Oscar Smith RB Tyvon Norfleet fights to get free of Zakai Minggia (Photo: Lance Hinton/recruit757)
Indian River scored, but Oscar Smith rolled to an undefeated regular season
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
Considering that Oscar Smith had not only been undefeated, but also unscored upon heading into Friday night’s season finale with Indian River, you could expect that the outcome was obvious.
The game played according to script.
Indian River and Oscar Smith have had some hotly contested battles over the years, and there was certainly some chippiness Friday night.
On the scoreboard, the outcome was almost certain by the end of the first quarter.
“Obviously, we’re happy anytime we can come out here, get the W, and go 1-0. Our guys did a great job, made some big time plays, and played physical. I’ve got a lot of respect for those guys on the other side of the ball. The guys have been playing with (or against) each other for 10-11-12 years, since they were little babies. For them to get out here and mix it up with their brothers is a good thing,” said Oscar Smith head coach Chris Scott after the game.
The Tigers were clicking on all cylinders. 27 first-quarter points were followed by 25 second-quarter points. Indian River did manage a second-quarter score when Tyler Allison connected with Zakai Minggia for an 8-yard touchdown right before the break. Oscar Smith followed that Braves touchdown with a score of their own, just to assert themselves again before halftime.
Two more Tiger touchdowns with a running clock in the second half was enough to put the cherry on top of an undefeated regular season for Smith. With a 66-6 win over Indian River, the Tigers move into the postseason.
The big prize lies ahead.
Oscar Smith will head into the playoffs likely as the #1 seed in Region 6A. That means that they’ll not only host every game they play in the regional rounds, but because of changes to the championship format, the Tigers would host the state semi-final and state championship game too. That’s if they can keep winning.
“(From here), our guys aren’t guaranteed anything. It’s gotta be our best Saturday, it’s gotta be our best Sunday, and every day after that,” said Scott. “We’ve waited and we’ve worked for all we can to get in this position. Now, it’s 0-0. We have to earn our way through each week.”
Oscar Smith is hungry to win another state championship. Their last title came in 2011, when the Tigers topped Centreville at Scott Stadium in the championship game. Since then, Oscar Smith has lost in the title game in 2013 (Centreville), 2015, 2016 and 2017 (Westfield), and in 2019 (South County). Westfield and Centreville did not make the playoffs this year, but South County is back again with a 5-0 record and a #1 seed in Region 6C.
If Oscar Smith holds on to the #1 seed in Region 6A, it appears that they’ll play Ocean Lakes at home in the opening round of the playoffs next Saturday. The VHSL Power Ratings will likely be published Sunday night or Monday morning, and those power ratings will confirm the playoff schedule as the regular season officially wraps up today.
– Andy Hilton