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Oilers strike gold

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    The Vindicator | Justin Kelm — The West Hardin Oilers listen to Coach George Taylor’s pre-game pep talk.
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    The Vindicator | Justin Kelm

The 2019 Texas High School Regular Season kicked off Friday night in Saratoga. In front of a packed house, the Oilers struck first. Senior running back Keaton Castilaw took the Defenders kickoff and flew down the field, going the distance and scoring. The sideline erupted, as Coach George Taylor’s Oilers went up 7-0.

The Defenders then got a chance to return the favor and scored. The Oilers offense then took the field and marched the ball down the Defenders defense. Senior quarterback Jake Strahan connected on a 28-yard pass. Castilaw capped this drive off with a 1-yard scamper. The score was then thirteen to

six. The extra point was not successful.

The Oilers defense continued to give the Defenders fits, forcing the ball to be turned over on downs on numerous occasions. The Oilers offense took advantage of this situation as senior wide receiver Joe Leger took the end around sweep and pummeled the entire Defenders defensive line, scoring on the play. The Oilers then went up 20-6. The score remained the same throughout the rest of the game. Senior defensive lineman Isaac Murphy led the push on defense. Murphy accounted for over twelve tackles and at least two tackles for losses.

The entire Oilers defensive unit worked cohesively and made sure to wrap up the tackles. Strahan who played both ways on the field had a very crucial pass broken up. On fourth down, the Defenders hiked the ball and desperation set in. The quarterback rolled out and the Oilers defense attacked. As soon as the quarterback began to run to the right, the Oilers were there. The Defenders attempted to hook up with their favorite target on the night, the slot wide receiver. Strahan played the ball effectively and ensured the stop.

The Oilers then took over on downs and continued to run out the clock. Strahan, who just made a play on defense, was back out there commanding the offense. The Oilers took the ball and made their way down the field, eating the clock with each play. Penalties derailed the second half, which was something of emphasis for the following. As the clock struck zero, the Oilers came out victorious.

Coach Taylor said, “I’m happy that we got the victory tonight, but we have plenty of things to work on. The penalties are something that will be addressed and fixed by next week.”

The Oilers host the Bobcats of Hull-Daisetta on Friday, Sept. 6. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. from Oiler Stadium.