OAKLAND – Oakland-Craig outlasted Hartington Cedar Catholic 28-26 in the first round of the Class C2 football playoffs Friday night in Oakland, in a game aired on 107.9 The Bull.
Oakland-Craig scored in their first possession, a 71-yard touchdown pass from Colton Thomsen to Coulter Thiele, giving the Knights an 8-0 lead after the two-point try.
HCC answered back on their first offensive play of the night, a 66-yard scoring run by Jacob Keiser. the PAT missed and Oakland-Craig led 8-6 with 10:03 in the first.
The scored would remain 8-6 until late in the second quarter when the Trojans scored on Kesier’s second touchdown run of the night, this time from 22 yards out. The PAT again missed and HCC led 12-8 with 2:40 in the second quarter.
On the next drive for Oakland-Craig, Thomsen’s pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Connor Vlach. With 1:28 to go before half, the score was now Hartington Cedar Catholic 19, Oakland-Craig 8.
The Knights were able to score one last time before the intermission, however, as Thomsen ran in a score from 14 yards out. At halftime, HCC led 19-14.
Oakland-Craig put together a six-plus minute drive on their first possession of the third quarter, getting down to the HCC 17. Thomsen was injured on a third down play and would leave the game. Backup QB Grady Gatewood entered the game as the Knights faced a fourth and 10 from the Cedar 17 yard line.
On the fourth down play, Gatewood threw a fade route to the end zone which was caught on a diving attempt by Caden Nelson. The two-point conversion made the score 22-19 in favor of Oakland-Craig with 4:07 left in the third.
HCC drove to the O-C 42 before being forced to punt.
The Knights put together another long drive, nearly seven minutes, and ended the drive on a four-yard scoring run by Nelson. The two-point try misses and Oakland-Craig led 28-19 with 3:36 left in the game.
The Knights tried a squib kick on the kick off, which was scooped up by Keiser for HCC, and returned over 70 yards for a touchdown. The PAT was good and with 3:20 left in the game, O-C led 28-26.
O-C was forced to punt after a three-and-out, and the Trojans took over on their own 36 for the potential game winning drive.
HCC got inside the O-C 40, before the Knights’ Jaron Meyer intercepted a pass with 1:35 left to go. The Knights were able to run out the remainder of the clock, sealing the victory. The final score was Oakland-Craig 28, Hartington Cedar Catholic 26.
Oakland-Craig remains undefeated at 10-0, and will host Doniphan-Trumbull in the C2 quarterfinals next Friday night.