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Oiler senior Shiloh Shoppel brings down a Mount Olive player in the third quarter on Friday.
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Oiler freshman Zach Womack is taken down by a Mount Olive defender on Friday. There was a face mask penalty called on the play.
MOUNT OLIVE — Friday night marked a new beginning in a new conference for the East Alton-Wood River Oilers. Unfortunately it didn't start too well for EA-WR.
The Oilers fell to the Mount Olive Wildcats 52-24 after jumping out to a quick 12-0 lead in the first few minutes of the game.
"We talked about what to do if we got a lead early," EA-WR head coach Joe Parmentier said. "We needed to relax, play our game, and execute, but we didn't, we made mistakes that cost us and they were avoidable. It's been a while since we had been in that position and we just didn't know how to behave."
The Oilers stopped the Wildcats on the opening possession and forced them to a quick punt after just three plays. After receiving the kick, the Oilers found the end zone and took a 6-0 lead when the extra point was blocked.
The Wildcats fumbled after receiving the ensuing kickoff with the Oilers regaining control with short yardage. The Oilers 6-foot 8, 340-pound senior Anthony Lane then took a 16-yard pass from junior quarterback Luke Wells and ran it in for a TD with a host of Wildcats on his back as he crossed into the end zone with 3:38 remaining in the first quarter.
Things changed quickly for the Oilers following a 15-yard penalty with 1:30 remaining in the opening quarter as senior Darrius Clark got a sack on Mount Olive signal Lee Welch, but was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play. The Wildcats were awarded 15 yards and an automatic first down, which resulted in a speedy Mount Olive touchdown, cutting the Oilers lead in half with a score of 12-6 after the failed two-point conversion attempt as the quarter wound down.
The second quarter started the offensive strike for the Wildcats. With 10:57 on the clock, the Wildcats tied the Oilers after a quick punch through the end zone, but failed for a second time on the two-point conversion.
The Wildcats pounced again with 4:26 remaining in the first half as Welch made a 93-yard run down the sideline to take the lead for Mount Olive after another failed two-point conversion attempt, bringing the score to 18-12.
The Wildcats' offense wasn't finished with the Oilers before the end of the first half as they found the end zone with a 73-yard run with 2:40 remaining and a 32-yard run with 13.9 seconds remaining, bringing the halftime score to 32-12 in their favor.
The Oilers showed life in the third quarter as Clark pounded a 1-yard run through the Wildcat defense to find the end zone with 7:02 on the clock to cut it to 32-18. Mount Olive answered right back with a 51-yard run with a successful two-point conversion to bring the score to 40-18 at the end of the third quarter.
The Wildcats struck early in the fourth quarter with a long 67-yard run with successful two-point conversion with only 1:01 burned off the clock.
When the Oilers regained possession, they were forced into a punt situation and were put into poor field position when the Wildcats blocked Gaines' punt attempt, giving them possession on the Oiler 10-yard line. It resulted in a Wildcat TD with a failed two-point conversion.
The Oilers kept the Wildcats at bay and managed to punch through to the end zone one more time with a 6-yard TD run by freshman Zach Kincade with less than two minutes remaining.
The Wildcats took their first conference win over the Oilers and improved their record to 1-2 as EA-WR's record fell to 0-3.
"We figured this would be a war tonight and Wood River is a well-coached team," Mount Olive head coach Zach Bisto said. "After starting 0-2, this last week we took all the seniors and we had a family meeting and we challenged ourselves to be better and it had to start today."
Both the Oilers and Wildcats were ready for conference play after facing tough non-conference games in weeks one and two.
"We know we beat ourselves," EA-WR junior Blake Weishaupt said. "We have to be responsible for ourselves and we all made some costly mistakes that we didn't recover from, but we'll learn from them as a team and move forward ... we know coach Parm really cares about us and we are going to face this as a family."
The Oilers offense was led by freshman Zach Womack with 17 carries for 65 yards, and Dreyton Daugherty with 11 carries for 40 yards. Clark had 10 carries for 58 yards while Lane had one reception for 16 yards, Wells had two carries for seven yards and Kincade had two carries for 16 yards.
The Oilers defense led with Darian McLemore, Shiloh Shoppell, Weishaupt, Kincade and Chandler Eckhoff, all having three solo tackles and two assists.
The Wildcats offense exploded with Lee Welch with seven carries for 221 yards, Quenton Tooley had seven carries for 92 yards, while Jonny Darrah had five carries for 64 yards as well as five solo tackles and five assists. The defense was led by junior Logan Scheiter with six solo tackles and 10 assists with one sack.
The Oilers move on to play at Bunker Hill next week before returning home to face Marquette in two weeks. The Wildcats travel to Pawnee for their next competition.