Undefeated Oakfield-Alabama/Elba rode a second-half ground game sparked by Gaige Armbrewster, Noah Currier and Bodie Hyde to overcome underdog Notre Dame, 34-7, Saturday afternoon in varsity football action at Elba’s field.
Armbrewster rushed for 111 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown, Hyde ran eight times for 79 yards, including a 56-yard TD scamper, and Currier carried six times for 64 yards and two scores as the Aggies overcame a 7-0 deficit to improve to 3-0.
The visiting Fighting Irish, 1-2, gave O-A/E all it could handle in the opening 24 minutes – taking the lead on a 32-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jimmy Fanara (photo at top) to wide receiver Evan Cummings and Brandon Carrick’s extra point with 41 seconds left in the first quarter.
ND had a chance to take that advantage into intermission but the Aggies stopped a third-and-one play with about a minute left, and took over at their own 44 with 52 seconds on the clock.
From there, Hyde connected with Kaden Cusmano for gains of 12 and eight yards, and then hit Currier for 36 yards to put the ball at the ND 8. Armbrewster found the end zone on the next play on a sweep to the left and Max DeMare’s kick was good, knotting it up at 7-7 with 21 seconds remaining.
The second half was all Aggies as they’re offensive line took control, powering a consistent rushing attack.
O-A/E put together an eight-play, 72-yard drive, culminating with a 13-yard TD pass from Hyde to Cusmano with 53 seconds left in the third quarter. DeMare’s kick made it 14-7.
The drive was sparked by runs of 13 and 14 yards by Armbrewster and a 15-yard run by Connor Scott that moved the ball to the ND 19. From there, a pair of short runs by Armbrewster set up the touchdown play.
An interception by Armbrewster set up the Aggies’ next drive at the ND 41. His 14-yard burst and a three-yard run by Hyde move the ball to the 24, where Currier broke through the left side of the line untouched to the end zone. DeMare came on for the PAT and O-A/E had a 21-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Cusmano recovered a fumble on ND’s first play of its next possession, and that led to a six-yard score by Currier, with lineman Brayden Smith applying a key block. A pass for the two-point conversion failed.
The Aggies forced ND to punt at took over at their own 44. Armbrewster picked up 22 yards on three runs and Scott ran for a nine-yard gain to set up Hyde, who escaped a few tackles near the line before breaking clear for the 56-yard score. DeMare’s PAT closed out the scoring.
The Irish fell just short of their second touchdown on their final drive behind fullback Vin DiRisio, who gained 54 yards, including a 44-yard burst up the middle, breaking several tackles before being upended at the O-A/E 9. He carried twice more but was stopped at the 5 when time ran out.
Fanara passed 15 times, completing seven for 107 yards, while Cummings caught four passes for 86 yards, all in the first half. On defense for ND, George Woodruff, Drew Edwards and Connor McWilliams led the way with 10 tackles each and Cummings made a one-handed interception.
For the Aggies, Scott recovered a fumble. O-A/E outgained ND, 347-193.
ND hosts Bolivar-Richburg at 7 p.m. Thursday at Van Detta Stadium, while O-A/E travels to York/Pavilion at 7 p.m. Friday.
Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.
Connor Scott breaks free for OAE.
OAE's Gaige Armbrewster brought down by two ND defenders.
ND's Fanara puts a hit on Noah Currier.
OAE's Noah Currier.
ND's Brandon Carrick for the PAT.
Fanara lets one fly.
Armbrewster on a couple of big gains (see below).