Oak Harbor wins 9th straight, clinches NBC title

Oct 18, 2023 | Sports | 0 comments

Quarterback Michael LaLonde hit Jaqui Hayward (7) for a second quarter 46-yard touchdown pass to give Oak Harbor a 14-0 lead. (Photo by Julie Overmyer)

PEMBERVILLE — Running back Dalton Witter of Oak Harbor kicked off the scoring against Eastwood in last Friday night’s Northern Buckeye Conference game against the host Eastwood Eagles. The Rockets cruised to their ninth straight victory, 35-21, to clinch a share of the NBC title.

Oak Harbor, in its first season in the NBC, will make a bid for an undefeated regular season this Friday by hosting Lake, which is 3-7 and 1-5 in the NBC.

It was also a meaningful game for Rockets’ coach Mike May, in his 16th year at Oak Harbor. May collected his 100th coaching win.

Witter kicked off the scoring in the first quarter with the first of his three touchdowns. Quarterback Michael LaLonde hit Jaqui Hayward for a second quarter 46-yard touchdown pass for a 14-0 lead.

LaLonde and Garry Brooks teamed up for a 67-yard touchdown in the third quarter to lead 21-6. Witter followed up with two more running touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters.

“This game was the high point of the year, a season that has really been a lot of fun and has just flown by so quickly,” said May. “The kids have done a great job in winning nine games in a row. Our goal for our first season in the NBC was to win the league championship.”

May said his players bought into the concept of getting better every day in practice, and that made a difference in defeating a pair of difficult opponents the last two games in Genoa and Eastwood.

“We’ve played both teams in a lot of tight games over the years, and have met in the playoffs,” said May. “We have had a great rivalry with both schools, and played a lot of great games.”

May said he and his coaches have built a strong foundation and promoted the great tradition of Oak Harbor football.

“The young kids in our programs watch the high school guys work hard and play hard. Today’s players are their heroes, and makes them want to be a part of our program.

“The kids move up through the ranks, from flag football in the first grade to good middle and junior high programs,” he said. “Oak Harbor kids love football, and look forward to becoming a part of the Rockets’ great tradition. They’re hard working kids from hard working families, and it shows.”

Mays says the team plays with a lot of pride, especially in their home stadium.

“We’ve had a really good record at home since 2018, I think it’s 27-4. We really take a lot of pride in how we play in every game, but we’re especially tough to beat when we’re on our home field,” said May.

Last Friday’s Results

  • Oak Harbor 35, Eastwood 21
  • Bellevue 30, Port Clinton 14
  • Danbury 40, Stryker 14
  • Perkins 31, Sandusky 14
  • Margaretta 28, Gibsonburg 0
  • Huron 28, Clyde 6
  • Edison 34, Vermilion 14
  • Columbian 44, Norwalk 7
  • Crestview 27, Western Reserve 26
  • Genoa 56, Rossford 0

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