Oak Mountain picks up big win against Mountain Brook

Published 1:19 am Saturday, September 5, 2009

As Oak Mountain High School quarterback Paul Angel took a knee on the final play of Oak Mountain’s Friday night slugfest with region rival Mountain Brook, it served as little indication of the excitement in the air only minutes before.

As time expired at Oak Mountain’s Heardmont Park and the Eagles wrapped up a 14-10 win over Mountain Brook, dozens of blue and red jerseys rushed the field and began leaping, hugging and laughing.

Oak Mountain Head Coach Jeff Harris had secured his first victory at the school after coming off a 24-0 loss to Pelham.

“I just can’t say enough about our kids. They stuck in, persisted and won,” Harris said as his players celebrated in the middle of Eagles Stadium. “We have a heck of a coaching staff, and we are going to have fun the rest of the way.”

An unorthodox play late in the fourth quarter resulted in Oak Mountain’s second score of the game, pulling the Eagles ahead of the Mountain Brook Spartans 14-10. It would be the last score of the game for either team.

The play began as Angel passed the ball to running back Ross Ware, who then launched the ball to wide receiver Rico Dunn. After Dunn caught the ball in the open field, he powered ahead nearly 30 yards into the end zone as the home bleachers erupted in a frenzy.

“It’s just something we’ve been working on for a while in practice,” Harris said of the play. “It just seemed like the right time and the right place, and it worked.”

“I just saw an opportunity and took it,” Ware said after the game of his pass to Dunn. “It is something we’ve been working on, and I finally got to use it.”

Oak Mountain’s final touchdown added to a first-quarter Eagles scoring drive about four minutes into the game.

The Eagles posted the first touchdown of the game after Ware capped off a three-play drive by breaking through the Mountain Brook defensive line and running 55 yards into the end zone. Mark Caldwell kicked the point after touchdown.

The Spartans, coming off a 34-7 victory over Thompson High School last week, tied the game late in the second half when Mountain Brook defensive back Crawford Cox ran five yards into the end zone. Daniel Barnstien added the extra point.

The game remained tied at 7-all until Barnstien pulled the Spartans ahead by completing a 26-yard field goal, making the score 10-7 until Oak Mountain’s final touchdown sealed the win.

Oak Mountain next Friday plays host to Gardendale High School. The Spartans next week will host the Pelham Panthers.