GILMER — In a reversal of the 2011 meeting, White Oak stuffed Redwater for a 10-8 win on Thursday in the season-opener.
Last year the Roughnecks suffered their worst loss of the season, 41-14, to Redwater. This year the game was played at a neutral site, Gilmer’s Buckeye Stadium, and was billed as the Michael Rickman Classic. Rickman is now a 17-year-old White Oak senior and played football until he suffered a broken neck last year.
The first quarter was scoreless, with neither team able to sustain a drive.
The ‘Necks recovered a Redwater fumble on the Redwater 36-yard line and drove to the 31 before being stopped. With just 26 seconds on the clock, Tanner Sharp kicked a 31-yard field goal for the first score of the game.
The Dragons roared back on the first possession of the second half. Starting on their own 24, they drove the field in eight plays. A 27-yard pass play from Jared Bristow to John Cleghorn completed the drive. The two-point PAT run was good and Redwater owned an 8-3 lead.
Several drives later the Roughnecks took only two plays to score. Starting on Redwater’s 44, Hunter Owens, who had 74 yards in the second half, took command. He first ran for nine yards. The second time he touched the ball he took it around the right side for 35 yards and a touchdown with 2:57 left in the third quarter. Sharp converted the PAT and White Oak had the lead for good.
Redwater made a valiant effort to score in the fourth quarter, but the White Oak defense smothered every attempt.
The Roughnecks will play Bullard at home next Friday.