HICO — Through two quarters, the Midland Trail-Oak Hill contest was anybody's game.
The Class A Patriots quickly changed that dynamic in the second half, though. Opportunistic Midland Trail overcame a tepid first-half effort that saw it trailing 10-6 at the intermission by putting 29 straight points on the scoreboard in the second half to cruise to a 35-10 triumph over the Class AA Red Devils on Roger Eades Field at Patriot Stadium.
"In the second half, we came out and played good football," said Midland Trail head coach Frank Isaacs. "The first half was ugly; we were horrible."
During the halftime break, he said, "We challenged them. Play Midland Trail football; play for everybody up in the bleachers."
"We're causing turnovers (the Red Devils had four takeaways Friday night)," said Oak Hill head coach Jason Blankenship. "Offensively, we're still struggling a little bit.
"We've got to find what our guys do best. We'll figure it out and try to get better."
"In the second half, we started struggling and they just started running the ball; that's what they do best," Blankenship continued. "No. 7 (Colton Yoder), we just couldn't tackle him (Yoder wound up with 31 carries for 201 yards and a touchdown). They were better up front."
Trailing 10-6, the Patriots regained the lead with a 5-yard TD burst from Liam Gill early in the third period after Yoder blocked a punt and Danny Nottingham recovered it to give the hosts a short field with which to operate. Trail's next score, a 4-yard run by Chris Vines, came after the Red Devils were unsuccessful on a pass play out of punt formation on fourth-and-1 at their own 32.
The Patriots put up two more six-pointers in the final frame, an 8-yard run by Robert Ruffner and a 26-yard gallop by Vines. The second Vines tally was set up by an onside kick recovery by teammate Beau Thompson.
"Our defense played awesome," said Isaacs. "The kids came out and responded, and that's one good thing.
"We had silly penalties. We just did uncharacteristic things tonight. But, if we can get a win and learn from it (over a double-A school), we'll take it."
In arrears 21-10, Oak Hill lost the chance to creep a little closer when a 39-yard scoring pass play from Cade Maynor to Leonard Farrow was nullified by a penalty.
Yoder had an 81-yard TD negated by a holding flag in the first half.
Midland Trail drew first blood on a 60-yard touchdown run from Yoder in the first quarter.
Oak Hill answered, however, on a well-placed, 50-yard scoring pass across the middle from Maynor to Toby Giles, and the PAT kick by Ethan Vargo-Thomas handed the Devils a 7-6 lead.
The visitors' scoring drive was aided by a penalty on Midland Trail on the kick return after Yoder’s score.
Oak Hill’s defense helped lead to the next Red Devil score as an Eli Selvey fumble recovery set up a Vargo-Thomas 27-yard field goal with less than a minute to go in the half.
This Friday, Midland Trail (2-0) will entertain another Fayette rival, Meadow Bridge, at 7:30 p.m. Oak Hill (0-2) will visit Princeton Friday.
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Midland Trail 35, Oak Hill 10
OH (0-2): 7 3 0 0 — 10
MT (2-0): 6 0 15 14 — 35
MT: Colton Yoder 60 run (kick failed), 6-0
OH: Toby Giles 50 pass from Cade Maynor (Ethan Vargo-Thomas kick), 7-6
OH: Vargo-Thomas 27 field goal, 10-6
MT: Liam Gill 5 run (Chris Vines run), 14-10
MT: Vines 4 run (Talon Shockey kick), 21-10
MT: Robert Ruffner 8 run (Shockey kick), 28-10
MT: Vines 26 run (Shockey kick), 35-10
RUSHING — OH: Eli Sedlock 11-3, Jason Manns 8-27, Cade Maynor 3-(-14), TeAmo Shelton 2-26, Toby Giles 2-(-4), Leonard Farrow 1-0. MT: Colton Yoder 31-201-1, Liam Gill 3-15-1, Chris Vines 13-44-2, Robert Ruffner 4-50-1, Philip Dickerson 3-9, Shirmace Weatherly 2-13, Trevor Maichle 2-8, Team 2-(-36).
PASSING — OH: Maynor 13-22-1-157-1, Tony Stump 0-1-0-0-0. MT: Vines 3-6-0-74-0.
RECEIVING — OH: Brandon Wisen 2-10, Braxton Hall 1-7, Leonard Farrow 2-30, Toby Giles 3-56-1, Eli Sedlock 4-44, Manns 1-10. MT: Maichle 2-48, Gill 1-26.
TAKEAWAYS — OH: Ethan Vargo-Thomas (FR), Eli Sedlock (2 FR), Eli Selvey (FR). MT: Colton Yoder (FR), Aaron Sisler (INT, FR)