IJAMSVILLE, MD. — In a Week 4 clash between undefeated Frederick County 3A West division powers, Oakdale (4-0) leaned on their defense to force two huge red zone stops in the second half and propel them to a 21-14 victory over rival Linganore (3-1).
The game started with both teams finding the end zone on their initial possessions. Linganore drove down the field after receiving the opening kickoff and took nearly half of the first quarter. The drive ended with running back Ethan Arenson punching in the touchdown from a few yards out.
But only about a minute later, Oakdale hit a couple of big plays and found themselves inside the 5-yard line. Defensive lineman Dominic Nichols lined up in the backfield, took the hand-off, and powered into the end zone for the tying score.
As play entered into the second quarter, and the teams settled in and exchanged punts, Oakdale received a boost from their special teams as Hunter Thompson returned a punt back for a touchdown to give the Bears a 14-7 lead. It’s the second consecutive week in which Thompson has recorded a special teams score, after he ran back the opening kickoff in last week’s game at Frederick.
Early in the second half, both teams turned the ball over. Oakdale QB Evan Austin threw an interception along the sidelines, and two plays later, a Linganore fumble was recovered by the Bears’ Brayden DeWaal.
As time dwindled down in the third quarter, Oakdale’s defense turned Linganore away from the end zone for the first of their two big stands. The Lancers had the ball on 1st down from inside the 5 yard line, and the Bears defense refused to allow a score. Arenson was stopped inside the 1-yard line on 4th down.
After Oakdale went three-and-out in the shadow of their own goal line, Linganore was gifted with a short field, and the Lancers took advantage. Arneson tallied his second score of the night, this time from 10 yards out, to even the score at 14 with only a minute to go in the penultimate quarter.
Austin put the Bears back on top with an athletic play in which he alluded tacklers and spun his way into the end zone. Oakdale regained a 21-14 lead with just over five minutes to play.
Linganore QB Christian Petruzzello broke a big run and moved the Lancers down within striking distance of the goal line as time continued to tick off the clock. But for a second time in the game, the Oakdale defense stood firm and forced Petruzzello into an incomplete pass on 4th & Goal from the 4-yard line.
Oakdale took over possession on downs, secured a first down, and then took a couple of knees to run out the clock.