Oak Grove uses its size, motivational for 2018 title-game loss to oust White Castle in 1A final – The Advocate

Posted: December 14, 2019 at 10:42 pm


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It was obvious that like his players, White Castle High coach Aaron Meyer, had put everything he had into the Class 1A title game.

Meyers hoarse voice cracked multiple times with emotion as he addressed the media after Oak Grove opened the final day of the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Prep Classic with a 55-12 victory over White Castle.

These kids I love them. They played their hearts out week in and week out. Day in and day out they practiced, Meyer said. Theyre special and I just hope somebody noticed.

The final game was not the ultimate validation the Bulldogs dreamed about. Instead of bringing home a title trophy to match the one White Castles 2010 team won, this WCHS got caught up in a physical matchup in which fourth-seeded Oak Grove (11-3) had a size advantage with 15 players who weighed 235 pounds or better.

That differential and an 21-0 first-quarter deficit put Meyers team in a hole their speed and desire could not overcome. Marcus Williams, who ran for a game-high 177 yards on 10 carries with two touchdowns, was the title-game MVP for the Bulldogs (9-4).

Ron Craten, who rushed for 159 yards on 23 carries with two TDs, was the title-game MVP for Oak Grove. He also played a key role in the first play that set the tone in the game played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

White Castle muffed the opening kickoff and Craten recovered at the WCHS 15. Two plays later, he scored and the Tigers had a 7-0 lead. OGHS drove 89 yards in 12 plays, and Craten scored on another short TD.

An interception of a pass by Williams, a running back who was in the grasp of a defender, set up a third OGHS touchdown in the first 11 minutes of the game.

The disappointing loss in the 2018 title game weighed heavily Oak Grove and provided plenty of incentive as the Tigers won their first LHSAA title since 2001.

The last six weeks of football that weve played has been as consistent of an effort as I have ever been a part of coaching, OGHS coach Ryan Gregory said. We played a great game against a great opponent. This is what this team deserves is to finish it off the way we did.

Williams pushed momentum toward WCHS with a 60-yard TD run with 10:23 left in the first half. But Oak Grove countered with a 10-play, 72-yard scoring drive. Bert Hale, OGHS 325-pound defensive lineman, returned an interception 46 yards for another TD.

The Bulldogs Williams came back with a 65-yard TD run. But by halftime the score was 41-12.

It was hard for Williams and other players, including quarterback Javier Batiste, to explain what happened Saturday. Batiste offered, Ive played football since seventh grade and this is the best season Ive ever had. I had to become a leader. It made me a better man.

Asked about his teams emotional post-game huddle, Meyer offered, Sometimes you have to hug tighter and love harder.

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Oak Grove uses its size, motivational for 2018 title-game loss to oust White Castle in 1A final - The Advocate

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December 14th, 2019 at 10:42 pm

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