Oak Mountain rallies to win homecoming

After trailing by four points in the fourth quarter, the Oak Mountain Eagles continued fighting to clinch a nail-biting, homecoming win against Buckhorn, 24-21.

The Eagles opened the game with a 29-yard field goal by Jeffrey Haney on their first drive.

Late in the first quarter, quarterback Drew McKnight met Davis Dudchock for the Eagle’s first touchdown on a 12-yard pass, putting Oak Mountain up, 10-0.

McKnight kept the ball on a 39-yard run for the Eagles’ next score, giving oak Mountain a 17-0 lead midway through the second quarter. McKnight finished with 66 yards rushing in the game.

Shortly before the end of the half, Buckhorn scored its first points from a little under a yard out, making the score 17-7 at the half.

Buckhorn opened the third quarter opened with a touchdown, shortening the Eagles’ lead to three points, 17-14, with 5:16 left in the quarter.

With 5:22 left in the game, Buckhorn took the lead, 21-17, on a 34-yard run and successful point-after kick.

The Eagles’ offense was unable to move the ball on the next drive, but Oak Mountain wasn’t ready to call it quits yet.

After the defense kept Buckhorn from scoring, the Oak Mountain offense trotted back onto the field with one last chance to score. With 2:26 left in the game, McKnight found Ross Ware on an 11-yard pass to start the offense’s final drive. They repeated on the next play for a gain of 10 yards.

McKnight then found Alex Gouin for a 9-yard pass. After being unable to connect with anyone on second down, McKnight kept the ball for a gain of 2 yards, giving the Eagles another first down.

With 1:37 left in the game, McKnight connected with Jake Gayle for a gain of 6.

The ball kept moving two plays later with a Buckhorn pass interference penalty that gave the Eagles first-and-10 at the 16. McKnight connected with Gouin on the next pass for the winning touchdown with 1:14 to play.

“The kids executed,” said head coach Jerry Hood. “It is a great win. The kids fought back from adversity.”

Hood said the team would prepare the same as they did this week for next week’s in-county match-up against Thompson.

The close game wasn’t the night’s only nail-biting event. The Eagles also crowned their homecoming queen and princesses. Senior Mallory Morrison was crowned as the homecoming queen. Emma Brooks, Peyton Fields and Erin Fondren served as the ninth, 10th and 11th grade princesses, respectively.