Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Nov 3, 2017
- YELLOW JACKETS: 28
OSBOURN HS: 14
After a tough loss on the road versus Patriot last week, Osbourn Park looked to finish things strong at home on senior night versus crosstown rival Osbourn. They were successful, winning 28-14 due to a stout defensive effort supplemented by a strong running game.
Things got off to a positive start when Osbourn Park held strong on their first defensive effort and forced a turnover on downs. They would not be able to take advantage of it, and ended up turning it right back over on downs themselves.
Senior captains Jackson Westhoff, David Agyei, Jack Parsons and Connor Mackert in their final walk to midfield. (photo via Brian Westhoff)
The defense would stay hot, led by senior cornerback David Agyei. Agyei would finish with 11 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack and 1 interception. They forced a second straight turnover on downs.
“That game meant a lot to me as it was my last high school game. I wanted to leave everything on that field with no regrets. After losing to Osbourn in all of my years in the season-ending game by close margins, I wanted to walk away beating them,” said Agyei.
On their very first play of their next drive, OP would strike when senior running back Noah Hamilton ripped off a 58 yard touchdown run. The Yellow Jackets would take a 7-0 lead with 7:09 left in the first quarter.
Senior kicker Brandon Medellin was solid with his extra points all night, but struggled on kickoffs. His next kickoff led to a huge return by Jacory Hall, but Medellin was able to save the day with a tackle of his own at the 34 yard line of Osbourn Park. It would only delay the inevitable, however, as Osbourn senior running back Paris Perrin would cap off an 8 play drive with a rushing score of his own to tie the game up with 5:14 left in the first quarter.
Neither team would be able to mount a strong offensive attack, with multiple three and outs for each team. OP would eventually turn the ball over on fourth down, but Osbourn would give it right back with a fumble that would be recovered by junior defensive lineman Luke Nitowski. Nitowski would finish the night with 7 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 pass deflection and the fumble recovery.
“My goal was to get a sack and I ended up with 2, a fumble recovery and a deflected pass. I was happy with my performance. I did it for the seniors,” Nitowski told me.
OP’s next drive would see them turn it over on downs once again, as sophomore quarterback Aaron Washington’s pass was just out of the reach of Noah Hamilton in the endzone.
Hamilton would tear off a really special run on OP’s next drive, going across the field and cutting back to pick up 24 yards. He’d finish the night with 18 rushes for 199 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’d also add in 2 catches for 28 yards and a touchdown, and 5 tackles on defense
Senior Noah Hamilton had a career day offensively in his final game for OP. (photo via Brian Westhoff)
“I wasn’t starting on the offense at first, but when Smoot and Barnett got hurt- they moved me to offense more. I started making plays. When I started scoring and getting a lot of yards, I felt really important. They gave me the ball, so I felt I had to lead us to a win and make plays. Making those big plays brought the team happiness. I did get fatigued, but coaches gave me a break at times,” Hamilton said.
A beautiful 23 yard catch by senior wide receiver Connor Brown off of a Washington scramble to extend the play brought OP to the Osbourn 8 yard line. Senior receiver Ahdonis Turay would snag a touchdown soon after, but it was called back due to a flag. An 8 yard pass from Washington to Hamilton would put them back in front, 14-7 and cap off an 11 play, 90 yard drive with 5:23 to go in the half.
OP would force another Osbourn punt, and move the ball downfield. A sensational catch by senior receiver Jackson Westhoff was called back because of a flag. They would be forced to punt it away, but Turay intercepted a tipped pass and ran it back to the Osbourn 23 yard line.
Hamilton would catch a tipped ball of his own for 20 yards, and Washington would finish it off with a 2 yard rush as OP took a 21-7 lead with a second to go in the first half.
Head coach Dan Evans embraces senior linebacker Connor Mackert after the win. (photo via Brian Westhoff)
The Yellow Jackets were in prime position to add to their lead, but a miscommunication on Osbourn’s kick to open the second half led to an Eagles’ recovery at the OP 26 yard line. The Eagles would use a frantic pace and a no huddle offense in order for Chance Hollingsworth to sneak in for a TD with 10:25 left in the 3rd quarter. Osbourn would trail, 21-14.
The next drive would see OP suffer a huge blow, as Washington went down and didn’t come back. It was later revealed he had a chipped rib. This was an even bigger deal as sophomore quarterback Jack Braley was already out with a concussion, leaving the Yellow Jackets without an official signal caller. They would use a wildcat offense the rest of the game which saw Agyei, Turay, Hamilton and running back Chris Martin take snaps.
“My coach was hurt that I couldn’t come back in, especially with Jack out. The trainer said I couldn’t go back in. I went to the hospital right after I was injured, so I did not get to see them win. It’s great they won the game without me. I feel really good they stayed composed,” Washington told me.
