Olney East Richland Tigers Win First Playoff Game Since 1998

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Published on October 27 2012 11:13 am
Last Updated on October 27 2012 1:45 pm
Written by Wayne Moran

While the Olney Tigers have enjoyed a tremendous season with 8-1 record, quite a feat for a team in only their second year under the tutelage of head coach Matt Music. Heading into Friday night's first-round Class 4A playoff game against Breese Mater-Dei, the Tigers knew it was going to be an uphill battle against an often bigger and faster Knights' team.

Not having won a playoff game since 1998, the Tigers would surprise much of the high school football world, defeating Breese Mater-Dei 29-23, ending a 14-year dry spell, and advancing on in the playoffs.

Olney outplayed the Knights in the first half, and went to the locker room pumped after a wild end to the 2nd quarter. The Tigers' Aaron Foerster blocked a punt that Olney recovered on Breese Mater-Dei's 27 yard line with just 3.4 seconds left in the first half. Quarterback Justin Bailey then connected with the returning Carson Waggoner on a 27-yard pass play to put the Tigers up 16-7 to end the first half.

Waggoner, who's been sitting on the sidelines since breaking his wrist on the first play of the 5th week game against Robinson earlier this year, had what he said was his best game all year, with 6 carries and 179 yards.

Olney was passing-focused, and after Bailey hit Waggoner for two touchdowns in the first half, Mater-Dei switched up the defense to try to shut down Carson. Showing that the Tigers aren't just a one-man passing train, Bailey tossed a 49-yard TD to a Nolan Shan for another score in the third quarter. 

While the passing game was busy, the running game succeeded for the Tigers as well. Jordan Hahn had 16 carries for 67 yards, and found a hole in the middle during the 3rd quarter for a 16-yard touchdown that put Olney up 29-7. 

Mater-Dei cut the lead to 6 with four minutes left in the game, but Olney outlasted, advancing in the playoffs with a 29-23 win.

The Tigers, now 9-1 on the season, head to Alton-Marquette in sectional playoff action, after Alton defeated Waterloo 28-21.