Oak Mountain victorious to open McComb era

Published 12:26 am Saturday, August 26, 2023

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By CHRIS MEGGINSON | Special to the Reporter

TUSCALOOSA – Friday nights in August have been ones worth celebrating so for Oak Mountain head coach Shane McComb.

A week after celebrating the birth of his daughter, McComb celebrated his first win as Oak Mountain football coach, defeating Northridge on the road, 38-30.

“The coaches did a good job this week,” McComb said. “We met on Sunday and saw the mistakes we needed to correct from the jamboree. We showed up tonight and played a good football game. I thought we executed well. It’s a good win.”

Oak Mountain collected 440 yards of offense in the game, but it was a defensive score that put the Eagles on the board early, as linebacker Colton Moore scored the first touchdown of the season on a multiple fumble play late in the first quarter.

Northridge answered with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Rowdy Christensen to Reid Bankston, but the Oak Mountain Eagles scored 17 straight points on a 31-yard touchdown run by quarterback Will O’Dell, a 31-yard James Whatley field goal and 21-yard O’Dell touchdown pass to Sean Ray.

Tucker Corn drilled a 56-yard field goal for the Jaguars to close the first half, and Northridge was down 24-10 going into the break.

Marty Myricks broke through the line and burst down the center of the field for a 49-yard touchdown run with 6:24 to play in the third quarter, giving Oak Mountain a three-touchdown lead, 31-10. Early in the fourth quarter, O’Dell added a 10-yard touchdown run on a quarterback draw that put the Eagles up by 28.

O’Dell finished the night with 263 yards of total offense, including 190 of Oak Mountain’s 367 total rushing yards. He was 6-of-9 passing for 73 yards. Lee Meadows also rushed for the century mark, collecting 123 yards on 15 carries.

With some insurance in place, McComb rested his starters on both sides of the ball.

“We were up four touchdowns with nine minutes left and had some guys cramping. I don’t think it was too soon to put backups in. Game reps are good for everyone. It felt like a much bigger win than the score.”

McComb was proud of the growth that his team showed in practice this week after their jamboree loss to Bob Jones, and he believes that growth showed on the field tonight.

“I’m proud of the team, and I think we improved a lot this week,” McComb said. “We’re really young, but I think you’ll see our team get better every week.”

Northridge capitalized on the personnel changes and answered quickly when Christensen connected with Nick Sherman on an 18-yard touchdown, 38-17, with 9:18 to play in the game. A little more than four minutes later, Tyson Whiteside scored on a 1-yard run.

After a failed onside kick attempt, Northridge held Oak Mountain to a punt and then scored on a 51-yard touchdown pass to Sherman to make it an eight-point game.

The Eagles recovered the final onside kick with a minute-and-a-half to play before running out the clock in victory formation.

With the win, Oak Mountain starts out 1-0 on the young season. The Eagles will travel across Shelby County next Friday, Sept. 1 to take on the Pelham Panthers at 7 p.m.