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GOSHEN--- With his team gathered in the end zone after the game, North Oldham coach Billy Martin raised his visor, wiped his brow and smiled.
“I think we need a day off,” he told his players. “I don’t like saying it, but take tomorrow off.”
“Yeah!” the players responded.
“Take off Sunday too,” Martin said.
With a dominating second half, the Mustangs earned those upcoming days off. North Oldham shut out visiting Christian Academy of Louisville in the second half and cruised to a 43-14 win on homecoming night.
Offensively, the Mustangs rolled up 467 yards rushing. Senior running back Zach Evans had 165 yards of that on 12 carries, including a pair of touchdowns.
His first touchdown got North Oldham going with a three-yard sweep for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Then in the third quarter, Evans took a jet sweep 78 yards down the left sideline, making a pair of tacklers miss then out-running the defense for a touchdown that put North Oldham up 30-14. He also kicked a 32-yard field goal to get the Mustangs on the board in the first quarter.
“The second half, they weren’t nearly as outside as they were in the first half ,” Evans said. “We started to run more outside and as soon as we did, I broke it big. The corner got blocked really well and it was off to the races.”
Opening up those holes for Evans was a stout offensive line, “the fist” as the linemen call themselves. Senior quarterback Cameron Renaud was hurried a few times, but didn’t get sacked on the night.
“I told “The Fist,” Cameron’s not getting touched tonight,” junior offensive lineman Colin “Big Meech” Sanborn said. “If he does, it’s a gasser out of all of us.”
The defense however, repeatedly broke through the CAL offensive line, combining for seven sacks. Senior defensive end Christian Oberst had three sacks, while senior linebacker Tanner Fink finished with two sacks and two tackles for loss.
“We worked on stopping the run in practice,” Fink said. “We didn’t work as much on stopping the pass, so the pressure helped cover the passes because they had to throw it faster.”
Before the game, North Oldham got added motivation when the players changed into teal jersey shirts for the game. They’d worn black uniforms in warm-ups before the coaches unannounced told the players to change into their vaunted teal.
“It’s more of a symbolic thing,” Evans said. “Last year for the first game, we got these. We had no idea they were coming and all of a sudden, they just came out. It was a big motivational thing, so I think all the coaches, first home game, wanted to go out there and show we were motivated, we’ve got everything.”
Two weeks, two losses avenged. CAL had beaten North Oldham the previous two seasons, while last week was the Mustangs’ first ever win over Oldham County.
“If we can play like we did tonight second half, we are very dangerous,” Martin said. “We can be scary good. We’ve just gotta keep getting better, stay healthy, get some luck, get some breaks. But I’m pleased with that second half. That was a clinic at times, defensively and offensively against a good team.”
Enjoy your rest Mustangs. You earned it.
SOUTH OLDHAM 38 NORTH BULLITT 28
Senior running back Michael Gray returned from a concussion that caused him to miss the first two games of the season, to rush for 151 yards and two touchdowns as South Oldham pulled away for a 38-28 win over visiting North Bullitt. Gray's 50-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter sealed the deal for the Dragons.
COLLINS 20 OLDHAM COUNTY 7
Oldham County could muster just five first downs, falling to visiting Martha Layne Collins 20-7. Junior quarterback Brett Strnad threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Cody Oldham in the second quarter for the Colonels' only score.