This time, no nightmare for DeZhontaey Fletcher

IMG_2312

DeZhontaey Fletcher, the senior RB from Oak Hills proudly displayed his cast after beating Serrano. Why?
If you read my feature story on him a few weeks ago (here it is: http://bit.ly/1rwFUwm) you’d know that Fletcher broke his ankle in the Serrano game last year.
It was on the very first play of the game, it ended Fletcher’s season, and Oak Hills lost the game and a chance at the Mojave River League title.
This time, Fletcher decided to bring the cast to the game (he doesn’t usually do that), to remember what happened a year ago.
Now he can forget about last year as Fletcher ran for 163 yards and a touchdown in Oak Hills’ first-ever win over Serrano, 24-21.

Could San Gorgonio-Oak Hills result be best for both?

Last week, Oak Hills was impressive in knocking off my No. 1 team, San Gorgonio and giving the Spartans their first defeat of the season.
I think this could be good for both parties involved.
Last year, San Gorgonio went into the playoffs with a 10-0 record but came up short in a semifinal loss to Riverside Norte Vista. The Oak Hills game should be the last time the Spartans are tested. Had San G. cruised to a victory, it would not surprise me for San G to lose some intensity, an intensity the Spartans might not get back in time for the latter playoff rounds. The loss makes them realize how vulnerable they are and what they need to do in the long run.
As for Oak Hills, the knock on the Bulldogs is that they’ve been good, but haven’t been able to come through in the big game.
They haven’t beaten perennial Mojave River League rival Serrano yet, and Oak Hills has never been past the second round of the playoffs.
Now, next week’s game against Serrano will be bigger than the San G. game, but the San G. game proved one thing: that Oak Hills can win a big game.
The teams won’t see each other again this year, because they are in different playoff divisions. But they could both look back at that game as important in driving them toward a deep playoff run.

A look back at Serrano-Oak Hills football

I love games where there’s a lot of extra stuff to talk about afterwards.

Oak Hills- Serrano had stuff that was fun to talk about, but also had plenty of stuff you hate to have to talk about.

First, the fun stuff:

  • Great crowd at Oak Hills on both sides. It was THE game in the High Desert on Friday and fans from all over brought a great atmosphere.
  • Serrano’s win was well-deserved with a defense that has been solid all year.
  • What is the fallout of the game? I haven’t seen newest CIF-SS football polls, but I know San Gorgonio is very interested. San G. should be the new No. 1 in the Eastern Division. Oak Hills was No. 1, San G. No. 2 and San G. is the only remaining undefeated team in the division. San G. will likely need to remain undefeated to earn the No. 1 seed for the playoffs.

Now, the not-so-fun stuff:

  • Oak Hills star RB De Zhontaey Flecher was injured on the first play from scrimmage with an apparent season-ending ankle injury. It was a blow to Oak Hills, certainly, but also affected Serrano. The Diamondbacks’ victory will be discounted by some because Oak Hills was missing its biggest offensive weapon. But Serrano still deserved to win. After the injury, Oak Hills rallied to take the lead, only to see Serrano rally for the win.
  • Penalties, penalties, penalties. Each team had over 100 yards in penalties. I spent a half on each sideline, and I can tell you neither coach was happy with the officiating. The call that drew particular ire of Oak Hills coach Robert Kistner was an unsportsmanlike conduct call that went against his team in the fourth quarter. The player had just recorded a sack that (I believe) would’ve ended a Serrano drive. He celebrated, but officials thought it was taunting. It did not appear so to this observer. The drive continued and while Serrano didn’t score on the drive, it limited the time Oak Hills had to try and score in the final minutes.