WALES — Five plays in a two and a half minute span were all Oak Hill needed to remain unbeaten in the Campbell Conference Class D on Saturday.

Senior quarterback Matt Strout threw for 270 yards and rushed for three touchdowns to lead Oak Hill to a 21-0 homecoming day victory over Medomak Valley. Strout, whose long tosses to Steven Gilbert and Darryn Bailey, among others, moved the ball swiftly downfield, scored on runs of two, one and 11 yards in a wild second quarter that accounted for all of the game’s scoring.

It wasn’t quite all the offense the Raiders (3-0) had, but it was all they needed.

“I think the game was in the second quarter,” Strout said. “Having three touchdowns in one quarter, that’s what gave us the momentum. That’s where I thought the game was (decided) right there.”

Oak Hill opened the second quarter with a seven-play, 52-yard scoring drive, kept alive by Strout’s 26-yard completion over the middle to Gilbert on third-and-15 from the Raiders’ own 43-yard line. Two plays later, Oak Hill engineered a first-and-goal from the Medomak 3 when Gilbert broke three tackles to turn a short passing play into an 18-yard gain. Strout’s first touchdown followed on second-and-goal from the 2.

Gilbert finished the day with eight receptions for 176 yards.

“It was a really big factor,” Gilbert said of the passing game. “Our offensive line was holding up well, and nobody got through so we could make the passes.”

“We have some pretty good receivers, and I thought Matt threw a pretty good ball today,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said. “We converted on some passes, and we’re pretty happy with that.”

On the ensuing kickoff, a low line-drive kick hit Medomak’s Tyler Hayes — the first man in the middle of the return formation — and ricocheted into a whole host of Oak Hill players. The Raiders recovered the ball in the scrum, and the mis-kick gave Oak Hill as much momentum as if they’d recovered an onside kick.

Given that their drive began on the 50-yard line, it essentially was an onside kick.

“The kids made a reaction play on it, which was good,” Doucette said.

On first down, Strout aired it out to Bailey down the left sideline for a gain of 39 yards. He followed that on the next play with an 11-yard scoring run to make it 14-0 with 9:07 remaining in the first half.

Medomak went three and out, and Oak Hill responded with its second consecutive two-play scoring drive. Strout hit Gilbert for a 55-yard completion that came up just short of the Panthers’ goal line before running the ball in himself on the next snap.

It took the Raiders just five plays from scrimmage in a span of 2:26 to turn a scoreless game into a three-touchdown cruise.

“We have some pretty good receivers, and I thought Matt threw a pretty good ball today,” Doucette said. “We converted on some passes, and we’re pretty happy with that.”

Poised to put Medomak (1-2) away in the second half, the Raiders instead watched the Panthers eat up yards and clock. Oak Hill had just one third-quarter possession and ran only 15 plays from scrimmage through the first six minutes of the fourth quarter.

“Of course that’s frustrating.” Strout said. “You don’t want that to happen, but the good thing is that when you’re up by three scores you don’t have to always drive down the field. You just have to play solid defense, and that’s what happened.”

Two Panther drives stalled out inside the red zone on failed fourth down conversions. The most dangerous of those came midway through the third quarter, when they set up for first and goal at the Oak Hill 3. The Raiders appeared to have the stop on fourth and goal from the 4, but they were flagged for defensive holding to give Medomak another crack at the down. Sophomore quarterback Eli Miller’s subsequent sneak attempt was stuffed short.

“It was all about heart,” Gilbert said of the stop. “We all pushed. We all did our jobs. We went 100 percent all day.”

Bailey picked off a Miller pass and Brian Thorpe recovered a fumble to end two other promising Medomak possessions.

“We preach bend but don’t break, and the kids did a pretty good job with that today,” Doucette said.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC


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