CREDIT JOHN PHILLIPS JR. and 280 LIVING
BIRMINGHAM — Entering the final game of the regular season, the Oak Mountain and Hazel Green high school football teams had nothing left to seemingly play for but pride.
Following Oak Mountainâs 36-29 win over the Trojans (2-8) at Heardmont Park to finish the regular season at 5-5, the back-and-forth contest proved that programs full of seniors not wanting their respective football careers to end are not going to mail it in on their final Friday night.
The Eagles almost let a 21-point third quarter lead slip away but used a pivotal fourth quarter 20-yard touchdown pass from Connor Webb to Carson Bobo to help stave off the visitors from Huntsville.
âWe just have to find a way to be consistent, we were a roller coaster tonight at times, but the last few weeks we have certainly showed what we are capable of, and Iâm thankful for the win tonight,â Oak Mountain head coach Chris Bell said.
Oak Mountain opened the scoring with a 2-yard Luke Percer touchdown run. The Eagles then added to their lead in the second quarter when Bobo hauled in a 37-yard touchdown pass from Webb, as Bobo stiff-armed the defender during the final 5 yards into the end zone.
Oak Mountain was primed to put the contest away early in the second half after building a 21-point lead following a key three-play sequence. Bobo took a screen pass on third-and-8 for a 40-yard touchdown, sprinting away from defenders down the Trojans sideline.
Safety Dylan Hoye then intercepted the Trojans on the ensuing possession, setting up the Eagles in plus territory at the opponentâs 42-yard line. Jonathan Bennett took the very next handoff in on a 42-yard sprint to pay dirt directly up the teeth of the Hazel Green defense.
The Trojans attempted to stage a comeback and made a valiant effort late, scoring touchdowns on three of their final four possessions. Clinging to a one-score advantage and reeling, Oak Mountainâs defense cemented the victory at the 6:01 mark of the fourth quarter with a critical fourth-and-1 stop to force a turnover on downs. Two plays later, Webb hit Bobo with his third touchdown pass of the night, this time from 20 yards as Bobo snatched the ball over the top of the defender.
Webb finished with 150 yards passing and three scores in addition to 57 rushing yards. The former three-year player at safety was approached in the spring about playing quarterback. While he admits it was a work-in-progress at first, as the season wore on, he settled in and gained a full grasp of the offense.
âConnor is a gutsy kid and I think the toughest quarterback in the state of Alabama, thatâs what makes you proud as a coach when you see guys that the game is important to; he is a true program guy, and we couldnât have been more pleased with him,â Bell said, with tears welling in his eyes.
Bennett totaled 112 rushing yards while Percer chipped in 66 yards on the ground. Garrison Frisch provided an interception for the Eagles defense.
âEveryone thinks itâs just about the wins and losses, but itâs not, itâs about the friends and memories you make, and I am so thankful for everyone â from all the seniors through the freshmen â that have had an impact on my life,â Bobo said.