Wishful Thinking: Dreaming Up Football Season

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By Sam Draut

It’s Back.

Let’s have fun with a twist on fantasy football and dream up a best-case scenario for the football teams in Oldham County.

Since every fan base is entitled to their own drama-filled dream season, the fantasized future for the Colonels, Dragons and Mustangs must be split up. And remember, we usually wake up before the dream is finished, so readers can decide their own ending.

Oldham County

The border war between Oldham County and Henry County signifies the season opener for Friday night football.

Fans arrive early and watch Sean Ralls send the opening kickoff into the end zone. The defense forces a three-and-out and Oldham County takes over near midfield.

On the Colonels’ first play from scrimmage, Parker Caudill tosses a play-action pass downfield to Jalen Moore for a 30-yard reception. Three plays later, Lucas Jones punches in a touchdown to give Oldham County an early lead.

The Colonel student section begins chanting, “We have Gustavo’s!” a slight that burns deeply into Henry County’s student section once they realize they travel to Oldham County for Mexican food.

When he hears about the chants, Gustavo personally delivers free tacos to the student section in the third quarter as the Colonels lead 17-7. Koby Thomas has consecutive sacks early in the fourth quarter, forcing a turnover on downs.

Juan Tapia scampers for a 41-yard touchdown run to put the game out of reach as Oldham County wins its season opener for the first time since 2013.

In the week leading up to the game against rival North Oldham, the Colonel football team spends Zero Hour learning how to tame wild horses, a metaphor Coach Michael Fox uses to prove that the Mustangs can be tamed with technique and toughness.

On the field, Jacob Ratliff continues to make big plays against the rival, returning another interception for a touchdown in the first quarter. With the Colonels’ leading 10-7 late in the first half and North Oldham in the red zone, Deven Cancel shoots up the A-gap and forces a fumble to end the scoring threat.

Led by Ryan Meyer and Nick Blair, the offensive line starts getting good push up front in the second half, opening holes for Lucas Jones. He scores a touchdown midway through the third quarter followed by a rushing score from Parker Caudill to ice the game. It’s the Colonels’ third straight victory over their rival.

Following a win against Collins and shutting out Seneca for the second straight season, Oldham County is set to host rival South Oldham. After being disappointed that the Colonels lost to South Oldham in the Dream Scenario last season, which Sports Editor Sam Draut did purposefully to set up a better Hollywood ending, Coach Fox takes matters into his own hands.

He hires Leonardo Dicaprio and the cast of Inception to infiltrate Draut’s dream subconsciousness and place the idea of a Colonel victory into his mind. It works.

Jalen Moore and Jackson Deckard each catch touchdown passes while Preston Dykes rushes for a score in the first half. Not to be outdone by his older brother, Carson Deckard intercepts a pass in the third quarter.

Oldham County defeats South Oldham for the first time since 2010. Draut is seen playing with a spinning top for the entirety of the fourth quarter.

Parker Caudill and Tyler Barnes each throw two touchdown passes in Oldham County’s victory over Nelson County. Needing to prove to the signal callers that he is still a better thrower of the football after the game, Quarterbacks Coach James French places five targets on the field, nailing all of them to the surprise of Caudill and Barnes.

Sensing a big performance against Bullitt East, Lucas Jones asks Athletic Director David Letendre to build a stage and podium for postgame press conferences. Jones gives credit to linemen Reagan Ray and Jakob Mutchler following a 200-yard, two-touchdown performance.

Seeking their eighth win of the season on the road, Oldham County starts slow against the J’Town Chargers, but a forced fumble by Jacob Kehoe gets the offense going. Wilson Tinnell rushes for a touchdown and Tyler Holvey hauls in a catch for a score as Oldham County leads 14-0 at halftime.

As the Colonels warm up before the second half, Charger fans release several horses onto the field in hopes of intimidating the visitors. With prior horse riding experiencing from earlier in the fall, the Colonels have no problem corralling, mounting and riding the horses around the field. Oldham County rides the momentum into the second half and wins easily.

Oldham County heads into the playoffs with eight wins.

South Oldham

A year after suffering a season opening defeated to Christian Academy of Louisville (CAL), South Oldham wants revenge in 2018. The Dragons don’t waste time as Keaton Martin carries the ball for 60 yards on seven carries in the opening possession to give South Oldham an early lead.

Anthony Pierce finds Ethan Bednarczyk for a leaping touchdown catch late in the second quarter as South Oldham heads into halftime leading 14-7. “Bednarczyk” later becomes a verb meaning catch and becomes a word in the final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. 

CAL ties the score in the third quarter, but both defenses lock in during the second half.

Mason Bowman and Noah Mitchell combined for 12 tackles in the second half and Trey Garrison intercepts a pass with two minutes left, setting up a game-winning field goal by Spencer Laws.

Following a bye week, South Oldham is set to host North Oldham. The Dragon student section is determined to keep away as many Mustang fans as possible, so the students set up toll booths on roads around South Oldham, forcing the caravan of North Oldham fans to return to Goshen to get a bucket of dimes before crossing.

JT Benson returns the opening kickoff for a touchdown while Jack Herold ends North Oldham’s first possession with a sack. On the following possession, Isaac Lalli breaks free for a touchdown run.

Leading by two possessions in the second half, the Dragons’ offense works the clock by feeding Keaton Martin a heavy dosage of carries. Public Address Announcer Doug Lalli senses the fans boredom from watching four-yard carries up the middle, so he begins mixing in nicknames for Martin like “Mighty Mouse” and “K-Rock.”