Senior Jack Parsons and Fred Reid celebrate the win and final game for the senior linebacker/tight end. (photo via Brian Westhoff)
Special teams coach Patrick DeRosa was concerned as well. “After the first half, though, I could feel the momentum going to their side after they recovered the kickoff and scored. Then we lost our quarterback and started to stall on offense. But from that point on it was a total team effort. Individuals started to step up and swing the momentum back our way. Seeing the boys fight back and continuing playing tough is what we've asked from them all season.”
“Once Aaron went down, I was worried about him first then I realized we didn’t have a QB since Jack was hurt. Coach asked me if I think I could go to QB and run the plays and I said yes. It was a mindrush but I had to do whatever I could to help the team. I made a mistake on a handoff that i beat myself up about but I had to move on. I had a couple of carries and I give kudos to all my lineman for giving me paths to get some yards,” said Agyei.
Senior Jackson Westhoff and head coach Dan Evans share a moment after the big win against all odds. (photo via Brian Westhoff)
The two teams would go back and forth on the next few possessions with turnover-on-downs and three-and-outs. The final score of the game came with 8:08 in the fourth quarter after Hamilton broke off a 77 yard rush to push the lead to 28-14. David Agyei’s interception in the waning minutes sealed the game for OP.
“It meant a lot that my last play was an interception- such a great way to end it,” he told me.
Senior captain Jackson Westhoff reflected on the game, the season and his time under head coach Dan Evans.
“We just truly fought for all four quarters. We came out and cut them first which gave us optimism and hope throughout the game. Cutting them first is Coach Evans’ analogy to a boxer literally cutting his opponent first and making them see that they can be beat. It was so amazing playing the last two games with my brother as well. I’m excited to see what he has in store. And honestly the last few years playing for Coach Evans were some of the best of my life and definitely the best years of my life football-wise. I’ve just learned so much whether it be through my faith in God, my leadership abilities, learning lifting techniques, or simply learning so much on the football field on O and D. He’s taught me a ton and I’m very thankful.”
Sophomore Connor Westhoff had 3 pass breakups and 3 tackles versus Osbourn. (photo via Brian Westhoff)
Westhoff’s brother- sophomore cornerback Connor- battled a shoulder injury all season but finished the game with 3 tackles and 3 pass breakups, and one almost interception if not for the unfortunate flag.
“I was really upset when I found out I fractured my shoulder because I instantly knew I would be out for a while. But I kept working my shoulder at physical therapy and the doctor finally cleared me. I was so happy that I was able to play at least a few games this year. I was so glad that one of those games was a win. And then when my coach told me I was going to be starting at CB, I was nervous and excited at the same time. I don’t have a secret for covering. I guess it just takes practice and you have to believe in your ability at the position,” said Connor.
Wide receivers coach Fred Reid was incredibly proud of his players and fellow coaches. “I couldn't have been happier for those seniors for that team to send them out the right way with a big win.”
Usually the second string players get more time at the end of games, but on senior night, DeRosa had other ideas.
“After David made a big interception to seal the game, Coach Lancaster was putting subs in, but I asked him to put David, Gavin, Will, Ahdonis, Jack, Jackson, Connor, Noah, Nate, and Michael in for the last play of the game. They were the seniors who started with OP football as freshmen three years ago. I was a volunteer coach with the freshmen team three seasons ago and it was special to see that group of boys play so well on their senior night.”
You couldn’t find anyone more excited for the team as a whole than head coach Dan Evans.
“To say I'm proud of a group of young men is an understatement. Despite numerous injuries and setbacks this group just persevered. By the third play of the second half, all of our quarterbacks were hurt. We still gutted it out and won our final home game. The three wins at home this year were the most home wins at OP since 2009. I will miss our seniors more than words can describe. They sowed seeds of hard work for years that final came up. They not only became good players but also good students and men. I loved seeing our students run out on the field one more time for these kids. They played there guts out and left OP with a bright future.”
There’s no better feeling than winning at home, especially in the last game of the season and final game for the seniors here at Osbourn Park. It’s been a fun ride all year, and to see the hard work, grit and progression by these kids is something people will talk about for years to come. Congratulations, Osbourn Park (3-7) on one of your most memorable seasons in quite some time.
- Aaron Washington finished the night 6-12 for 70 yards with a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown.
- Ahdonis Turay had 5 carries for 49 yards and one catch for 9 yards.
- The team finished with 342 rushing yards.
- Osbourn won the first down battle, 13-12.
- OP finished 3-13 on 3rd down. Osbourn was 4-14.
-Both teams struggled on 4th down: OP (1-6) Osbourn (1-7).
- OP's defense forced 9 turnovers ( 6 T.O.D., 2 INT and 1 FR)
-Osbourn had 7 flags for 55 yards to OP's 11 for 87 yards.
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