it would prove too much for Oakmont to handle. One Foothill player proved his ability to be the one man game-changer. Devonn Hightower took an 80-yard kick return back for a touchdown off of a Michael Garrison kick-off following the touchdown pass to Mobley. A major standout for the Viking offense was running back Alex Cook. In the first quarter Cook punched through the Foothill red zone defense for the first six of the game. What hurt Oakmont in the end was the one play Cook didn’t blow through for a first down. With a minute and two seconds left, Cook took a hard hit on a run, spun and was hit again only to fumble the ball. Foothill recovered and took a few plays to run out the clock. A missed field and the later two-point conversion turned out to be devastating in the final score. Head Coach Tim Moore had only a few short words after the disappointing ending. “It was a tough loss,” said Moore. “(Foothill) converted their first downs and in the second half they were able to do what they couldn’t in the first. Both teams played really hard and that’s all I can ask for from my guys.” Of the loss itself Coach Moore simply said it hurt. He didn’t miss a beat to say his team was ready for their next game against Pitman. “Our whole offensive line carried us on our scoring drives,” Moore said. “It’s unfortunate how it ended for Alex (Cook) after he had such a great running game. But we win as a team and we lose as a team.” The Oakmont defense, led by Henry Okoroike, caused four fumbles. Another stumbling block however was their inability to recover any of those fumbles. The Vikings last offensive play of the game came at 1:37 left in the fourth and would be the only fumble recovery for either team. Oakmont hosts Pitman in their home opener next Friday night.