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North blasts off early over Atherton

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Mustangs roll over Atherton 61-0

GOSHEN— It didn’t take long for the North Oldham football team to get rid of the bitter taste of last week’s first loss of the season.

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After receiving the opening kickoff from district opponent Atherton, the Mustangs marched down the field, scoring on a 21-yard strike from quarterback Cameron Renaud to wide receiver Jacob Sanders for a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game, setting the tone in a 61-0 route at home.

“I was really pleased with our getting up after we got knocked down last week," North Oldham coach Billy Martin said. "We had something to prove and we took care of business fast and early.”

Fast and early indeed.  The Mustangs scored on all eight of their first half possessions to take a 55-0 halftime lead.

“I was pleased with the start," Martin said. "The old guys took care of business early and created the opportunity for the young guys to come in and do some great things.”

After the initial score, junior running back Jacob Raymond took the ball to the house on the Mustang’s next three possessions, with dazzling touchdown runs of 44, 36 and 21 yards.

“Raymond ran hard again,” said Martin.  “He’s becoming a beast.”  

On the kickoff following North’s fourth score, Rebel running back Jowuan Jones returned the ball 54 yards to the North 31 yard line, energizing the Atherton offense.  But after a series of Rebel miscues and consecutive sacks of quarterback Chandler Stanke by Josh Smith, Caleb Lagrange and Tanner Fink, Atherton found themselves back at midfield with fourth-and-29 yards to go.  Their conversion attempt fell short and the Mustangs went back to work on offense as the first quarter came to a close.

Freshman running back Arien Beasley took the ball in from the Atherton 15 yard line to give the North a 35-0 lead less than two minutes into the second quarter. The North defense continued to stifle the Rebel offense behind tackles from linebacker Will Steinfeld, and again took over on downs at the Atherton 42. Renaud once again went to the air, this time finding wide receiver Quinton Shea for an 11 yards score to extend North’s lead to 42-0.

Atherton punted from the shadow of its own goal post on its next possession, only to have Michael Choe return the kick 35 yards for another Mustang score and a 49-0 lead. On the Rebels ensuing possession, they coughed up the ball on their own 20 yard line, and North linebacker Andrew Carroll was there to gather it up, his second fumble recovery of the game.

Moments later, Shea found the end zone again, giving North a 55-0 halftime lead.

“The offensive line played great and opened some big holes for us tonight,” Raymond said.

North began the second half with wholesale substitutions, with many starters cheering on their backups.

“We were happy we could get the early lead so some of the younger guys could come into the game,” Smith said.

Atherton received the third quarter kickoff en route to a grinding drive that took the entire quarter.  North’s young defense stiffened when it needed to, forcing the Rebels to turn it over on downs at the Mustang 35 yard line.

The fourth quarter saw the teams exchange possessions until freshman Mustang running back Kevin Graham took the ball in from the one yard line at the 2:15 mark to give North the final 61-0 margin.

“It was big for us just to get the funk of losing last week out of our system and start another streak,” Martin said.  “We now need to take care of Spencer County next week.”

But this is just one more win as the Mustangs prepare for the playoffs.

“We won’t think about this win too long," Raymond said. "We’ll get right back to work and prepare for next week.”

Story by Eric Ballerstedt, Special to The Oldham Era

Email us about this stort ay sports@oldhamera.com.