LaCrosse head football coach Jon Webster knew his team would have its hands full this week with the Oakley Plainsmen. Even though not many people were paying attention to Oakley, the Plainsmen had made the playoffs three of the last four seasons.
Oakley for its part came to play. The first half a defensive juggernaut. The only score coming midway through the second quarter on a 40 yard touchdown run by Levi Morss. LaCrosse clung to a 6-0 lead at the break.
The Leopards gave themselves some breathing room to start the third quarter, capping a short drive with a one yard touchdown run by Kip Keeley. That made the score 12-0.
It would be 12 more minutes before either team would find the endzone again. The Leopards, stretching the lead to 20-0 after Morss scored his second touchdown of the night, this one covering 2 yards.
Oakley would finally get on the board, thatnks to an Oscar Macias touchdown with a little more than five minutes left in the game. The Plainsmen would fail to recover the onside kick, but they would force the Leopards to punt.
Needing to cover a lot of ground in a short time, Oakley tried a little trickery. However the halfback pass by Ethan Plummer is sniffed out perfectly by Tanner Yohe and returned 40 yards to seal the 20-8 victory.
"Oakley is one of the most physical teams we've played," said Webster. "They didn't budge an inch and they battled with a lot of heart all night long. That's a tough team we feel very fortunate to get out of here with a win."
Oakley ends the season at 7-3.
LaCrosse improves to 11-0, they will travel to Meade for sub-state. It's the third straight season the two will meet in the playoffs.