Oak Mountain drops road matchup with Vestavia Hills

Published 2:43 am Saturday, October 21, 2023

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

VESTAVIA HILLS – The Oak Mountain Eagles are still searching for their first region win of the season after a 50-0 loss to the Vestavia Hills Rebels on Oct. 20.

After Vestavia received the ball to open the game, quarterback John Paul Head hit his man for a 33-yard catch and run, and the Rebels went up 6-0 three minutes into the game.

Oak Mountain fell victim all night long to a Vestavia defense that was motivated to make up for allowing 55 points to Hewitt-Trussville in Week 8, including its first drive, which was a three-and-out.

Vestavia used a short field to quickly gain yards and set up Head for a four-yard touchdown run. However, the ensuing two-point try failed for the second time in the quarter, leaving the score 12-0.

Oak Mountain got backed up by penalties on its next drive and couldn’t make up the extra yardage. That gave Vestavia the ball back, but after four plays on offense, the Rebels turned the ball over on downs in a great stop for the Eagles defense.

From there, Will O’Dell and the Oak Mountain offense embarked on a promising drive that got into Vestavia territory. Although, when faced with 3rd and 1 on the Rebels 36, the running game couldn’t get past the line to gain, which forced a turnover on downs.

After giving up two first downs early, the Eagles defense held strong in the red zone and forced Vestavia to settle for a 31-yard field goal, which it made to extend the lead to 15-0 with eight minutes left in the half.

The Rebels next drive started in plus territory, which let Head score five plays into the drive on a quarterback keeper with three minutes left.

A turnover then led to two more scores before the half, the first on a 48-yard touchdown pass from Head and the second on a punch-in scoring run at the goal line by the Rebels signal caller to put his team up 36-0 at the break.

That was Head’s final action of the game as Vestavia Hills changed quarterbacks at halftime. Oak Mountain also went with a change at that position and brought in Drowdy Hackbarth for the second half.

Both teams ran the ball heavily in the second half, which limited the damage from either side as the clock wound down.

Vestavia Hills did score twice before the game ended, once on a 7-yard touchdown run with eight minutes left in the third and a final time on a 36-yard pass with four minutes remaining in the period. That led to a scoreless fourth quarter and a final score of 50-0.

For the Eagles defense, Jacob Porco led all Oak Mountain tacklers with seven tackles and five solo tackles. Colton Moore had six tackles with four being solo tackles, and Robert Yoder, Sean Ray and Cole Kelly each had four tackles.

Oak Mountain will face Spain Park next week in its final game of the season as the Eagles look to get back into the win column before the end of the year.