OCS pulls away late for road win
McKINNEY — A time-consuming six-minute drive is an extreme rarity in Texas six-man football. But Ovilla Christian School managed to pull it off in the third quarter Friday night against Cornerstone Christian Academy.
The Eagles did that and more — even getting a big-man touchdown by Micah Ward on a failed onside kick try — in a well-rounded 58-40 victory in TAPPS District 3-Division II action at McKinney High School’s JV field.
“We wanted to grind it out because we knew (Cornerstone was) fast and an athletic team,” OCS first-year head coach Josh Johnson said. “They’re probably the most athletic team in our district. We were just trying to grid it out and play smashmouth football.”
Eagles sophomore Esteban De Leon shined all night in all three phases, with two interceptions, two touchdown passes, a rushing touchdown, a kickoff return for a score and one point-after kick. In all, De Leon rushed for 72 yards and passed for 47 more.
“He hasn’t played in a few years, since junior high,” Johnson said of De Leon. “He’s kind of a utility player. We’ll split him out at receiver, and line him up at quarterback and running back. He’s going to respond, especially after that loss last week. He was like ‘Coach, I’m going to get better this week and whatever you need me to do, I’m going to take care of business.”
Freshman Noah Fitch added 61 rushing yards and a touchdown and chipped in with an interception on defense; and Ward added a short TD run to his kickoff return.
On extra point tries, Ashton White made 4 of 6 kicks, which is worth two points in the six-man game. On the other end, Fitch had two PAT blocks, Ward one and freshman Jaxon Rosenberry one.
Jase McMahon added a rushing touchdown, and McMahon and Luke Zebreski each caught touchdown passes from De Leon for the Eagles (3-1, 2-1).
“It was a team effort,” Johnson said. “We executed a game plan. Offensively we made some mistakes, but we definitely drove the ball down the field and had some success.”
The first half went back and forth, with the Eagles holding a 36-28 lead at intermission. Cornerstone struck first, but OCS tied it quickly on Fitch’s 7-yard run and then Fitch’s interception set up Ward’s 1-yard plunge for the lead.
The Warriors scored twice to go ahead, but following the second score, Ward scooped up an onside kick and barreled down the sideline 45 yards for the touchdown, with one would-be tackler bouncing off of him, to knot things up at 22-all. Then after OCS got the ball back on downs, De Leon took a tossback 41 yards to pay dirt at the 5:37 mark of the second quarter, and the Eagles never relinquished the lead after that.
De Leon opened the second half by returning another onside try 55 yards for a TD, then De Leon intercepted a pass at the OCS 9-yard line. That’s where the Eagles embarked on their six-minute, 11-play, 71-yard drive, keeping it on the ground right up to De Leon’s 14-yard pass to McMahon that put the game out of reach at 50-28 with exactly 2:00 left in the third quarter.
Next up for the Eagles is a trip to Rockwall Heritage, which is 0-1 in district and 1-1 overall.
“(This is) probably the toughest district in the state,” Johnson said. “We know we’ve got to continue to get better. Rockwall is a tight team and they like to play physical. We definitely have to work and be prepared for that. We’ll enjoy this tonight, but we just need to stay even-keeled … and get ready to work next week.”