Oak Mountain takes first region win of season

By ANTHONY WATSON/ Special to the Reporter

MILLBROOK — Thick, hazy steam rose from the ground Friday night in Foshee-Henderson Stadium where the Oak Mountain Eagles decisively beat the Stanhope Elmore Mustangs 35-21 in a game where turnovers were key.

The Mustangs (1-2, 0-2 Class 6A Region 4) couldn’t stop the Eagles running game. Coupled with four turnovers – in which Oak Mountain (1-2, 1-1) would capitalize with touchdowns on all but one – Stanhope Elmore couldn’t seem to catch up.

Starting from its own 36-yard line, Oak Mountain drove down the field in four minutes and scored on a 15-yard Warren Shader run.

The Eagles quarterback tallied up 106 yards and two touchdowns for the night.

The Mustangs were solid and consistently moved the chains from their own 20-yard line to their opponent’s 20-yard line until a familiar monkey jumped on their back.

Oak Mountain recovered a Stanhope Elmore fumble with 3:33 left in the first quarter.

The Eagles scored when junior running back Josh Gaines broke away for a 28-yard touchdown run to put the Eagles even higher on the scoreboard. Blake Miller booted it over the Stanhope Elmore field house to make it a 14-0 game with 9:34 in the second half.

In what would become a theme of the night, Jaryus Wilson broke away for a huge 65-yard gain on the first play of the series for a touchdown. The clock read 9:22. Angel Vasquez, not to be outdone, gave Stanhope Elmore the extra point to make it a 14-7 game. This is the closest the Mustangs ever got to a lead.

The second half seemed like déjà vu for the Stanhope Elmore defense when the Eagles charged down the field without passing once, letting Gaines get his second touchdown for the night and later with Shader getting his second and last touchdown.

Wilson, not to be outdone, connected with Bra Moss on an 80-yard touchdown strike that made the score 28-14 with 38 seconds left in the half.

Willie Ezell put the Mustangs in great field position when Oak Mountain recovered another Mustang fumble.

In odd fashion, both teams refused to punt on fourth down, resulting in a no-man’s land between the 40-yard lines.

After another Gaines touchdown, Wilson connected with Jeremy Powers late in the third quarter to make the final 35-21.