Oak Mountain boys shutout Hewitt to advance to Class 7A quarterfinals
Published 11:10 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2022
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
NORTH SHELBY – The No. 2 Oak Mountain Eagles continued an impressive defensive season in the opening round of the Class 7A playoffs on Tuesday, May 3 in a home matchup with Hewitt-Trussville.
Looking to advance to the quarterfinal round of the postseason, the Eagles not only put together their 12th shutout of the season but scored two goals in each half to pull away for a 4-0 victory.
With the win, Oak Mountain improved to16-4-5 on the season to advance to the quarterfinals, while the Eagles have yet to give up more than two goals in any game and have given up one or less in 21 of 25 games this season.
In the opening round, however, the offense was just as impressive, scoring four goals.
It started 10 minutes in when Houston Graham got the offense in a rhythm with his first goal to put Oak Mountain on top 1-0.
But in an improved season for the Huskies, Hewitt-Trussville bounced back with strong defense and came close to finding an equalizer with 12 minutes left.
They just missed one opportunity and then had another one saved a minute later to keep the score 1-0.
Oak Mountain quickly made the Huskies pay for missing the opportunity by earning a free kick with 9:40 left.
From just inside the midfield line, Garrett Murphy fooled the defense by taking a shot rather than playing the ball into the box.
He sent a high-arching shot over every defender and just over a leaping keeper into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
The Eagles then just missed a header in the final minute, but took a 2-0 lead into the break.
Hewitt came out inspired with energy in the second half with the threat of the season ending now a real possibility.
Oak Mountain’s pressure defensively, however, was too much for the Huskies to overcome.
With 23:26 left, Caleb Smith got a deflection off a defender at the edge of the goalie box, put one pop off his chest and buried a shot in the back of the net to make it 3-0.
Then, three minutes later, the Eagles added the dagger with momentum fully on their side when Aidan Riley was able to add another powerful shot into the net to make it 4-0, which became the final score.
Oak Mountain will now take on Austin or Grissom in the quarterfinals, hoping to reach the Final Four in Huntsville with a win.