Oak Overthrows District Titan

Panthers take on Tigers in classic match


Daniel Alvarez

The Panthers run out of spirit alley to play against their biggest rival, the Klein Collins Tigers. Oak came out victorious against the Tigers for the first time in nearly a decade.

Heading into the sixth week of play for the Klein Oak football team, the Panthers entered the Klein Memorial Stadium hungry as ever looking for another victory. But, this week was like no other: this was rivalry week.

The Klein Collins Tigers have been the team to beat in the district along with the now defeated Woodlands Highlanders and rolled into the stadium looking as strong as ever with a 5-0 record. The Panthers have been starved of a victory from the Tigers for almost a decade.

However, Oak came onto the field equipped and ready to attack the Tigers. And just like a panther, the Oak football defense struck quick and without hesitation with a pick in the first two minutes of the game from sophomore AJ Broussard, putting the Panthers at the Collins 10-yard line.

“It was a great experience and it’s just fun to be a part of a team like that. It feels good to be able to contribute [to the team],” Broussard said.

The Oak offense capitalized off the defense’s sharpness with a running touchdown coming from junior Jamal Stephens less than one minute following the pick, giving Oak an early and impressive lead 7-0.

“I was just telling myself we have to keep the tempo going,” Stephens said. “We have to score every time whenever we get a chance on offense.”

The Panthers continued to show off their early dominance with a fumble recovery at the center of the field in the same minute of the previous touchdown.

After a few penalties by the Collins defense, the Panther offense marched down to the Tigers 27-yard line. Despite their efforts, Oak’s offense couldn’t convert the recent success into a score and gave up the ball to the Collins offense.

After a long and drawn out drive, the Collins offense scored, tying up the game 7-7 with 3 three minutes to go in the first quarter.

Moving into the second quarter the Collins offense produced another scoring drive that placed them on top of the Panthers 14-7, with 3-minutes to go until halftime.

“People weren’t really upset. There was a good mood around and the crowd was overall excited moving into the next half,” senior standleader Julia Mickelson said.

The Panthers offense couldn’t come up with a second score in the first half, giving the Tigers a convincing but small lead heading into halftime.

Oak entered the second half with a newfound fire that made itself known early into the third quarter with a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Montrell Bolton to senior wide receiver Dwight McGlothern, evening up the score 14-14.

Daniel Alvarez
Senior wide receiver Cameron Williams cuts over and looks downfield for an opening. Williams found his opening for an impressive gain.

Collins turned around and regained their lead with four minutes to go in the third quarter with a field goal putting them up only three points.

The Panthers offense once again put on a show after senior Elyjaiah Durden’s long run down the left side of the field put Oak on the Tiger’s 2-yard line less than a minute following the Collins touchdown.

The very next play the Panthers finished off the Collins defense for another touchdown and the third of the game for the Panthers, retaking the lead 21-17 with 3 minutes in the third quarter.

The grudge match continued after another Collins touchdown, resulting in the lead being taken away from the Panthers once again.

The back and forth carried on after McGlothern and Bolton struck again following a long throw from Bolton, McGlothern ran into the Collins endzone nearly untouched.

Steaming into the fourth quarter, the nail-biting game between the two teams did not disappoint. Collins kicked another field goal closing the gap on the score to 28-27 in favor of the Panthers.

The Oak offense needed to give themselves an opportunity to score and build off the small lead they had because the Tigers were at knocking at the doorstep of victory.

After two unsuccessful plays, the Panthers offense found themselves in a third and 12 situation with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter which gave Collins plenty of time to score if they made a stop.

Thanks to a perfect throw from Bolton, McGlothern was able to toe step near the sidelines for a first down, which gave Oak fresh hope while diminishing the Tigers hope at the same time.

Following a time-consuming drive, the Panthers found themselves on the Collins 11-yard line and in another desperate situation, it was fourth down and Oak needed one yard for the first down.

After a few timeouts, the Panthers were finally ready to make their move to the Collins endzone, and sophomore Charles Garrett with the help of great blocking from his linemen was not only able to get a first down but a touchdown, handing Oak brand new energy.

Now it was up to the Oak defense to close out the game. The Tigers were able to march down the field and score a touchdown, nearly evening the score 35-33 after a failed 2-point conversion attempt with two minutes left.

“It was so stressful. It was definitely a nail-biter. There was such little time in the game, so if they would’ve scored, it could’ve been game over,” junior standleader Brenna Tinder said.

The Panthers now had the ball in their possession and just had to run the clock down to take home a win. Sad to say however, Oak fumbled the ball on its own 49-yard line forcing the defense to try and close out the game.

Daniel Alvarez
Senior wide receiver Dwight McGlothern dives for the first down. Halfway through district play, McGlothern has acquired over 700 yards, 62 of which came in one reception against Collins.

As the Tigers progressed, the clock ticked away. And, after a few successful plays, the Panthers forced Collins to go for a clutch field goal on Oak’s 30-yard line to win the game.

Subsequently a few timeouts later the Collins kicker was ready the boot the ball away, but he missed the field goal, gifting Oak an extremely impressive win 35-33.

Tonight Oak will take on 0-5 Klein Forest Eagles for the Panthers homecoming game and is expecting a landslide win.