MIDWAY — Oak Grove grabbed hold of its first Central Carolina 2-A football championship early in Friday night’s 51-13 rout of visiting East Davidson and never considered letting go.
The Grizzlies scored on five of their six first-half possessions and rolled to their 10th win in 11 games, locking up the conference championship in only the third year of the school’s existence and its second year of varsity competition.
Aiden Shewcow rushed 20 times for 125 yards and four touchdowns for Oak Grove, which dominated and wound up playing with a running clock for most of the second half after carrying a 42-7 lead into halftime.
“People said it was going to take us five or six years to win the conference, but these guys did it in two,” said Coach Marc Holcomb of Oak Grove, who took over the new program after a long, distinguished stay at North Davidson. “We started a couple of years ago in a broom closet in the middle school. To say we’re the conference champions is a tribute to these kids.”
Oak Grove finished the regular season 10-1, 8-1 in the conference. East Davidson finished 1-10 overall, 1-8 in the conference. The only stain on the Grizzlies’ record was last week’s 17-9 loss to Thomasville.
“This was definitely a statement game,” Shewcow said. “We played that game, last week, not the way Oak Grove plays. This was what we knew we had to do to get the conference championship. Now, a state championship — that’s our next goal.”
Quarterback Ian McGlamery completed 7 of 9 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns, and Anthony Bowen returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown for the Grizzlies.
“Aiden and Ian both had great games,” Holcomb said. “Ian did a great job of managing the game. We talked to him about that this week, and he took it to heart. And Anthony Bowen’s punt return was a really big momentum play for us.”
The Grizzlies’ defense held East Davidson to 72 yards total offense in the first half, 55 of those coming on quarterback Spencer Leonard’s long touchdown run in the second quarter. Leonard accounted for the Eagles’ other touchdown on an 11-yard touchdown pass to Chris Wright with 21 seconds left in the game.
Shewcow got the rout started with a 7-yard run on the Grizzlies’ first possession, Bowen’s punt return for a touchdown came after the Eagles’ first possession, and Shewcow went 56 yards with a screen pass from McGlamery to give Oak Grove a 21-0 lead before the game was nine minutes old.
Under pressure in his own backfield, Leonard broke through for a 55-yard touchdown run on the Eagles’ next possession, but Oak Grove answered with a 10-yard run from Seth Blair early in the second quarter, Shewcow capped a 71-yard march with a 14-yard touchdown run with 4:27 left in the half.
Oak Grove made the score 42-7 when McGlamery hit Hunter TIlley with an 11-yard touchdown with 36 seconds left, finishing off a seven-play, 59-yard drive.
The Grizzlies tacked on a safety and a 25-yard touchdown run by Shewcow in the third quarter to lead 51-7 and start the running clock.
Oak Grove 51 East Davidson 13
East Davidson 7 0 0 6 — 13
Oak Grove 21 21 9 0 — 51
OG — Shewcow 7 run (Schoenberger kick)
OG — Bowen 63 punt return (Schoenberger kick)
OG — Shewcow 56 pass from McGlamery (Schoenberger kick)
ED — Leonard 55 run (Reyes kick)
OG — Blair 10 run (Schoenberger kick)
OG — Shewcow 14 run (Schoenberger kick)
OG — Tilley 11 pass from McGlamery (Schoenberger kick)
OG — Leonard tackled in end zone
OG — Shewcow 25 run (Schoenberger kick)
ED — Wright 11 pass from Leonard (run failed)