Oakman holds off Berry rally for 9th win
by W. Brian Hale
Nov 02, 2013 | 1247 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Oakman’s Chris Austin rushes against Berry during their regular-season finale on Friday. Austin rushed for 76 yards and three touchdowns in Oakman’s 32-20 home win over Berry. The Wildcats will host Cottonwood next week in the opening round of the playoffs. Photo by Jason Clark
Oakman’s Chris Austin rushes against Berry during their regular-season finale on Friday. Austin rushed for 76 yards and three touchdowns in Oakman’s 32-20 home win over Berry. The Wildcats will host Cottonwood next week in the opening round of the playoffs. Photo by Jason Clark
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OAKMAN — The No. 7 Oakman Wildcats held off a fourth-quarter rally to put the finishing touches on the regular season, beating the Berry Wildcats 32-20 at Hosea Collins Field in Oakman on Friday night.

Oakman’s rushing attack took center stage in the contest, gaining 212 yards with Jase Trotter leading the way with 12 carries for 133 yards and one touchdown. Trotter also passed for 96 yards on five of seven passes and surpassed the 2,000 passing yard for the season. Chris Austin added 76 yards on nine rushes and scored three touchdowns.

Jake Jones had a superb night defending against Arkansas State commit Terrence “Tank” Hollingsworth and the Berry rushing game, recording 22 tackles and two tackles for a loss. Purvis Coger grabbed two interceptions and added five tackles for the contest. Oakman (9-1) defended Berry’s passing perfectly throughout the game, holding the Berry quarterbacks to 0 of 7 completions.

“Jase and Chris had great nights running the ball — we haven’t been able to use Chris like we wanted to over the past few games as a lot of teams have been keying in on him, but he really came through for us tonight,” Oakman coach Mark Hastings said. “We didn’t have the ball much as Berry did such a great job in keeping our offense off the field, but we had seven possessions in the game and scored four times. That’s pretty solid production and I was very pleased with how our offense moved down the field.”

Coger set the tone for the contest in the final seconds of the opening quarter, intercepting a Hollingsworth pass in the endzone and returning it 100 yards for the score. The extra point attempt failed, giving Oakman the 6-0 lead.

Berry (5-5) answered on a 68-yard drive on the ensuing series to take the lead, 8-6, following a successful two-point conversion.

Oakman re-established the lead on the next possession on a three-play, 55-yard drive, with Austin taking the ball in from four yards out. The extra point kick failed, putting Oakman back on top, 12-8.

After holding Berry to a punt, the Oakman offense added another score to their lead midway through the second quarter, capping off a five-play, 53-yard drive with a 24-yard run by Austin — allowing Oakman to take an 18-8 edge into the half.

Berry was held on downs on the first possession of the second half, leading to a three-play, 72-yard scoring drive by Oakman.

Trotter ended the drive on a 55-yard touchdown run, extending the Oakman advantage to 25-8.

Berry began the fourth quarter with two successive scoring drive to cut the lead to 25-20 before Oakman stopped the rally. Austin scored his third touchdown of the night on a 14-yard run to end a six-play, 51-yard drive, allowing the Wildcats to secure the 32-20 final.

With Lamar County’s 35-10 victory over Winfield, Oakman finishes in second place in Class 2A, Region 4. The Wildcats will host the Cottonwood Bears of Region 2 (6-4, 5-2) next Friday in the first round of the AHSAA playoffs.

The Bears lost to Class 5A Rehobeth, 23-14 to end the regular season.