OAKLAND — Fast starts have been no issue for Class C-2, No. 2 Oakland-Craig this season.
Friday’s semifinal matchup with top-ranked St. Paul was no exception as the Knights scored on their first five possessions and ran for nearly 300 yards in the first half en route to a 54-13 win over the Wildcats.
“We have been able to start really fast all year,” O-C coach Joe Anderson said. “Our first quarters have been really good. We told the kids to treat this like another game.
“I thought our offensive line was fantastic.”
You don’t have to look much past the first quarter to see how quickly the Knights had control. They scored on drives of 65, 55 and 67 yards getting touchdown runs from Ian Lundquist, Coulter Thiele and Caden Nelson to open up a 22-0 lead.
Meanwhile, St. Paul had ran six plays for minus-1 yard and punted twice.
“We knew they got off the ball really, really well,” St. Paul coach Rusty Fuller said. “We just didn’t know how well until we saw it in person. I think we got caught off guard a little bit at the beginning of the game.”
Jaron Meyer added touchdown runs of 53 and 29 yards in the second quarter as the Knights led 38-13 at the break. Meyer and Thiele each had 103 yards rushing as O-C racked up 373 yards on the ground.
St. Paul (11-1) junior Eli Larson went over 2,000 yards on the season with a 16 carry, 112-yard effort. He scored twice on a 1-yard run and on a 47-yard lateral late in the second quarter.
Fuller was proud of the Wildcat season, their furthest trip in the postseason in school history.
“Really proud if our guys and our seniors,” Fuller said. “And we have a lot of underclassmen who can learn from this. We have a bright future ahead.”
The Knights (12-0) advance to play Sutton (11-1) in the state final game a week from Tuesday at Memorial Stadium.