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Oakmont comes back to beat Casa Roble

By: Nick Hunte
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Oakmont High School ended its football season with a 40-35 come-from-behind win at Casa Roble on Friday night.

Trailing 21-14 at halftime, the Vikings (4-6 overall, 2-3 Capital Valley Conference) came back in the third quarter.

Casa Roble led 21-7 until Oakmont senior Dylan Knapp had a 62-yard catch and run for a touchdown with about two minutes left in the first half.

Oakmont still trailed 29-20 late in the third quarter, when senior Robert Walton scored on an impressive 30-yard run. Walton nearly was tackled but backtracked, changed directions to the right to shake off the Casa Roble defense and found a hole to the end zone.

Oakmont took its first lead, 33-29, when senior Caspian Hamric scored on a nine-yard run with 5:46 left in the fourth quarter. Walton scored again on another 30-yard run to increase the Vikings’ lead to 40-29.

Walton was enthusiastic in describing the moments.

“Big players make big plays in big-time situations,” he said, quick to give credit where he felt it was due for the win. “Our O line did it for us. I just ran the ball. All the credit goes to the O line.

“We’re much better than what our record is. We needed this win for the seniors, and we worked our butts off for the past eight months.”

Casa Roble (1-9, 0-5) scored with less than two minutes left but failed on the two-point conversion attempt, and Oakmont held on.

It was an emotional scene after the game, as the team huddled up for the last time with most of the seniors in tears and cheerleaders and even coaches feeling the emotions, including head coach Tim Moore.
“This is definitely a special moment, and they were capable of doing this type of stuff all season long,” Moore said. “These (seniors) are my first group of four-year players, and they finished the night like the guys that I’ve been trying to shape and mold, teach and develop for four years. They definitely stepped up to the plate and attained the goals that they had.”

Senior quarterback Taylor Laird also gave much credit to the offensive line for the win.

“I had the best O line in the league, and they never get recognition,” he said.

Looking ahead to next season, Moore was optimistic.

“Our mentality is that we don’t have to rebuild; we just reload,” he said. “Whether that next group is a group that competes for a league championship and a playoff spot remains to be seen. We’re doing something special, and it’s pretty exciting.”

Oakmont’s JV team lost to Casa Roble 21-8.