STOUGHTON, Mass. –- Jared Schneider ran for two and passed for one touchdown to lead Oliver Ames over Hockomock Davenport rival Stoughton 24-14 last night.
Down 7-3 at the half, Schneider attributes the second half play to coach Jim Artz’s halftime speech.
“Coach told us that he loved us,” Schneider said. “He didn’t want to give up on us and Thanksgiving, he didn’t want that to be our last game with this group.”
OA (5-4, 2-1) came out in the second half and scored in just over three minutes to take the first lead of the game, a 30-yard scamper over the left tackle by Schneider. He had a running back to option to on his left, but the field opened up and he went in.
After an illegal motion penalty and two plays that netted two negative yards, Stoughton’s Alex Fernandes threw a pass that was intercepted by Ryan St. Clair and brought to the Stoughton 14. Four plays later, Schenider scored again from two yards out.
At 17-7, the Black Knights (5-5, 2-1) were two scores down and needing to produce points on the next drive to keep some momentum.
Starting from their own 40, Stoughton looked as if they might get a first down, after two rushing plays set up third and 2 from their 48, but an Alex Tepper sack on Fernandes set up fourth and 5. A bad snap to Alex Calixte forced him to fall on the ball at the Stoughton 25, which Oliver Ames ate up. The Tiger then took just over three minutes to find the end zone with Tepper taking a 4-yard grab from Schneider at 9:14 in the fourth quarter.
Stoughton was able to come back on the following drive and score with 8:07 left to make the game 24-14. They recovered a fumble on their own 25 and scored on a 25-yard touchdown pass. However, the play was negated due to illegal motion before the snap (two players motioned simultaneously). OA gobbled the next three minutes running the ball and keeping passes in bounds, and even though Stoughton made it down to the Oliver Ames 34 with just under two minutes left, senior captain Brian Crosby got an interception that allowed the Tigers to take a knee, as Stoughton had used their last time out during Oliver Ames’s previous drive.
Alex Tepper is 6-2, 245, the size of most linemen, so when he goes out for a pass, with his speed and size, it doesn’t make for a good matchup with linebackers, who usually weigh in between 175-215 pounds.
“All the hard work in the offseason, putting on size, lifting, running, it pays off,” Tepper said. “I am a hard person to tackle over the middle.”
OA kicker Ryan McGrath missed one field goal (42) but made the second (37) on the following possession. Going in with points on the board was key for Oliver Ames, for when the scored in the second half, they already had the lead. The first one was not his fault, according to Artz.
“We accounted for the wind a little but too much,” Artz said.
Artz told McGrath to kick it and let the wind shift the ball through the uprights. McGrath did as he was told but the wind did not carry the ball the way Artz and staff had expected.
“He was like, ‘Coach, I put it where you wanted it.”
Although Schenider shared Artz's emotional halftime speech, telling the team that he loved them and wanted to see the team play past Thanksgiving, the coach did not want to recount any of his speech after the game.
“Nothing" was what Artz would divulge of the pep talk that turned his team on in the second half, he said with a smile.
OLIVER AMES 24, STOUGHTON 14
O (5-4) 0 - 3 - 14 - 7 --– 24
S (5-5) 7 - 0 - 0 - 7 –-- 14
S – Marcus Middleton 53 pass from Alex Fernandes (Fernandes kick)
O– Ryan McGrath 37 field goal
O – Jared Schneider 30 run (McGrath kick)
O – Schneider 2 run (McGrath kick)
O – Alex Tepper 4 pass from Schneider (McGrath kick)
S – Aaron Calixte 11 pass from Fernandes (Fernandes kick