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September 15, 2012Chidobe Awuzie was the star on Friday night as he led Oak Grove to a 24-21 victory over Los Gatos. The Eagles also made two crucial fourth down stops inside the red zone to preserve a victory.
Los Gatos seemed dominant early in the game, and chewed up seven and a half minutes on its first drive, but stalled at Oak Grove's five-yard line. The Wildcats faced a fourth-and-three, and opted to go for it. The Eagles held Nick Bawden's quarterback sneak to just a single yard, and took over on offense 96 yards from the end zone.
Only three plays later, Awuzie caught a short screen pass, juked a defender, and took it 84 yards for a touchdown.
It was that type of night for Awuzie, who was all over the field for the Eagles. On offense, he made a leaping grap over a defender later in the game for a 32-yard touchdown, and also had 53 yards rushing on 14 carries. His rushing total was at 76 yards, until he botched a snap in the Wildcat formation for a loss of 23 yards. Nonetheless, Awuzie was the top prospect of the night, and made his case to enter the NCP 2013 rankings.
Defensively, his collegiate future is at cornerback, as he made two interceptions. His final one preserved the victory for the Eagles, who now move to 2-0.
Nick Bernardo was another highlight for the Eagles, who ran for 131 yards on 12 carries. He is a physical downhill runner who also plays linebacker on defense.
Los Gatos had an opportunity to tie the game with just over three minutes remaining, but again elected to go for it. The Wildcats faced a fourth-and-five on the Oak Grove 12-yard line and the Eagles recorded their only sack of the night at the perfect time to force the turnover. Los Gatos did get the ball again, but Awuzie made the big play to finish the game.
The Wildcats had a stout offensive line, but did not have many huge plays outside of a 73-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Although they were fundamentally sound, Oak Grove's speed was too much for Los Gatos. Bawden, the 6-foot-3, 216 pound junior quarterback, was solid with a 7-of-15 night for 185 yards, but also had three catchable passes were dropped. He had two mistakes that led to interceptions, but showed good potential with an accurate ball and a nice arm.
Regarding the game, Awuzie said, "The defense kind of slipped up on those two touchdowns that they had. We could have played way harder on D, but that comes with preparation and discipline and we'll come back next week and try to be better."
Los Gatos falls to 1-2, and will have a bye next week before starting league play. Oak Grove avenged their only two losses from last season, and will face McClymonds at home next Friday. The Eagles have the potential to finish the season undefeated, and Awuzie expects nothing but that accomplishment.
"We want to go undefeated," Awuzie finished. "That's the only goal, to win a CCS title, so we can finish off our senior season right."
Oak Grove - 3:28 Awuzie 84 yard pass from Ray Cruz (PAT Good) 7-0
Oak Grove - 0:22 Na Yepiz 32 yard field goal 10-0
Oak Grove - 4:48 Bernardo 6 yard run (PAT Good) 17-0
Los Gatos - 3:54 Teva Brender 25 yard pass from Bawden (PAT Good) 7-17
Los Gatos - 6:40 William Le 1 yard run (PAT Good) 14-17
Oak Grove - 4:51 Awuzie 32 yard pass from Dallas Misaalefua (PAT Good) 24-14
Los Gatos - 3:55 Kyle Kevorkian 73 yard pass from Bawden (PAT Good) 21-24