Eagles competitive at Lookout Valley

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By Taylor Crombie

The Oakdale Eagles ended up losing 21-12 to the Lookout Valley Yellow Jackets, but played much more competitive football than they have in the past few weeks.

“We fought,” Oakdale head coach J.R. Voyles. “I have several kids that really laid it on the line tonight.”

The Yellow Jackets took an early 7-0 lead by the end of their first drive, but the Eagles hung in there and answered with a touchdown of their own before the end of the first quarter.

The Eagles started their touchdown drive on their own 36-yard line, but quickly made it into Lookout Valley territory on a 16-yard pass from Nathen Arrowood to Taylor Braddock for a first down.

Evan Burchfield picked up another first down for Oakdale with a 15-yard run two plays later. Arrowood launched a pass to Tanner Poole in the end zone, but Poole couldn’t come up with the catch. Braddock and Tyler Hinds both rushed for a yard a piece on the following plays, bringing up fourth-and-8 at the Lookout Valley 31. Arrowood connected with Braddock again for a 26-yard gain to pick up another key first down and put the Eagles five yards away from the end zone. Oakdale lost 7 yards between a sack and an illegal procedure penalty, but Arrowood found Braddock in the end zone on third down to bring the score to 7-6 with just over a minute left in the first quarter.

Lookout Valley added another score early in the second quarter after Zane Howard found his way around the right side of the defensive line for a 20-yard run that put the Yellow Jackets on the 1-yard line. Lookout Valley scored the touchdown on the next play and took a 14-lead after the PAT.

Arrowood threw two interceptions in the second quarter, but the Eagles were able to get the ball quickly both times. Lookout Valley fumbled and Oakdale recovered shortly after the first one, and the Eagles only allowed the Yellow Jacket offense to pick up three yards after the second one.

Faced with fourth-and-7 on their own 42, the Yellow Jackets elected to punt the ball away. The Eagles blocked and ended up with the ball on Lookout Valley’s 47-yard line. Arrowood found a gap and took off for the end zone, scoring the Eagles’ second touchdown of the night.

Oakdale would have tied the game with a successful 2-point conversion, but the Yellow Jackets’ defense made sure that Lookout Valley held onto the lead.

The Eagles’ defense gave up one more touchdown in the third quarter, while the offense was unable to string anything together to stage a comeback, bringing the final score to 21-12 Lookout Valley.

Oakdale returns to regional play this week with a home game against the Oliver Springs Bobcats.

The Bobcats are 2-5 so far this season, but their record is deceiving. Three of their five losses are from 3A teams. They are 2-1 against regional opponents with a 42-14 win over Harriman and a 51-18 win over Sunbright, who shut the Eagles out 37-0 two weeks ago.

“Oliver Springs is always a big physical team,” Voyles said. “They like to line up and run at you, similar to some of the stuff we saw tonight. We should be prepared mentally for that kind of football game now.”