WALKER — The Live Oak Eagles scored 14 points in the second quarter and dominated the time of possession in the second half to hang on to a 26-10 victory over the Walker Wildcats.
Sophomore running back Daylen Lee carried the ball 12 times for 36 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles. Live Oak senior quarterback Brock Magee completed 9 of 14 passes for 140 yards and one touchdown. Junior running back Rayshawn Simmons carried the ball 13 times for 62 yards to lead Walker in yards rushing, while quarterbacks Hunter Bethel and Thor Debetaz combined for 104 yards passing and one score, with Debetaz throwing the touchdown but also two interceptions.
How it was won
Live Oak (3-2) stuck to its usual formula of running the ball and eating away time on the clock, possessing the ball for 31:19 seconds compared to Walker’s 16:41 seconds. The second half was all Live Oak following a Debetaz 33-yd TD pass to senior receiver Jasper Turner with 6:26 to play in the 3rd quarter. The Eagles defense stifled the Wildcats rushing attack and managed to contain one of the top rated receivers in the country in senior Brian Thomas, holding him to no catches in the game. The game was put out of reach for the Wildcats after a botched snap on a punt flew over the head of Walker punter Tyler Foster and out of their own end zone for a safety, making it a 9-point lead for the Eagles.
Player(s) of the game
Secondary for Live Oak: Not only did the unit hold Thomas without a catch, but it also had two picks on the night and allowed only 104 yards passing for the game. Both interceptions came at crucial points in the game, with the second coming late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for Live Oak. Junior receiver CJ Davis also had a solid game leading the Eagles in yards receiving and caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Magee early in the second quarter to give Live Oak the go-ahead score.
They said it
Davis: “We grinded them down, not taking big shots but got first downs when we needed them."
Live Oak coach Blane Westmoreland on containing Brian Thomas: “The team played outstanding, they executed the game plan on both sides of the ball. Coach (Stephen) Prescott did a great job of coming up with a good scheme against Brian and really did a good job against their offense as a whole.”
Walker coach Chad Mahaffey said: “I think our defense played well enough in the first half, but our offense just wasn’t consistent enough to get points when we had opportunities. In a game like that where you’re playing a lot of snaps, obviously the actual point total is what matters the most but the mental points you can get for keeping your offense on the field and your defense off it are really important as well. And we just couldn’t do that tonight.”
- A play late in the second quarter proved to be crucial not only for the score but also for the momentum of the game. Live Oak had a 4th and 1 on the Walker 3-yd line and what looked like a fumbled handoff between Eagles quarterback Magee and running back Daylen Lee was ruled not a fumble and subsequently a first down for Live Oak, who scored on the ensuing play giving them a 14-3 lead going into halftime.