Oak Mountain comes up short against Rebels

Published 2:34 am Saturday, September 5, 2015

Oak Mountain quarterback Warren Shader makes a move upfield during the Eagles' 35-26 loss at Vestavia on Sept. 4. (Contributed / Barry Clemmons)

Oak Mountain quarterback Warren Shader makes a move upfield during the Eagles’ 35-26 loss at Vestavia on Sept. 4. (Contributed / Barry Clemmons)

By NEAL EMBRY / For the Reporter

NORTH SHELBY – Coming off a loss Aug. 29, the Oak Mountain Eagles traveled to Vestavia seeking their first win of the season Sep. 4. The Eagles were helped by the return of coach Cris Bell and quarterback Warren Shader, but the defense struggled to contain the Rebels, and despite an impressive fourth-quarter rally, Oak Mountain fell to Vestavia, 35-26.

The traditionally run-heavy Rebels began the game with a 53-yard pass from quarterback Brett Jones to running back Walker Minor, who scored minutes later. Minor finished the game with 143 total yards and three touchdowns.

After giving up another touchdown, Oak Mountain broke through on their second offensive series. Shader, who had 213 yards of total offense and three touchdowns, shook off several tackles en route to a 13-yard touchdown run at the end of the first quarter to put the Eagles on the board.

Oak Mountain had a chance to tie the game after running back Daniel Salchert blasted through the Vestavia defense for a 31-yard touchdown run, but the Eagles missed the point-after attempt, allowing the Rebels to hold on to a one-point lead.

Vestavia scored two more touchdowns before the break, taking a 28-13 lead into halftime.

The Eagles quickly drove inside the Vestavia 10-yard line on their first offensive series of the second half, but the Rebel defense forced a fumble and recovered it to end the Oak Mountain threat.

After Minor scored his third touchdown of the night, the Eagles faced a tough task in the final twelve minutes, down 35-13.

In a rare move for the Eagles’ run-based offense, Shader threw the ball deep down field, where he found receiver Noah Egan for a 44-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 15.

A few minutes later, Shader scampered into the end zone for a three-yard touchdown run with only three minutes to play. However, the Rebel defense surged forward on the extra-point attempt and blocked it, keeping Oak Mountain down by two possessions.

Oak Mountain had one more chance with less than two minutes to play, but failed to gain a first-down and keep possession. The Eagles fall to 0-2, while Vestavia moves to 2-0 on the season.

“I thought we were gutsy, and we didn’t lay down,” Coach Bell said. “I’m proud of the way we competed tonight.”

Oak Mountain hosts Hoover Fri., Sep. 11.