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Oakmont pulls away from Foothill

By: Justin Lawson/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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Oakmont High School proved in the past a lead wasn’t safe, even if it was on its field. Sure-fire wins slipped out of the Vikings’ grasp before, and as they exchanged scores Friday with Foothill, some of those thoughts came back.

But this was the night Oakmont reclaimed its house.

Senior running back Caspian Hamric sprang loose for a 49-yard scamper in the fourth quarter to finally break away from the pesky Mustangs as the Vikings grabbed a 43-34 win for their first home victory since 2010.

“We were just taking back what was ours, and this is our house,” said Hamric, who rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns on 12 attempts. “We were just protecting it. We should have done it the last couple of years and we just took it back.”

Oakmont (1-0) looked like a new team much of the night as it tried to erase the memories of last season’s 2-8 record. But it was a few relapses that led to big plays for Foothill, which had seven plays of 20 or more yards, and kept it in the game.

The Mustangs (0-1) pulled within 29-26 with 5:26 after Dillon Paris scored a 1-yard touchdown run that he set up earlier in the drive with a 48-yard carry.

While the Vikings could have relived their recent history, it was two seniors who led them to a new beginning. Quarterback Taylor Laird, who missed half of the school week because of sickness, took the snap on a read-option and quickly tucked the ball into Hamric’s stomach. The 5-foot-8 senior saw a seam up the left side of the field and outran the defense to the end zone to give the Vikings breathing room with a 36-26 lead.

“It’s happened to us before,” Laird said of blowing late leads. “We’ve gotten ahead on a team and then take it easy on them and keep letting them back, letting them back. We didn’t want to do that this time.”

Laird, who was 9 for 26 with three touchdowns and 103 yards on the ground, added a score minutes later when he broke away on a 17-yard designed quarterback keeper for a touchdown.

“The biggest difference that I see so far with this group compared to previous years is they’re just really grasping those real high-intense situations and going after them,” Oakmont coach Tim Moore said.

OAKMONT 43, FOOTHILL 42

Foothill      7     6     7   14 — 34
Oakmont   0   14   15   14 — 43


Foot — Paris 63 run (kick good)
Oak — Holmes 4 pass from Laird (Rosnak kick)
Oak — Parker 25 pass from Laird (Rosnak kick)
Foot — Dotson 6 run (kick failed)
Oak — Holmes 25 pass from Laird (conversion failed)
Oak — Hamric 24 run (kick failed)
Foot — Johnson 80 pass from Carter (kick good)
Oak — FG Rosnak 35
Foot — Paris 1 run (kick blocked)
Oak — Hamric 49 run (Rosnak kick)
Oak — Laird 17 run (Rosnak kick)
Foot — Johnson 63 pass from Carter (Conversion failed)

Individual statistics

RUSHING — Foothill, Paris 11-251, Dotson 13-91, Carter 7-(-15). Oakmont, Hamric 12-149, Laird 13-103, Keys 6-55, Parker 2-7, Stanley 1-1, S. Walton 1-0, R. Walton 1-(-1), Prater 1-(-1).
PASSING — Foothill, Carter 7-15-0, 173; Oakmont, Laird 9-26-0, 145.
RECEIVING — Foothill, Johnson 3-155, Entwistle 1-11, Litz 2-9, Clay 1-(-3). Oakmont, Holmes 4-66, Schmitt 4-54, Parker 1-25.