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SHELBYVILLE— There will be no undefeated season for North Oldham football.
Collins' Austin Nakatani’s 23-yard field goal with 3:51 to play propelled the Titans to a 24-22 victory over the Mustangs in a key Class 4A, District 3 game at Shelby County’s Robert Doyle Stadium Friday night.
“It was a very good high school football game, we came up just a little bit short,” North Oldham Coach Billy Martin said.
Less than a yard to be exact.
Collins stopped the Mustangs’ Jacob Raymond short on fourth-and-2 from the Titans’ 25 with a little more than 70 seconds to play.
“We just came up eight inches short,” Martin said.
After Nakatani’s field goal, North Oldham quickly moved into Collins territory. Junior running back Jake Evans’ 28-yard run gave the Mustang a first down at the Collins 33. Raymond’s 6-yard run gave North a third-and-2 at the Titans’ 25, but Evans was stopped for no gain to bring up fourth down. With regular field goal kicker Zach Evans hurt Martin elected to go for it.
“The kids told me that’s what they wanted and I have to trust my kids,” the North coach said.
Raymond was stopped 1 yard shy of the first down, though.
The Titans took over at their own 24 with 1:12 remaining and ran out the clock to end the back-and-forth de facto district championship game.
North Oldham scored first on Caleb Kellogg’s 31-yard field goal with 8:18 left in the first quarter.
Collins came back with a scoring drive of its own. DeAndre Farris’ 4-yard touchdown run made it 7-3 Titans.
The Mustangs scored late in the first half on Cameron Renaud’s 1-yard quarterback keeper with 1:35 to play in the second quarter.
That turned out to be too much time for the Titans, who quickly drove downfield and took a 14-10 lead on Lawson Page’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Sames 39 seconds before halftime.
Farris’ 55-yard run on the first play of the second half put Collins ahead 21-10.
The Mustangs responded, though, with a 9-play, 80-yard drive that Raymond capped off with a 2-yard touchdown run. North Oldham failed on its two-point conversion try to trail 21-16. The Mustangs stopped the Titans on their next two possessions before taking a 22-21 lead on Raymond’s 13-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter.
Collins answered with a 13-play, 54-yard drive that stalled on the North 7. That’s when Nakatani – the son of Thoroughbred horse racing jockey Corey Nakatani – chipped in a 23-yard field goal.
North Oldham out-gained Collins in total offense 341-286. Raymond rushed 16 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns, while Evans gained 66 on 14 carries. Renaud completed 8 of 14 passes for 132 yards. Farris led the Titans with 101 rushing yards on only 12 carries, while senior linebacker Michael Brooks tallied 22 tackles for the Titans.
“He’s the best linebacker I’ve seen and I’ve been coaching a long time,” Martin said.
The Mustangs ran 10 more plays than Collins (57 to 47), but the Titans dominated time of possession (38:05 to 18:48).
“A game like that comes down to a couple plays here and there,” Martin said.
Story by Josh Cook, Landmark News Service
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