HILLSBORO — The Oakland Oakers wrote the final chapter of their storybook football season on Saturday.
Top-seeded Oakland used another strong start, taking a 28-point lead in the second quarter and coasted to a 46-32 victory over No. 7 Weston-McEwen/Griswold for the OSAA Class 2A nine-man title at Hillsboro Stadium.
Cade Olds capped off an outstanding senior season for the Oakers (12-1), rushing for 243 yards on 28 carries and scoring three touchdowns. Olds, who transferred to Oakland from North Douglas his junior year, finished the fall with 1,629 yards and 29 TDs.
Senior quarterback Cole Collins completed 4 of 7 passes for 157 yards and two scores. He connected with James Baimbridge for a 49-yard TD in the first quarter and threw a 49-yard strike to Brayden Webb in the fourth period.
“I’m just proud of this group of kids,” said Ben Lane, winning his second state championship (the first one coming in 2012) in 13 years as Oakland’s head coach. “They’re resilient and hard workers. If anyone deserves a state championship, it’s this group of 23.”
The victory avenged the Oakers’ lone loss of the season, a 24-16 nonleague defeat to Weston-McEwen in Week 2 in Athena. The TigerScots (9-3) scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make the score respectable.
“We’ve always wanted to do this,” Collins said during the celebration afterwards. “Ever since I was a little kid, I just remember looking up to the older guys who did it (in 2012) and I was like, I think we really need to do this for our community. And we came out and did it.”
“It feels unreal,” added senior guard Will Parnell. “I hadn’t played (football) since eighth grade and playing my last year (of high school) and winning the state championship is awesome.”
The Oakers were unstoppable offensively, amassing 548 total yards and averaging 9.3 yards per play. Weston-McEwen finished with 380 yards, averaging 6.4 a play.
“I don’t know how to explain it right now, but it’s the greatest feeling in the world,” Olds said.
The Oakers led 34-14 at halftime, but the TigerScots didn’t quit and were able to finish with the highest point total against the Oakland defense this season.
“Credit to our guys. Again they didn’t put their heads down and continued to play hard,” Weston-McEwen coach Kenzie Hansell said. “But credit to Oakland. They’re well-coached and congratulations to them for winning the state championship. They have a lot of weapons ... they’re a physical team and controlled the offensive and defensive line.”
Oakland is a run-first team, but delivered a big pass on its first play from scrimmage.
Collins found Gabe Williamson for a 35-yard gain, setting up a 25-yard touchdown run by Jake Chenoweth. Collins ran in the two-point conversion, giving the Oakers an 8-0 lead just over a minute into the game.
“I think that first touchdown was crucial,” Collins said. “We let them know we were here to play, we’re going to come out and punch you in the mouth.”
The Oakers drove 79 yards in seven plays on their next possession, with Baimbridge hauling in his TD pass from Collins with 6:26 left.
Oakland pushed its advantage to 22 when Olds scored on a 19-yard run and added the two-point conversion with 11:56 to go in the second period.
Weston-McEwen got on the scoreboard, with Kyren Miller catching a 20-yard pass from sophomore Easton Berry with 10:06 remaining in the quarter.
But the Oakers scored two straight touchdowns to make it 34-6 with 2:56 before halftime. Olds and Collins each had 1-yard TD runs.
Logan Nissel ran it in from the 1 for the TigerScots with 1:20 to go, but Weston-McEwen was staring at a 20-point deficit.
“The leaders spoke up and the message at halftime was this game is far from over,” Olds said. “They keep fighting to the end, and they’ve come back and won a lot of games. We knew we had to keep the throttle on.”
Olds raced 45 yards for a score early in the third quarter to give Oakland a 40-14 lead.
“I’ve been saying it all year, I think we have the best line in the state,” Olds said, referring to center Dallas Fishbaugher and guards Tucker Cozart and Parnell. “They may not be the biggest, but they work so hard.”
The Oakers spread the wealth around nicely, with five different players scoring.
“That’s kind of been our scheme all year,” Collins said. “We use everyone. Cade is obviously our main guy, but we can go to the other guys when defenses are keying on him.”
Williamson contributed 54 yards rushing on 11 carries, while Chenoweth and Collins each ran for 36 yards.
“Every time they would strike, it seemed like our kids would answer back,” Lane said. “We weren’t perfect in the second half, but were good enough.”
Sophomore Maddox King led Weston-McEwen with 137 yards on 19 carries, including a 6-yard TD run in the fourth. Berry was 13 of 22 passing for 161 yards and two scores.
Baimbridge, Williamson, Coen Egner and Chenoweth each made 11 tackles for the Oakland defense. Williamson broke up three passes and recovered a fumble, while Egner, Williamson and Chenoweth combined for three sacks.
The Oakers set a school record for most wins in a season.
Oakland’s senior class includes Collins, Olds, Calvin Calvin, Cozart, Nick Russell and Parnell.
W.-McEwen 0 14 0 18 — 32
Oakland 14 20 6 6 — 46
O — Chenoweth 25 run (Collins run)
O — Baimbridge 49 pass from Collins (run failed)
O — Olds 19 run (Olds run)
WM — Miller 20 pass from Berry (run failed)
O — Olds 1 run (run failed)
O — Collins 1 run (run failed)
WM — Nissel 1 run (Roggiero run)
O — Olds 45 run (run failed)
WM — King 6 run (kick blocked)
O — Webb 49 pass from Collins (run failed)
WM — Nix 19 pass from Berry (kick failed)
WM — Berry 1 run (pass failed)
RUSHING — Weston-McEwen, King 19-137; Roggiero 4-24; Berry 11-17; McBean 1-3; Nissel 1-1. Oakland, Olds 28-243; Williamson 11-54; Chenoweth 3-36; Collins 6-36; Webb 3-19; Arscott 1-3.
PASSING — Weston-McEwen, Berry 13-22-0, 161; Reich 1-1-0, 37. Oakland, Collins 4-7-0, 157.
RECEIVING — Weston-McEwen, Reich 4-73; King 3-43; Miller 2-23; Hubbard 1-23; Nix 1-16; Sprenger 1-8; Roggiero 1-6; Youncs 1-6. Oakland, Webb 1-49; Baimbridge 1-49; Williamson 1-35; Arscott 1-24.
TACKLES — Weston-McEwen, Roggiero 19, Langford 12; Berry 11; Nix 9; McBean 8; Youncs 7; Reeder 4; Reich 3; Garcia 2; Miller 2; King 1. Oakland, Baimbridge 11; Williamson 11; Egner 11; Chenoweth 11; Collins 7; Olds 6; Webb 3; Arscott 3; Browning 1.