Gainesville, FL. Written By: Kevin Smalls
The Oak Hall Eagles (1-1) hosted the visiting Bishop Snyder Cardinals (0-2) for a Saturday night football matchup. Both teams came into the game looking to bounce back from their previous loss.
The Eagles were too much to handle as they handed the Cardinals their third consecutive loss of the season. The Eagles move to 2-1 on the season.
Three words --- Intensity, discipline, and execution.
From the kickoff to begin the game, the Eagles entire team, including the coaches, were locked-in and filled with adrenaline. Eagles head coach R.J. Fuhr said they faced adversity this week in preparation for this game because of weather.
“We didn’t practice Tuesday, but we practiced Wednesday through Friday,” he said. “Thursday was our best practice of the year.”
Coach Fuhr praised his young team for executing the new game plan they implemented this week.
“We made a couple changes on offense to be able to use our athletic quarterback,” Coach Fuhr said.
Eagles sophomore quarterback Cole Gonzales was easily the most dominant player of the game.
Gonzales used his feet majority of the game to continuously move the Eagles down the field. He scored two touchdowns in the opening quarter alone, making the score 12-0 at the end of the first.
The Cardinals opened up the second quarter with a bomb down the field to sophomore Luke Seibert. The 65-yard pass completion resulted in a touchdown for the Cardinals, making the score 12-8.
That was the only defensive break down of the entire game for the Eagles. They really played disciplined, team defense, not allowing any breathing room for the Cardinals.
“We do a lot for a high school defense,” Coach Fuhr said. “We do different coverages, we change things up on the line, and we ask a lot from the guys on the back end.”
Following what would be the only touchdown for the Cardinals, quarterback Cole Gonzales continued his outstanding play by scoring of a 50-yard QB keeper. (His third touchdown of the half).
The Eagles defense took the field aiming to keep the momentum going. The defensive line applied major pressure, which resulted in an Pick Six by senior WR/DB Zhai Smith.
After a four-and-out by the Cardinals, Gonzales and the Eagles continued pounding the ball on the ground. He ran for a 50-yard QB keeper. He finished the possession with a 15-yard run to score his fourth TD of the half.
The score was now 33-8 with 1:53 remaining in the first half. As if the first half wasn’t going the Eagles way enough, senior WR/DB Zhai Smith blocks a punt attempt, putting the Eagles in great field position.
“We saw in film that they take a long time to get the ball off, so we wanted to exploit that,” Smith said.
On the following play, Eagles QB Cole Gonzales completed a touchdown pass to ATH Jacarree Kelly, making the 39-8 going into the half.
The second half consisted of a running clock. Gonzales ran for his fifth touchdown of the night making the final score 46-8.
After the game, Gonzales said the coaches wanted to get creative on the offensive end, and the new game plan worked perfectly tonight.
“We have heart to be a small team, so we have keep our head up even when times get hard,” Gonzales said.
Oak Hall will travel to St. Augustine on Friday to face the St. Joseph Academy Flashes in a conference matchup at 7pm. Bishop Snyder will continue to strive for their first win on Friday as they host Providence School at 7pm.
Player of the Game: Cole Gonzales – 5 TD’s .