Saturday, August 29, 2009

Osbourn tops Forest Park

By Joe Conroy

Published: August 28, 2009

The Osbourn Eagles were looking for a strong start to their 2009 campaign to follow up their appearance in the Group AAA Division 6 state final.

Instead, they watched as both they and Forest Park piled up penalty yards in both teams’ season opener Friday, stalling the offenses after tying the game at a touchdown apiece.

The Eagles broke the deadlock in the third quarter when, with the Bruins’ punter in his own end zone, the snap hit the crossbar of the goalposts, resulting in a safety and a lead Osbourn wouldn’t surrender. The Eagles’ offense found its stride from that point and scored four more times on their way to a 37-21 win.

“It was sloppy football on both sides of the ball,” Osbourn coach Steve Schultze said. “Watching both teams’ scrimmages on film, we [both] played better in our scrimmages.

“We weren’t happy with how we won, but the bottom line is we’ll take that win, that ‘W’ to start the season. But anyone can see that we have a lot of things we need to correct.”

Aside from a 70-yard interception return by Forest Park linebacker Nate Brown in the third, not much went right for the Bruins.

Offensively, Forest Park struggled to come to the line and get a snap off before referees assessed several delay of game penalties. They also accumulated multiple illegal shift and motion infractions.

Osbourn took advantage on nearly every one, including on special teams. After Eagles running back Vidal Greene scored on a 1-yard rush in the fourth, the Bruins were called for encroachment on the ensuing point-after attempt. Osbourn opted for a two-point play instead, which was converted on Thomas Keith’s run.

Rodney “Lucky” Whitehead was all over the field, picking up rushing yards on offense and breaking up passes on defense.

“This was a hard game because I know we can play better than we did,” said Whitehead, who finished with 52 yards on the ground on six carries and 28 yards on two receptions. “We had people here watching and I didn’t like the way we came out tonight. We knew we could play better than Forest Park.”

Thomas Keith scored twice on the ground, once on a 28-yard run and again in the fourth on a 46-yard scramble. Keith also threw for a score, completing a 19-yarder to Mac Clark.

Things didn’t start off well for Osbourn, though, as Forest Park opened the game with a 94-yard opening kickoff return by Troy Tyler. That would be all the Bruins could muster in the first half.

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