On Friday night, the OCS Eagles traveled down to Baton Rouge for a matchup against the Southern Lab Kittens, in what was poised to be an excellent game featuring loads of talent. This game didn’t disappoint, as a back-and-forth game came down to the wire, and after a costly mistake by OCS, Southern Lab was able to snag the victory and a birth to the Superdome for the Division IV Select State Championship game.
The game started off well for OCS, with Luke Vidrine connecting with Noah Lovelady for a 49-yard touchdown reception on the opening drive of the game. The Kittens, led by Marlon Brown under center, marched down the field, headlined by a Jérome Harris Jr. run that set the Kittens up near the goalline.
Douglas Thorton scored on this drive from a couple years out, and the game was tied 6-6. Both teams missed their extra points.
In the second quarter, the Eagles were able to strike again, after an impressive catch by Zach White, who then ran the ball in for a score immediately after.
Hunt would go on to score on their very next drive, and the Kittens took a 19-13 lead with 0:30 left in the first half. Southern Lab was attempt an onside kick, which was successful, but nothing materialized before halftime.
Drew Dougan scored on a screen pass on just the second play of the second half, and OCS took a one-point lead, 20-19.
Vidrine scored on a 14-yard keeper to extend the lead to 27-19, halfway through the 3rd quarter.
Marlon Brown made some plays with his feet, driving the Kittens down the field. He threw an interception to Tate Hamby in the endzone, and Hamby scored himself on a Randy Moss-esque play on the ensuing OCS possession.
A Marquez Williams punt return for a touchdown, and another Asberry touchdown run, his second of the night for the Kittens, cur the lead to just 34-31, with a few minutes left in regulation.
OCS recovered an onside kick, and with just 2:11 to play, and with Southern Lab only having one timeout, it looked almost certain that OCS would win. After a run out of bounds on second down, the decision to throw a deep-ish pass on third was called. Very questionable. If the play worked, OCS would run out the clock and win.
However, Dylan Day decided the game wasn’t over quite yet, and picked off Vidrine, leading to a pick six and an improbable Kitten lead (38-34).
After several downs in which OCS couldn’t move the ball, 4th down came around. The 4th down pass landed incomplete, and the Kittens became victorious, advancing to the State Championship game for the first time in two years.
Coach Asberry was pleased with his teams performance after the game, and you can watch my short interview with him below.
Southern Lab will face Riverside Academy next Thursday at 3:30 PM CT, in New Orleans.