Oak Mountain finishes second-half chances to top Vestavia Hills

Published 3:00 pm Wednesday, March 13, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – The top-ranked Oak Mountain Eagles passed their latest test with flying colors as they defeated the No. 6 Vestavia Hills Rebels 3-0 at Oak Mountain High School on Tuesday, March 12.

The win takes the Eagles to 13-0-1 on the season and keeps their undefeated season alive.

Before breaking through, however, Oak Mountain had plenty of forward momentum but no first half goals to show for it.

It was one-way traffic right out of the gate for the Eagles, starting in the third minute with a golden opportunity for Nate Joiner that couldn’t get in on the initial effort or the follow-up from the Eagles offense on the rebound.

Shortly after, Gerardo Rodriguez sent a ball into the box that didn’t connect.

Oak Mountain then had a pair of breakaways just past the 10 minute mark that Vestavia Hills took care of.

The Eagles pressure continued throughout the first half, keeping the Rebels on the back of their heels and possession in favor of the hosts.

Oak Mountain closed the half with some solid chances, including a headed cross by Joiner that went left of goal in the 31st minute, a dangerous chance in the 38th minute that saw multiple efforts come up empty and a 39th minute shot by Rodriguez that fell to the left.

However, those empty chances left the Eagles where they started the half: in a scoreless draw.

That changed after the break as Oak Mountain finished its efforts better and broke the 0-0 deadlock.

In the 47th minute, an Eagles cross landed in a perfect spot behind the keeper near the goal line, and Joiner capitalized with an easy shot to score the opening goal.

Vestavia Hills tried to answer in the 56th minute, but its shot was comfortably saved by Oak Mountain.

Shortly after, Will Farley’s cross was nearly backheeled by Joiner into the goal but went off the post, and the follow-up effort missed as well.

Four minutes later, Riley’s pass across the goal went to Sam Collins, who tapped in the cross for the Eagles’ second goal of the day.

Just a minute afterwards, that 2-0 lead became 3-0 after a Harrison Kilgore cross into the box was hit midair by the Rebels into the back of the net for an own goal.

While Oak Mountain more chances before the end of the match, that finished off the scoring as the Eagles took the 3-0 win.

Oak Mountain will now take on another undefeated side in 6A No. 1 Mountain Brook, which is 16-0 on the season, on Thursday, March 14 at 5 p.m.