FAIRFIELD — A win is a win, but it wasn’t pretty.
The Rodriguez High football team raced out to a 42-7 victory over Oakland at Coach Ed Hopkins Memorial Stadium, but the Wildcats didn’t surrender, battling back only to fall 42-28.
In a game that almost saw two coaches ejected – both from the Mustangs’ sideline – Rodriguez needed all it could get to beat an Oakland squad that only had 18 players.
Oakland returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, but Rodriguez answered immediately, with Arron Short taking the Wildcats’ kickoff back 90 yards for a score. The score was knotted at 7 just 32 seconds into the contest.
Oakland’s defense held tough, not allowing another Mustangs touchdown until the 1:40 mark of the second quarter when D’Andre Scott ran up the middle, cut left and found pay dirt from 30 yards away.
Then Rodriguez poured it on to end the half.
After the Wildcats botched the snap on a punt, Rodriguez recovered at the Oakland 25. Two plays later, Jacob Hurt connected with Short on a 25-yard scoring pass with 10 seconds left in the half.
The Mustangs then recovered an onside kick with 8 seconds to go in the half, and on the next play, Hurt connected with Elijah Lawson on a 40-yard scoring pass to put Rodriguez up 27-7 at the break.
The Mustangs upped the score t0 34-7 on their first drive of the third quarter when James Chatman scampered 42 yards for a TD.
The lead then ballooned to 42-7 with 8 minutes, 11 seconds to play in the third when Hurt bootlegged 32 yards, completely fooling the Wildcats’ defense.
Oakland then mounted its semi-comeback.
They cut the lead to 42-14 at the 2:50 mark of the third, then, after blocking a Rodriguez field goal attempt, the Wildcats drove 43 yards in eight plays to make the score 42-21 with 9:18 left in the game.
After forcing Rodriguez out on downs twice, the Wildcats scored their final TD with 1:46 to play.
The Mustangs then knelt down three times to put the game away.
Rodriguez JV 49, Oakland 6: The Mustangs rolled to a non-league win behind three touchdowns each by Jammari Bailey and Michael Winston.
Bailey had two TD runs and another on a kickoff return, and Winston scored three times on the ground.
The Mustangs’ other TD came on a 57-yard interception return by Anthony Cable.
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.