Ore City Stays In Control Of Own Destiny With 31-7 Win Against Big Sandy
BIG SANDY -- It's starting to get real for Ore City.
The Rebels capitalized to varying degrees on five turnovers in a 31-7 road win Thursday against Big Sandy. They'll own at least a share of first place within District 9-2A Division I heading into the regular season's final three weeks.
"We are 7-0 now," winning head coach Tracy Blankenship said. "We've beat some good teams along the way. They're a good football team. I don't know if I've ever -- Well, we were 7-0 last year and got beat in the eighth game, so we've got a little bit of work to do."
Yes, for a second consecutive season, the Rebels are unbeaten through seven games. It's a nice feat considering the program won just one contest between the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
More importantly, Blankenship and company are 2-0 against competition from their six-team district. Two wins was the magic number last season to qualify for the postseason out of the league.
"Dave Campbell's Texas Football and the local newspaper had Big Sandy picked first to win our district," Blankenship said. "In pregame, that's what we talked about. That we were picked fourth. We wanted to say, 'We ain't fourth.'"
Ore City's defense took control of the game from the outset. It forced Big Sandy (4-3, 0-2) into consecutive turnovers on downs and went on to record two more after building up a comfortable 24-7 lead late in the third quarter.
The Wildcats only scored on one of their 11 possessions while the Rebels scored twice on defense alone. Only one possession ended with a punt.
Big Sandy led for 6:06, all in the first half, due to Ore City's struggles in the kicking game. Seth Burk's 20-yard run and Isaiah Brown's point after kick gave the team a 7-6 lead late in the first quarter.
Ore City converted one of three point after kicks and failed on both its two-point attempts. The single point after a touchdown came on the final score of the night.
Yet the Rebels regained the lead at the 7:23 mark of the second quarter. Nick Hughes returned a fumble 15 yards for a touchdown the first play after Big Sandy held the offense on 4th-and-goal from the 13-yard line.
It could have been worse than the 12-7 score at the break. Ore City lost a fumble at the end of a 71-yard run into the red zone and then ended the half inches short of a 7-yard touchdown due to Tae Keppard's hit at the goal line.
The Wildcats lost control of the game in the third quarter.
Big Sandy threw interception No. 3 of the night on the first play after Ore City cornerback Wesley Chilton returned a 35-yard interception to the end zone for an 18-7 lead.
Colten Allshouse connected with Chilton from 17 yards out six plays later.
Hughes removed all doubt with an 8-yard run to cap an eight-play, 66-yard drive at the 3:12 mark of the fourth quarter.
Big Sandy's final possession ended with another interception.
"If we had not have gotten those interceptions, we could still be in a 12-7 game right now," Chilton said. "But we came out on top and did what we had to do."
All other District 9-2A Division I games will be played today. Harleton and Union Grove have opportunities to keep pace with Ore City for first place in the standings.
The Rebels can do their part to break potential ties the next two weeks. They'll face Union Grove on Oct. 23 and Harleton the following game.
Big Sandy will try to rebound against Harleton next week.
"Coach came into this game telling us we have to keep our mind straight to be district champs," Chilton said. "We're doing what we have to do, and we've got two big games to prove ourselves."
Ore City 31, Big Sandy 7
District 9-2A Division I
Wildcat Stadium, Big Sandy
Ore City 6 6 12 7 -- 31
Big Sandy 7 0 0 0 -- 7
OC--Darren Bowens 31 pass from Colten Allshouse (kick failed), 2:17
SAN--Seth Burk 20 run (Isaiah Brown kick),:17
OC--Nick Hughes 15 fumble return (run failed), 7:23
OC--Wesley Chilton 35 interception return (run failed), 6:51
OC--Chilton 17 pass from Allshouse (kick failed), 4:44
OC--Hughes 8 run (Bowens kick), 3:12
First Downs 21 14
Total Yards 414 254
Rushes-Yards 39-233 27-217
Passing Yards 181 37
Comp.-Att.-Int. 14-21-1 6-23-4
Punts-Avg. 1-39 1-38
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-1
Penalties-Yards 7-60 6-50
RUSHING--Ore City, Dustin Ritter 7-86, Nick Hughes 12-79, Cartea Douglas 7-37, Darren Bowens 5-23, Colten Allshouse 8-8. Big Sandy, Kaloni Kirby 16-126, Seth Burk 8-60, Preston Beason 7-40, Unlisted Player 1-1, Jacob Shipman 1-(-10).
PASSING--Ore City, Colten Allshouse 13-18-1--163, Douglas 1-3-0--18. Big Sandy, Shawn Isaac 6-23-4--37.
RECEIVING--Ore City, Wesley Chilton 5-77, Bowens 4-72, Jarron Bay 2-27, Joe Campbell 1-4, Nick Hughes 2-4, Unlisted Player 1-(-3) . Big Sandy, Burk 2-17, Kirby 1-9, Jordan Womack 1-6, Shipman 1-3, Josiah Johnson 1-2.