Attica was able to convert two Oakfield-Alabama turnovers in the second half into big plays to literally run away with the game in Oakfield last night, capturing a 34-21 win.
Spirits were high for Oakfield when the team emerged from the locker room on homecoming night with a 14-7 lead, but on its first possession of the third quarter, a fumble gave Attica the ball well into Hornets' territory and a few plays later, Brandon Rollings squirted into the end zone on a 14-yard run. It was Rollings' second TD of the night.
Attica Head Coach Jeff Cusmano said turn overs and the Blue Devils' ability to convert those turnovers into big plays was the key to the game.
"We got the running game going," Cusmano said. "They were clogging up the middle and we got to the outside a bit. We were just digging down and grinding it out."
The game remained tied until the third quarter when another fumble by Oakfield, now 1-4, was followed by a 56-yard dash by Brad Clark. It was Clark's first of three TDs of the night.
"The first half we came out like I expected them to, and just like Notre Dame last week, we came out firing on all cylinders," Coach Brian Palone. "We’ve just got to find a way to finish games. Right now we’re not playing four quarters of football."
Oakfield pulled even again on an 84-yard run by Jason Stanley. It was Stanley's second long TD run of the night. He also scored in the first quarter, going 64 yards for the TD.
But it was all Attica (4-1) from that point on in the game. Clark scored twice on runs of 62 and 81 yards to seal the victory.
Cusmano said Clark, who had 296 yards on 27 carries, was the star of the game, but also praised the offensive line.
"They just did a tremendous job," Cusmano said. "They dug down and just ground it out. I would have to say it all starts up front and Brad will be the first guy to tell you that without the blocking up front, he wouldn’t have had what he had."
It was some of those big plays that helped Clark run up so many yards that were the undoing for Oakfield, Palone said.
"We can’t allow big plays," said the Oakfield Coach. "Attica was able to get some big plays on us and put together some big drives on us and it was tough for us to battle back."
The turnovers, of course, were crucial mistakes.
"It came down to what we preached for the past couple of weeks – we’ve got to protect the ball and we weren’t able to do that, and defensively, we can’t allow big plays," Palone said. "Attica was able to get some big plays on us and put together some big drives on us and it was tough for us to battle back."
Next week, Alexander goes against undefeated Holley. Cusmano thinks his team will be ready.
"We’re making progress every week and you know the kids are growing," Cusmano said. "They’re going to make mistakes; you know, you roll out a bunch of young kids and they’re going to make mistakes. We’re getting better every week and cutting down on our mistakes. We'll go into the Holley game next week and see what happens."
Besides Clark, for Attica, Brandon Rollings had six carries for 37 yards. Brandon Banks led the defense with nine tackles. Alex Arnone had seven tackles and two fumble recoveries.
For OA, Jason Stanley rushed for 199 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. Matt Osmancickli rushed for 36 yards and Matt Smith carried the ball a total of 35 yards.