The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Sports

November 7, 2012

H.S. Football Roundup: Oakwood ready to 'defend the crown' against visiting Apple Springs

Both Oakwood and Apple Springs have locked up playoff spots heading into the season’s final week, but don’t expect the game on the field to reflect that.

The Eagles come into Panther Field (Holly St. at Knowles St., Oakwood, Texas 75855) unbeaten, and wanting what the Panthers have called their own the past two seasons: The district title.

“We’ve talked about it all week,” OHS coach Mike Heckathorn said. “This is our district championship that they’re trying to take from us, and we need to defend it.”

Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday.

If Oakwood can win, the team will secure its third-straight district title.

The game also has playoff implications as far as first round matchups go. The winner of this game faces Fannindel, while the loser faces Leverett’s Chapel.

The Panthers and Eagles are no strangers, as the two shared a district in the last realignment as well.

Oakwood blanked the Eagles, 46-0, last year in a game in which the Panther defense shined.

“We just need to play defense with the intensity that we have the last couple of weeks,” Heckathorn said. “If we do that we’ll be okay. We need to create turnovers. It was big in our game with them last year.

“We created some turnovers early that gave us a leg-up on them last year.”

Heckathorn said he isn’t worried about his high-powered attack moving the ball on Apple Springs.

After some mid-season struggles — Oakwood lost two of three in late September-early October — the Panthers have regained their form.

The team has won three-straight, and Heckathorn certainly doesn’t want that streak to end right before the playoffs.

“We’ve got some momentum going and we need to keep it going,” he said. “We’ve been having good workouts this week, and we’re looking forward to more.”

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