By Jon Robert Page
Oak Grove - The undefeated Hamilton Aggies made the long drive to face off against the Oak Grove Tigers on Friday.
At the end of four quarters, the Aggies held off the Tigers to secure the 23-13 win, keeping their winning streak alive.
The Aggies received the opening kickoff, but their first two plays resulted in two yellow flags. This killed the drive, but they would regain possession after an empty Tiger drive. To save the drive early, the Aggies initiated an air raid against Oak Grove, resulting in a fourth-down conversion on the Tiger 37. After a penalty and an incompletion, it seemed to many that the Aggie drive would come to an end. However, Matthew Coleman had other plans as he dropped back in the pocket on second and 21. As Coleman threw the ball over the defense, receiver Bryant Loving snuck past the Tiger secondary to make the 31-yard touchdown grab. The PAT was then blocked by Oak Grove, and with 5:05 left in the first quarter, the Aggies saw their first lead of the game at 6-0.
Both teams would trade possessions for the rest of the first stanza, and that trend continued into the second quarter. An Aggie punt by Loving pinned the Oak Grove offense inside their own one-yard line, pending doom over the already trailing Tigers. This pressure got to the Tigers as they fumbled the football right outside their own goal line.
After the dust settled and the dogpile was cleared, it was Devin Vazques coming up with the ball for the Aggies. Matthew Coleman produced the exclamation point on the turnover as he trucked through the Tigers and dove into the end zone for another Aggie score. An unblocked kick split the uprights, and with 9:45 left in the second quarter, it was the Aggies taking the 13-0 lead over Oak Grove.
Neither team produced points for the rest of the half as defenses held strong on both sides. The Aggies came out of the locker room with a tricky plan for the kickoff, and it fooled the Tigers out of a possession.
Thomas Angel, the kicker for the Aggies, placed the ball to a spot where the Tigers were not ready to receive a kick. A muff for Oak Grove resulted in another turnover, as Dawson Taylor fell onto the ball at the Oak Grove 30. This plan did not end up with a touchdown, but it did lead to a 28-yard field goal from Angel to stretch the lead to 16-0 with 9:08 left in the third stanza.
The Oak Grove offense couldn’t produce anything as they punted due to the strong defense imposed by the Aggies. After a first down, the Aggies looked to catch the Tiger secondary off guard again with a quick pass downfield. However, it wasn’t an Aggie who came down with the ball. Instead, it was Oak Grove’s Garrett Mckinney taking it all the way for the pick-six. After the two-point conversion was stopped cold and with 3:12 left in the third quarter, the Aggie lead was cut to 16-6.
Matthew Coleman wasn’t having any of the Tigers’ comeback efforts, as he commanded the Aggie offense back onto the field. On fourth and one from the Oak Grove 33, Coleman bounced to the outside on a quarterback keep. No Tiger defender could come close to touching him as he sprinted up the sideline for another Aggie touchdown. A good kick followed, and the Aggies grew the lead to 23-6 with 0:55 left in the third quarter.
The special teams for the Tigers woke up, as on the next kick they found a hole in the Aggie defense. Mckinney ripped past everyone and up the sideline. Thomas Angel, the kicker, was the only one quick enough to catch up and make the tackle at the Hamilton two. However, it did not stop the Tigers from punching it into the end zone via rush with 33 seconds until the fourth quarter. The kick found the middle of the uprights as the Tigers cut the lead to a score of 23-12.
The Aggies burned the clock before punting the ball to the Tiger offense, but Bryant Loving was set on not allowing any more scores from the Oak Grove offense. On passes thrown in the middle of the field, Loving leaped over everyone around him to come up with interceptions on both of the last two Oak Grove drives, securing a win for the now 4-0 Aggies. On Friday, the Aggies will host the Northside Rams in search of another win, as the 0-4 Tigers will make the trip in search of their first win at the Fayette County Tigers.
Brett Coleman led the Aggie offense, completing eight of his 16 pass attempts for 88 yards and a touchdown while rushing 15 times for 90 total yards and two touchdowns.
Bryant Loving made three receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown, while Brett Coleman had four catches for 39 yards.
Dawson Taylor had seven rushes for 19 yards, and Thomas Angel picked up 18 yards through 11 rushes. Jayden Hatcher also had a catch for seven yards on the night.
Kevin McBride had an outstanding defensive performance as he had seven tackles for the Aggies.
Bryant Loving also made a huge impact on the defensive end, as he had two interceptions. Ethan Ledbetter had four tackles, while Jase Taylor picked up three tackles.
Brett Coleman, Thomas Angel, Adam Frost, Demichael Pickett, and Brodie Moody all had two tackles each, and Devin Vazques, Matthew Coleman, Jayden Hatcher, Ricardo Corado, Will Shotts, Logan Hudson, and Jackson Emerson had one tackle apiece.
See complete story in the Journal Record.