Mighty Moe’s Three TD Runs Lead Oakville Past Fox
Senior Morris "Moe" LaGrand ran wild for the Tigers, with 184 yards and the three touchdowns to lead Oakville to an upset victory on Homecoming night against Fox.
All season long, Fox High running back Jimmy Huskey has been stealing headlines away from more well-known players, who couldn't keep up with the senior's incredible gameday pace, which finds Huskey leading the Suburban West Conference in rushing and scoring.
The 6'2, 200-pound speedster had even become the leading candidate to take home the Suburban West Player of the Year award.
But Friday night, during Oakville football's Homecoming night celebration, Huskey was upstaged in a big way by Tiger senior Morris LaGrand, who broke out for a season-high 184 yards and three touchdowns to lead Oakville to a stunning 27-0 upset over Fox.
"It feels really good to have a game like this," said LaGrand, who simply goes by the ultra-cool nickname 'Moe'. "Last year, my boy Javon Henderson had four touchdowns against Fox to set the record. And I told him I was going to break his record, that was my goal tonight. I didn't quite get there, but I think I did okay anyway."
Boy he did ever, as Mighty Moe gave the fired up Oakville Homecoming crowd something to truly party about the night before the dance, with a brilliant night from the backfield that included touchdown runs of 2, 49, and 36 yards.
In fact, LaGrand's first carry of the game showed exactly what he had in mind, as he burst around left end on 4th down for a 2-yard score that gave Oakville the lead.
"I'm just so proud of a kid like Moe," said Oakville head coach Arlee Conners. "He does everything for us. He plays offense, defense, he's on special teams. If we didn't need him so much on defense and other places, I'd probably give him the ball every time on offense. He's a great little back."
And LaGrand sure made an impression on Fox head coach Brent Tinker, who said he knew that despite Oakville's 1-4 record coming into Friday's matchup that the Tigers were a better club than people were giving them credit for.
"We knew Oakville was going to be tough," said Tinker, whose Warriors are now 3-3 on the season, after losing two straight -- both by shutout. "They have a good defense, and we saw their good running game here tonight. I know our coaching staff wasn't overlooking these guys at all.
"Maybe our players did a little. But I didn't really get that sense. I just think we got outplayed a little bit by a very good team."
And the Warriors also shot themselves in the foot with several critical penalties at inopportune moments, and a deflating fumble on the first play of the game that gave Oakville the ball deep in Fox territory.
Junior Greg Abeyta had himself a nice gain on the Warriors' first play from the scrimmage, but then took a big hit on his arm and lost the ball, which was covered by three different Oakville defenders at the Fox 21-yard line.
Oakville then moved the ball down to the 2-yard line, with a couple of passes to senior Avion Stevenson and a quarterback draw by Andrew Oliver.
But Conners went to LaGrand on 4th down, who outran the entire Fox defense to the left pylon for just his second touchdown of the season.
"I just ran as hard as I could," said LaGrand, who now has four scores on the year. "My offensive line did all the work. They gave my big holes to run through all night. I can't thank them enough for how they block for me tonight."
Despite it troubles, Fox only trailed 7-0 at halftime. But LaGrand ran wild in the second half, gaining nearly two-thirds of his yards in a sensational third- and fourth-quarter display that helped Oakville finish off its best performance of the season.
Fox on the other hand, finds itself a in a major rut, having gone two straight games now without scoring.
The Warriors, who seemed like a surefire playoff club after four games, now find themselves at a crossroads after six games, that could still land Fox a spot in the playoffs, or could see a potentially fine season wither away with nothing to show for it, except for some nice stats for Huskey and several others.
"Now's the time where we find out what kind of team we're going to be," said Tinker. "I think at our core, we've got young men with a lot of heart that will fight for each other. But it's tough right now. We're going to have to get together and figure this thing out together."
Fox (3-3) hosts Marquette High next week in an absolute must-win game for the Warriors, who will close out the regular season with matchups against perennial league powers Eureka and Lafayette.
Fox will probably have to win at least two of those games to have any shot at making the playoffs this year.
"I expect us to bounce back next week against Marquette," said Tinker. "That's a big game for us. But we'll be back home and I expect our kids to be ready to play a great game. Then we'll see where we stand with Eureka and Lafayette. But we've shown we can play against the good teams if we don't make dumb mistakes and play together as a team."
Oakville (2-4) will travel to Mehlville next week, for its annual showdown with the district rival Panthers, who were shut out by the same 27-0 score against Parkway South in a game in West County.
This year, the "Underwear War", as its being called because of Oakville and Mehlville's joint effort to collect new T-shirts, underwear, and socks for underprivileged families at St. Patrick's Center in St. Louis, will kickoff at Panther Stadium, Friday night at 7 p.m.
Fox is hosting its own charity night next week against Marquette, as the Warriors are calling it their "Pink Out" game with proceeds and donations being collected for breast cancer awareness.
"It's really our cheerleaders that take the lead on that," said Tinker. "But we're behind them 100 percent, and we think it's going to be a great night. Much better than tonight was, I'm sure."
Kickoff at Fox next Friday is also set for 7 p.m.
Score by Quarters ... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 -- Final
Fox ............................ 0 ... 0 ... 0 ... 0 -- 0
Oakville .................... 7 ... 0 .. 14 .. 6 -- 27
Oakv - Mo LaGrand 2 yd run (David Chopin kick) -- 9:48 ......... 0-7
Oakv - Mo LaGrand 49 yd run (David Chopin kick) -- 6:46 ....... 0-14
Oakv - Mo LaGrand 36 yd run (David Chopin kick) -- 2:19 ....... 0-21
Oakv - Andrew Oliver 8 yd run (pass failed) -- 8:34 ................... 0-27