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Golden Bears look for two in a row on the road

October 4, 2012
By RALPH COX - Sports correspondent , The Herald-Star

SISTERSVILLE - The Oak Glen football team may have gotten more out of its 33-12 victory over Hancock County rival, Weir High, than the win. The Golden Bears may have come out of the game with their identity.

Heavily favored, but in the lead by just 7-0 at the half last week at the Jimmy Carey Stadium, Oak Glen coach, Ian Whittington, and his staff decided to buckle up their chinstraps and run the football right at the Red Rider defense.

It worked just as they drew it up on the white board of the locker room wall, scoring two unanswered touchdowns to virtually put the game away. The defense got a little lax allowing two long touchdown passes to narrow the score, but the formula for success was discovered.

Now, Whittington said the Bears will use the same formula against Tyler Consolidated when they travel south to Tyler County Friday night for a 7 p.m. start.

"We think the key to beating Tyler Consolidated is to use our size to our advantage and continue to run the football and run it with power," Whittington explained. "We need to control the football and impose our will on them, control the clock and run the football."

Whittington expects his Golden Bear defense will see a lot of Alex Doak Friday night. The 170-pound senior is listed as a wide receiver and plays that position a lot, but Whittington said Silver Knight coach, Bob Caldwell, moves him around so Oak Glen fans will see him in the backfield or in motion with the jet series or just about anywhere the ball is.

"They want to get the ball into his hands and they use a variety of ways to do that," he said. "It gives us a lot of things for our defense to prepare for."

Whittington said Doak isn't the only athlete in the Silver Knight arsenal. He said quarterback Hunter Lemasters, junior tailback Jacob Highly and wide receiver, Koty Martin are weapons also.

"Tyler likes to play old style football," Whittington said. "They use a lot of double tight end with the I formation, three backs in the backfield and occasionally they will go into what I call the WVU formation with a spread and a back either beside or behind the quarterback.

"They are predominately a run offense, but they can mix in the pass when they want to. When they run, they seem to want to run right at you, which will be a change for our defense from last week when Weir wanted to get to the perimeter."

The game is the second of three straight on the road for the Golden Bears, who broke a three-game losing streak with the win last week.

Tyler Consolidated, for many years, competed among West Virginia's Class AA ranks, but declining enrollment has resulted in the Silver Knights being reclassified into Class A. This being its first year in the lower class, the Silver Knights are playing a lot of Class AA schools.

Caldwell said the Silver Knights, who haven't fared very well of late, had one of the smallest enrollments in the AA field. Now, they will be one of the larger Class A schools and Caldwell wants to schedule as many of the larger schools in that class as possible in the next couple of seasons.

Despite scoring a lot of points, the Silver Knights opened the 2012 season with four straight losses. They captured their first win in the last game, a 49-24 decision over Calhoun County two weeks ago. The Silver Knights are coming off their bye week, which gave them a chance to recuperate from some bumps and bruises and prepare for the Golden Bears.

"We told the kids that we have a lot more at stake in these final four games," Whittington said. "We didn't take much time to enjoy the win over Weir High because we had to immediately begin to get ready for Tyler Consolidated.

"We know that with three losses we have a tough road to make it to the playoffs. If we want to achieve our goal of making it to the playoffs, we have no room for a loss and that's our approach now."