The Ocoee seventh- and eighth-grade football squads traveled to Rhea Central last week to take on the Jackets. Both teams proved to be very stingy, giving up no points in the two wins.
In the opening game, the seventh-grade Colts hit the scoreboard first with a 22-yard strike through the air from Coyle Copeland to Greyson Rountree for the touchdown. The Colts tacked on a 2-point conversion to take an 8-0 lead. Both teams went back and forth until late in the third quarter when OMS marched down the field, capping the drive with a quarterback sneak by Copeland and putting the Colts on top 14-0.
The Jackets started deep in their own territory after a great kickoff and hoped to at least get on the scoreboard before the final stanza. The Colts’ Cooper Melton turned the momentum when he picked off an errant pass, got a couple of good blocks and raced up the sidelines for a 60-yard interception return for a touchdown.
The final score was 20-0 in favor of the undefeated seventh-grade Colts.
Coach Ricky Henry had nothing but praise for his team’s third shutout.
“Our defense turned up strong again tonight against a tough Rhea Central team. Our boys did what was asked of them and the results showed on the scoreboard. This team has gelled and our defense leads by example. This was another good win that puts us at 4-0 on the season but we can’t worry about that. We’ll enjoy the win for the rest of the night but after that, we’ve got to worry about game No. 5, Baylor. They’ll be tough but we have a week to get ready. Our team will prepare and we will be ready for the challenge,” Henry said.
In the eighth-grade game, the defense was turned up another notch as the Colts turned in a hard-fought 6-0 victory over the previously undefeated Jackets.
Rhea Central made only one defensive mistake in the game, kicking off to Avery “A-Train” Jones. Jones got some blocking up front and once past the initial surge of defenders, raced 60 yards for the opening score and put the Colts on top 6-0 before a failed 2-point conversion.
Both squads traded punts and turnovers on downs before a fumble recovery by Ben Clark of OMS put a glimmer of hope on another score. A 2-yard gain by Kylar Lynn and a 12-yard completion from Josh Jones to Avery Jones put the Colts inside the Jackets’ red zone. Alex King ripped off a 7-yard gainer and the Colts looked ready to score but were turned away at the 3-yard line, turning the ball over on downs.
Coach Ronnie Weir said after the game, “I’m real proud of this team. They overstacked us on offense, threw everything at us. Everyone filled their role tonight and I’m just proud of the way we played. Our defensive line did a really good job tonight. Ben Clark got two or three big sacks and had a fumble recovery. (He did a) great, great job. We’ve got a tough one ahead of us next week hosting Baylor but we’ll enjoy this one for now. This Rhea Central team was a hard hitting team that was looking at going undefeated. Our players listened this past week in practice, they practiced hard and prepared. This shows you what preparation will do. I’ll say it again, I’m proud of this team tonight.”
Lynn led the rushing attack with 11 carries for 33 yards.
The next action for both squads will be Thursday night at Walker Valley as it hosts Baylor. The seventh-graders will kick off at 5 p.m. with the eighth-graders scheduled to go at 7.