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Oak Glen gets point across by blanking Pleasant

Oak Glen linebacker Dylan Conley closes in on Point Pleasant quarterback Evan Roach in West Virginia playoff action Saturday. (Photo by Joe Catullo)

NEW MANCHESTER, W.Va. — Late in the fourth quarter during Saturday’s Class AA postseason contest, Oak Glen coaches, players and fans first heard that Hancock County turned gold on the West Virginia COVID map.

A loud ovation soon followed. Another huge celebration occurred moments after that because, for the first time in program history, the Golden Bears will host back-to-back playoff contests, just as long as the coronavirus pandemic does not wipe out the game.

First thing was first, and that came in the form of visiting Point Pleasant, the 12th seed. Fifth-seeded Oak Glen got off to a slow start offensively but picked things up after that, while the defense played stout throughout during the 42-0 victory.

“Our defense played lights out. Credit goes to our defensive coordinator, Chris Hill, and our defensive staff,” Oak Glen head coach Ted Arneault said. “We executed at the start of the game, and it bought us time to get our offense moving. Once our offense started rolling, there was no way to stop it.

“Our special teams also played well. No big plays were allowed.”

The Golden Bears (7-1) remain home in the second round at 4 p.m. Saturday because 13th-seeded seed Herbert Hoover stunned fourth-seeded Liberty (Raleigh), 34-33.

The Golden Bears really did not look like themselves offensive in the opening frame. Quarterback Nick Chaney was rattled and came off the field limping. Paxton Shuman lost a fumble. A Hunter Patterson punt return for a touchdown was called back.

“We had a lot of penalties, especially offsides. Any time that happens, it can mess up your tempo, and our rhythm got disrupted on those first two series,” Arneault said. “Once we were able to settle down and get in our comfort zone, I’m very proud how we executed.”

Patterson could only be contained for so long. He did have a 22-yard catch and a 26-yard run on a fake punt in the first, but he really busted out of the gate in the second.

With 10:10 left before halftime, Patterson ran right up the middle for a 60-yard score. Then, after a holding penalty was called on the PAT try, the Golden Bears opted to go for 2. Patterson found his cousin, Gage Patterson, wide open on a trick play.

A little less than four minutes later, Shuman put the lost fumble behind him and transformed into a bulldozer. He ran for 43 yards on the ensuing drive and helped set up a 1-yard plunge from Chaney.

“Paxton’s obviously a key factor. He’s so durable and such a loaded tackle,” Arneault said. “No defense wants to tackle him 15-20 times a game. If we can get him going, that’s a good sign. He did his job, and so did the offensive line.”

Shuman finished the game with 93 yards on 14 carries, as well as helping out on the defensive line.

“I felt like my coaches trusted me, so I had to trust them back,” Shuman said. “It could’ve been my final game, so I had to leave it all out on the field with my heart.”

It’s been well-documented for the past month that Oak Glen’s defensive backfield needed work after Brayden Mineard went down against Weir High. Hunter Patterson switched to safety, and the Golden Bears had to find two new corners.

What was not mentioned was the other safety position. That belongs to Kholton Goodlin. He intercepted an Evan Roach pass that set up a Hunter Patterson 36-yard TD run with 1:26 before halftime.

Leading 22-0 after the break, Goodlin returned the ensuing kickoff to Point Pleasant’s 28-yard line. Two plays later, Chaney found Gage Patterson for a 22-yard score.

“Goodlin had a really nice game,” Arneault said. “He had that nice kickoff return to help set up that scoring drive that arguably put the nail in the coffin. It really slowed down any chance they had to come back. Kholton also had a great game on defense and blocked really well on offense. He had an all around great game.”

A little more than four minutes later, Chaney threw a bomb roughly 40 yards down Point Pleasant’s sideline. Hunter Patterson then did the rest, reaching for the catch and out-running three defenders for a 75-yard touchdown.

Chaney finished 8 of 11 for 154 yards and three total scores.

“Nick was very efficient with the ball. That’s a credit to his film study,” Arneault said. “He’s very coachable, and I’m just thankful we get another week together.”

The final score came on a Matt Greenlief 59-yard run with 1:14 remaining in the third.

Jeremy Adams converted on four of five PATs.

Overall, Oak Glen ran for 351 yards, led by Hunter Patterson’s 134 on just eight carries. He also hauled in three passes for 107 yards.

The Golden Bears’ defense allowed 179 yards, including 111 rushing (40 coming on the final play of the game).

“We played a heck of a game defensively,” Shuman said. “We had a good game plan. Our line and defensive backs were ready for it.”

NUMBERS GAME

Point Pleasant had 14 players unable to suit up because of COVID-related issues. That does not include injuries.

THE OHIO VALLEY

Oak Glen is the final team in the Ohio Valley still in the playoffs. Madonna fell to Greenbrier West on Saturday night. Unfortunately, Wheeling Park, Wheeling Central and John Marshall are eliminated because of the COVID map. No team can participate if its county is in orange or red. Those three teams were scheduled to play Sunday in the opening round of the playoffs.

“My heart breaks for them,” Arneault said. “For teams to work that hard and to have so many ups and downs, I’m not really sure the map was the right way to go to determine sports this year. It really messes with the kids’ emotions. My heart breaks for Ohio County and any team that had a chance to finish their season.

“I hope there is some sort of miracle in store for them. Maybe our governor or somebody else will step up and allow them to play. I know numbers are spiking, but I know the coaches have done the right things.”

HOME COOKING

Oak Glen, if it can win this weekend, will stay at home until the state championship. No. 16-seed Elkins won its first playoff game in program history by upsetting top-seeded Sissonville, 42-27. Third-seeded Frankfort had to forfeit due to COVID-19.

“The road to a state championship runs through here if we can continue to do the right things and keep COVID away,” Arneault said. “The possibilities are endless, and we’re so happy to have another week during this crazy situation.

“The fact that we remain gold is huge. Hopefully, people in the community who are healthy will get tested through this week. I know our numbers are spiking, so I hope everyone will do the right thing, wear a mask and not put themselves into risky situations to hopefully keep this special run going.”

POINT PLEASANT: 0- 0- 0-0– 0

OAK GLEN: 0-22-20-0–42

SCORING

OG–H. Patterson 60 run (G. Patterson from H. Patterson)

OG–Chaney 1 run (Adams kick)

OG–H. Patterson 36 run (Adams kick)

OG–G. Patterson 22 pass from Chaney (Adams kick)

OG–H. Patterson 75 pass from Chaney (kick failed)

OG–Greenlief 59 run (Adams kick)

——

PP OG

First downs 8 14

Total Yards 179 505

Rushes-yards 34-111 37-351

Passing 68 154

Comp-Att-Int 10-15-1 8-11-0

Fumbles-Lost 4-1 3-1

Penalties-Yards 9-81 7-83

——

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

RUSHING: Point Pleasant, Rollins 3-44, Roach 19-36, Pearson 7-24, Wamsley 2-5, Taylor 2-1, Hughes 1-1; Oak Glen, H. Patterson 8-134, Shuman 14-93, Greenlief 3-71, Burt 4-41, Chaney 2-10, Lundy 1-6, Flowers 2-4, Heath 1-(-1), G. Patterson 2-(-3).

PASSING: Point Pleasant, Roach 10-15-68-1; Oak Glen, Chaney, 8-11-154-0.

RECEIVING: Point Pleasant, Schultz 3-23, Wamsley 3-19, Beattie 2-10, Jeffers 1-11, Pearson 1-5; Oak Glen, , G. Patterson 5-47, H. Patterson 3-107.

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