Oak Mountain rallies back against Tuscaloosa County, falls short on missed two-point try

Published 11:27 pm Friday, September 22, 2023

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By STEPHEN DAWKINS | Special to the Reporter

NORTH SHELBY – After scoring a touchdown to pull within one point of the lead with time winding down, Oak Mountain went for the 2-point conversion and its first region win of the year.

Unfortunately, the attempt was no good, and visiting Tuscaloosa County was able to run out the clock for a 24-23 win on Friday, Sept. 22 at Heardmont Park.

The Wildcats (4-1 overall, 2-1 in Class 7A, Region 3) got the scoring started with a 7-yard touchdown run by Marcus McCants. Landon Smith added the point after for a 7-0 lead with 5:39 on the clock in the first quarter.

Landon Smith then extended the lead to 10-0 with a 39-yard field goal moments later in the first quarter.

OMHS got on the board with a 31-yard field goal by James Whatley with 4:51 to play in the second quarter.

The Eagles kept the momentum rolling with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Will O’Dell to Sawyer Smith with 1:09 left in the first half.

With time winding down, Oak Mountain surely felt good about heading to intermission with the score tied, but Tuscaloosa County took possession and struck for a touchdown on one play, an 80-yard pass from Braeden Smith to Jordan Chambers-Smith.

The Wildcats came back from the break and put the hosts in a 14-point hole on a 1-yard touchdown run by Braeden Smith to cap off a long drive.

The Eagles’ chances were beginning to slip away as they took over with just under 4 minutes left to play in the game, but the Oak Mountain offense generated a 10-play, 88-yard drive—its longest of the night—and scored on a 1-yard run by O’Dell with 1:32 on the clock.

OMHS then recovered the onside kick and drove 47 yards for another touchdown, this one a 30-yard strike from O’Dell to Sawyer Smith.

With 1:17 remaining in the game, the Eagles lined up for the 2-point conversion attempt, but O’Dell was stopped short of the goal line.

Tuscaloosa County took over and ran out the clock.

O’Dell completed 12 passes in 24 attempts for 158 yards and two touchdowns to one interception.

O’Dell was also the Eagles’ leading rusher with 20 attempts for 178 yards. Marty Myricks added 11 rushes for 38 yards.

Smith caught five passes for 132 yards.

Jacob Porco, Robert Yoder, Cole Kelley and Caleb Jaworski led the OMHS defense with seven tackles apiece.

The loss drops the Eagles to 1-4 on the year, 0-3 in region play. Next, they will play their final non-region game of the year, on Sept. 29 at Briarwood, before finishing out the season with a daunting stretch that includes games against Hoover, Thompson, Vestavia Hills and Spain Park.