GREEN TOWNSHIP — An exciting start for the Oak Hills Highlanders was not enough to contain the Lakota East Thunderhawks.
Oak Hills was searching for its first win of the season at home Friday night but again was unable to come up with an answer on the offensive side of the ball.
Except for the first play of the game.
The Highlanders scored on a shuffle pass to the quarterback Devin Holt for a 77-yard score to open things up.
Lakota East answered rather quickly, as five minutes later, Jordell Smith scampered in for a 14-yard score. This is where the wheels started to fall off for the Highlanders.
On the ensuing kickoff, the ball was fumbled, and Lakota East took over inside the red zone. It capitalized to make it a 14-7 ball game.
On Oak Hills’s next play from scrimmage, it fumbled again, and the Thunderhawks took over in Highlander territory. Unable to capitalize this time, Lakota East had to punt it away.
However, to end the quarter, Lakota East forced Oak Hills to punt, and Josh Thornhill ran for an 85-yard score on the first play of the Thunderhawks’ drive to extend the lead to 21-7.
The second quarter’s storyline did not change, as five minutes in, backup quarterback Jaxon Schreiber tossed a pick-six. Lakota East led 28-7 with seven minutes left in the half.
The Thunderhawks scored again with an 8-yard touchdown pass by TJ Kathman. Lakota East led 35-7 at halftime.
The Thunderhawks put on the running clock, as they went up 42-7 to start the third quarter. Oak Hills was able to get it going a little bit offensively, but it was too little, too late.
The final score was 42-20, Lakota East.
The good news for Oak Hills — its season is not over. Every team makes the postseason this year. So, the Highlanders’ winless record does not matter, as just like Thunderhawks, they will be fighting for a championship.
Oak Hills gets a first-round matchup with a very good Princeton team whose only loss this season was to Lakota East.
The Thunderhawks get a favorable matchup with a one-win Sycamore team in their first-round game. Lakota East has now won three straight and look to continue that streak next Friday.
Both games start at 7:00 p.m.