Colton Bowlden rushes for three touchdowns in a blowout victory against Boone County. With the graduation of his older sister in June, Bowlden claims he is the best athlete in the family during a postgame interview, once again starting a heated debate on who’s the best athlete in the family, this time, between Bowlden and his younger sister.

Coach Jamie Reed doesn’t want to take any chances heading into the annual rivalry game against Oldham County. The team and coaching staff spends the week learning Latin to prevent the Colonels from picking up on any calls or audibles.

Anthony Pierce connects with JT Benson for a touchdown pass in the first quarter. Luke Clark has a pair of tackles for a loss in the second quarter while a long run by Andrew McGuire sets up a field goal by Spencer Laws.

South Oldham’s defense holds firm in the second half and the Dragons pick up a win against their rival.

After winning a Kentucky Press Association award for Best Sports Photography in January, John Michaud asks retiring Athletic Director Mitchell Irvin to install several more stadium lights around the field to allow for better photos at night. Mr. Irvin agrees, but fundraising is necessary.

Funds are raised during halftime of South Oldham’s game against Nelson County as Oldham Era Sports Editor Sam Draut wrestles a grizzly bear at midfield. With his khaki pants tattered, Athletic Trainer Kelly Dike drags Draut out of the ring with the bear clearly victorious. PETA forces Draut to take rehabilitation classes, but enough money is raised to add new light fixtures. 

The Dragons shutout Nelson County for the second straight season as Cade White and Evan Devasier combine for 12 tackles. Evan Nash catches a touchdown from the tight end position.

The Core Four of JT Benson, John Downing, Keaton Martin and Ethan Bednarczyk, who have played varsity since their freshmen years, flex their collective muscles in consecutive weeks in road trips to Bullitt East and Bullitt Central.

Trading marking rights are purchased and t-shirts are designed with “The Core Four + More” to note South Oldham’s talented junior class.

In the season finale against Shelby County, offensive linemen Garrett Chester and Zack Mason lead a rushing attack that churns out 300 yards on the ground. Immanuel Darling intercepts a pass midway through the fourth quarter as South Oldham holds onto a touchdown lead to win.

South Oldham earns a first round bye heading into the Class 5-A playoffs.

North Oldham

The Mustangs want to start the season off right against Western, the first of seven home games for North Oldham. Brendan McAfee scrambles for a first down on third-and-8 to keep the Mustangs’ opening drive alive. After several first downs, McAfee tosses to Colby Greenert for a 15-yard touchdown.

Western ties the score midway through the second quarter, but Drew Buller kicks a go-ahead field goal as time expires in the first half. Protecting a three-point lead for the entirety of the second half, the Mustang defense holds firm. Jackson Kincaid has a key stop on fourth-and-2 near midfield and Connor Newhouse closes out the game with two first down carries.

The student section attempts to rush the field as final whistle blows, but Newhouse tells them “get used to it” and sends the Black Hole back to the bleachers.

After consecutive defeats to Oldham County in the past two years, the team decides to put mousetraps around the locker room days leading up to the rivalry to emphasize the importance of attention to detail.

The Mustangs come out laser focused and premiere a new package that leads to two first quarter touchdowns. Brothers Brendan and Blake McAfee stand next to each other in a two-quarterback shotgun formation, opening up a bevy of possibilities.

Pegasus Sports Network announcer Mike Montgomery pegs the formation as the “McAfee Attack” and begins telling stories about other athletic siblings from the 1980s that no one remembers.

Jackson Bailey forces a fumble, which allows North Oldham to score late in the first half and lead 21-7 at halftime. Sam Fadel has two tackles for a loss in the third quarter as the Mustang defense allows just three points in the second half for a victory.

Two weeks later against rival South Oldham, Connor Newhouse uses his state champion sprinter speed to bust open an 80-yard touchdown run on North Oldham’s first play from scrimmage. By the beginning of the second quarter, Newhouse has already rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns. He becomes the most coveted running back for high school fantasy football owners for the remainder of the season.

After his third touchdown, Newhouse is labeled “the fastest man on turf.” Hunter Hyden intercepts a pass in the end zone in the fourth quarter to keep North Oldham’s lead to two possessions, and the Mustangs win the rivalry road game.

One week later, coach Joe Gamsky decides to give Bullitt Central a taste of its own medicine, using Allan Cheatham in a triple-option attack to great success. The junior quarterback directs three touchdown drives in the first half and North Oldham cruises to victory.

Prior to North Oldham’s game against Collins, Oldham Era Sports Editor Sam Draut and Shelby County’s Sentinel News Sports Editor compete in Oklahoma Drills on the field for newspaper bragging rights. Both are carted off with an apparent injury and no article is written about the game.

The lack of media coverage doesn’t bother the Mustangs as Brendan McAfee runs for a touchdown and Layne McIntosh forces a fumble in the first quarter. Jake Bielinski catches a touchdown pass in the second quarter and North Oldham builds a comfortable lead.

The Mustangs avenge losses to Franklin and Anderson County in the final two weeks of the regular season as the defense allows just seven points to each team led by a strong linebacking core. The Mustangs’ success and depth of the linebacking unit interests marketing officials at Churchill Downs for the upcoming Breeder’s Cup.

The Mustangs head into the playoffs on a three-game winning streak and prepare to host their eighth home game of the fall.