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By GOOSE LINDSAY
It was student vs. teacher at Oliver Springs' D.J. Brittan Field Friday night and on this night the student came out on top as Wiley Brackett's Oliver Springs Bobcats topped Craig Moser's Midway Green Wave, 24-13.
For Brackett, Friday's victory was special as he started his coaching career at Midway and he has a lot of respect for his friend and counterpart on Friday.
“I knew Midway would come in here tonight and play hard,” Brackett said. “Craig always does a tremendous job and he always has a good team.
“But I think we played hard in the mud tonight. It's tough to play when the field's like this, but we just kept on chugging in the mud.”
Field conditions were poor Friday to say the least, but Moser said that didn't keep his team from picking up the victory.
“That (wet field) didn't hurt us,” Moser said. “We've practiced in the rain all week and it seems like it's rained all year so we were ready for it.”
Moser did say failing to execute in the red zone is what hurt his team the most as the Green Wave turned the ball over twice on downs inside Oliver Springs' 10 yard line.
“I thought we fought hard, we just didn't capitalize a couple of times when we had it inside the 10. We had the momentum going our way and gave it to them.”
After stopping Midway to start the contest, Oliver Springs opened the scoring Friday night with a seven-play, 81-yard drive that ended in a five-yard run from Coty Lively with 6:13 left in the opening period.
Lively carried three times in the drive for 32 yards while Jordan Romero opened the drive with a 36-yard run.
Oliver Springs' PAT was no good.
Midway responded by going to the air. QB Thomas Viar opened the drive by completing five of six passes for 45 yards in moving the ball to the Bobcat 43 before the Oliver Springs defense stiffened and forced a punt.
Oliver Springs' second drive didn't go as well as the first, however, as Midway's Charles Binger intercepted a Garrett Miller pass to give the Green Wave excellent field position at the Bobcat 33.
Midway picked up one first down thanks to a 16-yard run by Matt Oliver, but their drive would stall when a fourth down pass from Viar to Wakon Roberson came up just inches short of a first down at the seven yard line.
After a three-and-out, Midway got the ball with good field position again at the Bobcat 45 after a punt, but Oliver Springs' Wesley Rather picked off a pass off a deflection at midfield to end any chance at a score.
Oliver Springs would turn the ball over on downs four plays later at their own 44 and this time the Green Wave would take advantage of the good field position as Midway needed nine plays before Viar found Jack Henderson in the end zone from eight yards out.
Viar completed four of five passes on the drive for 30 yards.
Midway's PAT was no good, leaving the score 6-6 with 4:08 left in the first half.
Oliver Springs also missed out on a scoring chance in the first half as the Bobcats marched from their own 42 to the Green Wave one on their next possession before Midway's defense stood tall with Viar stopping Have Williams short of the goal line on fourth-and-goal.
Oliver Springs wouldn't come up short on the first possession of the second half, however, as the Bobcats drove 70 yards in 11 plays with Romero scoring on a seven-yard run.
Romero set up the score with a 27-yard run and he also scored earlier in the drive on a 66-yard screen pass, but the points were taken off the board after a block-in-the-back penalty behind the play.
Oliver Springs' two-point attempt was no good, leaving the score 12-6 with 7:45 left in the third period.
Oliver Springs' defense then came up with a big play as Cruise Smith picked off a Viar pass and returned it 37 yards to the Green Wave six.
Shawn Wright scored three plays later on a two-yard run to make the score 18-6 with 5:35 left in the third period.
Oliver Springs' two-point try was no good.
After an exchange of punts, Midway used a 33-yard pass from Viar to Dillion Davidson to reach the Bobcat 13. Viar followed with a nine-yard run as Midway was knocking on the door, but a pair of penalties helped kill the drive as Oliver Springs took over on downs at the 12 yard line.
Midway found the end zone on their next possession as the Green Wave drove 54 yards in five plays with Viar hooking up with Roberson from five yards out with 7:48 left in the contest.
Oliver booted home the PAT to make the score 18-13.
Midway had the momentum at this point, but their defense couldn't come up with a stop as the Bobcats answered the Green Wave touchdown with an eight-play, 58-yard scoring drive of their own.
Romero was again huge in the drive as he carried the ball three times in the drive for 43 yards, including a tough run of 13 yards for the touchdown.
Oliver Springs' PAT was no good, leaving the score 24-13 with 3:59 left to play.
Midway drove the ball to midfield before turning the ball over on downs on their next possession.
Oliver Springs ended the evening with 377 yards of total offense on 60 plays. Most of the yardage came on the ground as the Bobcats carried the ball 52 times on the night for 328 yards.
Romero did the most damage as he carried the ball 20 times for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Miller (9-87) and Lively (8-58-1 TD) also had success running the ball.
Midway ended the evening with 217 yards of total offense on 50 snaps.
Most of Midway's yardage came through the air as Viar completed 18 of 33 passes for 191 yards. He also threw two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Roberson was Viar's No. 1 target with nine receptions for 73 yards with a touchdown. Henderson added five catches for 51 yards and a score while Davidson caught three passes for 58 yards.
Both teams will step back into district play Friday night as Midway plays at Greenback in a District 3-A contest while Oliver Springs hosts Jellico in a District 4-A affair.
Rushing- Viar 10-5, Henderson 2-(-5), Oliver 3-20, Allison 1-6, Team 1-0.
Passing- Viar 18-33 for 191 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs.
Receiving- Roberson 9-73 with 1 TD, Henderson 5-51 with 1 TD, Davidson 3-58, Binger 1-9.
Oliver Springs Statistics
Rushing- Romero 20-164 with 2 TDs, Miller 9-87, Lively 8-58 with 1 TD, Wright 8-15 with 1 TD, Rather 1 (-13), Williams 4-25, Team 2-(-8).
Passing- Miller 5-8 for 49 yards with 1 INT.
Receiving- Romero 2-11, Rather 1-12, Eskridge 2-26.