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October 14, 2012
With Zack Back, Tigers Roar & Extend Streak to 52: Midway through the second quarter, Western Branch fans that came to Art Bradriff Stadium in Chesapeake on Friday night were starting to believe they would beat Oscar Smith for the first time since 2003 and hand them their first Southeastern District loss of any kind in six years as the Bruins led 7-6. Oscar Smith scored a go-ahead touchdown with 3:20 before the half, and then the Tigers proceeded to put together a 28-0 third quarter to thwart any hope of an upset bid.
A slight scare early turned into another Oscar Smith rout, 47-13 as the Tigers extended their district winning streak to 52 games. It marked their sixth straight victory by a minimum of 29 points.
"We started off slow, but once we fixed things in the locker room at half-time, we came out here balling in the second half. We had a good night running the ball and throwing the ball. When we play to how we want to play, no one can stop us," stated Oscar Smith senior quarterback Dashawn Blow, who completed 7 of 8 passes for 119 yards and four touchdowns.
During their six-game win streak this season, Blow has thrown 20 touchdowns compared to no interceptions, a better ratio than any other signal caller in the Eastern Region in that stretch. What helped Blow quite a bit was having one of his premier weapons, UVA commit and star receiver Zack Jones, close to 100% healthy after missing most of the last three games due to a sprained ankle.
Jones hauled in four passes for 99 yards, a pair of them for touchdowns, and his 61-yard reception set up the game's go-ahead score in the second period.
"I've really been resting and when I do physical therapy during first block because that's weight lifting, they just wanted me to wait until it got all the way healthy," Jones noted. "I was ready. I can't compare this game to nothing and I just felt something in me. It felt like we were clicking and everybody was on the same page."
Not only did Oscar Smith outscore Western Branch 28-0 in the third period, they out-gained them 125-22 after the Bruins out-gained the Tigers 130-112 in the first half. Western Branch was able to have success in the first half by playing keep away. The Tigers ran only one play the entire first quarter, which resulted in a touchdown run by DeShawn McClease, and just nine plays in the entire first half compared to the 42 plays, 37 of them runs, by Western Branch.
As Oscar Smith improves to 6-1 overall, 6-0 in the Southeastern District, Western Branch falls to 5-2 overall and 4-2 in league play.
Matthew Hatfield has covered Eastern Region Football & Basketball since 2004 for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and don't forget to listen to him on High School Sports Talk from 10AM to Noon on ESPN Radio 94.1 plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.