First football game ends in resounding victory

Eagles win in walk-off fashion

Things looked bleak for the Eagles in their first football game on the new turf field against Buena High School, as they trailed behind by 15 points with only five minutes remaining. Some life was injected into the crowd as their team marched down the field for a touchdown to bring them within seven points.

“We all knew what we had to do, and we did just that,” senior offensive lineman Luke Bowman said.

The Eagles, aided by a couple untimely penalties by Buena, gained the ball back on their own 18-yard line with under two minutes to play. 

“On that last drive, we really got to roll out and that actually opened up our offense a lot,” senior quarterback Eric Garvin said in an interview with the VC Star. “Everything over the middle, they were just taking away, right away. Once we started the roll out, everything over the middle cleared up.”

With time ticking away, Garvin made a timely throw to senior receiver Nicolas Kokenis, who was able to secure the ball after it was deflected by a Buena defender.

“That catch gave us amazing field position for Aiden Lutz to score,” Bowman said.

On the final play of the drive, Garvin was able to find senior Aiden Lutz in the middle of the endzone, pulling the Eagles within one point with 1.9 seconds left in the game. Head Coach Casey Webb opted to go for two instead of taking the point after to tie it. This roll of the dice paid off, as Kokenis was able to make the catch in the end zone to win the game. Oak Park 22, Buena 21.

“Anytime you have an opportunity to win the game … you take advantage of it.  We had momentum on our side and I feel we could have called any play at that point in the game and gotten it. We did not want to play for overtime,” Webb wrote to the Talon.

Garvin led the Eagles with 21 for 35 passing, 186 yards, one touchdown and one interception. 

Senior running back Cole Galvan rushed for 20 yards on nine touches with a touchdown. On the defensive side of the ball, senior and junior linebackers Louis Brown and Riley Braddock led the Eagles with 13 tackles and nine tackles. 

The Eagles look to continue their success on the road against Santa Paula on Thursday, August 26 at 7 p.m.