Great Oak finishes with a flurry to knock off Chaparral
By Tim Meehan
TEMECULA — Great Oak didn’t want to go into Southwestern League play without Jack Lamb. The Wolfpack certainly didn’t want to face a 4th-and-3 late in the fourth quarter and deep in their own territory with the game on the line without their Notre Dame-bound linebacker and team leader.
But that’s exactly where they found themselves, clinging to a three-point lead against host Chaparral.
Brennan Jackson, Preston Toner, Danny Morales and crew made sure to make up for the missing piece.
Toner stopped Pumas quarterback Trilian Harris short of the first down and Morales broke off a 75-yard touchdown on the ensuing play as Great Oak opened league play with an inspired 31-14 victory.
“That play was just trusting our teammates,” said Jackson, who had a sack and four tackles for loss in the win. “We kept our linebackers inside and they made a play. I’m just so proud of everyone on our team sticking to our game plan this week.”
The defensive stop and Morales’ 75-yard jaunt were exactly what the patient Wolfpack (3-3, 1-0) needed. On Chaparral’s next drive, Evan Ethridge intercepted Harris and returned it 26 yards to the Pumas 6-yard line. Two players later, Morales scored on a 9-yard run to ice it.
“We struggled with a couple things early but my defensive coordinator came down from the booth to the sideline,” Great Oak head coach Robbie Robinson said. “He lit a fire under them and got them going. Obviously we played great the rest of the game. We made a huge stop there.”
Morales carried the 16 times for 198 yards but after the game all of the talk was centered around the job the defense did.
“All of us got together before the (fourth down) play and said this is our stand,” Morales said. “They were running the ball so we were […]