WALES — Oak Hill and John Bapst are two young teams that demonstrated their steadfastness despite numerous turnovers, which at times plagued both teams.

The Crusaders who muscled through their setbacks to emerge with a 29-14 victory over the Raiders in a Class D football game Saturday.

There were 20 penalties called during the game. The Raiders fumbled six times and the Crusaders coughed up the ball on four occasions.

“This is the youngest football team that I have ever seen at Oak Hill,“ Raiders coach Chad Stowell said, “and I started as a student in 1996 … so I have pretty much been around since then, and this is the youngest team since then.”

Due to penalties stalling both teams, there wasn’t much ground gained in the first half.

“That is exactly the byproduct of inexperience,” Stowell said. “I think what we have to do as coaches is we have to have perspective. We knew this was going to be rough. We have to understand that we have to identify the mistakes. We have to find people who are going to execute or we have to make sure that the people who are there execute.


“This is pretty much everybody you are going to talk to in Class D. Once you get off the starters, you a pretty much going to freshmen at this point. It is the nature of the beast.” 

The Crusaders did find a way to score seven points late in the first quarter. After taking a snap at the 28-yard line, quarterback Aidan Ouellette reeled off a 72-yard pass to Nathan Butler, who snatched the ball from the air and peeled off toward the end zone for a touchdown. Anes Omar booted the extra point and the Crusaders were in command with a 7-0. 

The Raiders immediately responded with a touchdown of their own. Kaiden Delano was Oak Hill’s middle man who turned in a 55-yard rush to move the Raiders closer to the end zone. At the 1-yard line, Maverick Swan spilled in to score a TD. The conversion failed and left John Bapst with a narrow 7-6 lead.

Oak Hill’s Maverick Swan sprints up the field while evading John Bapst’s Nolan Mitchell during Saturday’s game at Oak Hill High School in Wales. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

The Crusaders ruled the second quarter, scoring twice on an interception and a solid rushing performance by Will Cashman. He used a 14-yard rush to carry the ball to the 20-yard line, then raced in with a touchdown on the next handoff.

John Bapst’s second TD came when Logun McMahon stepped in front of an Oak Hill pass and raced all the way from the 15 for and 85-yard touchdown. Omar booted both extra points, providing the Crusaders with a 21-6 heading into halftime.

“We showed some perseverance. I like the way we came out,” John Bapst coach Dan O’Connell said. “I was excited for them, and they knew there was an opportunity in front of them and they did some good things to seize it.”


Oak Hill was beset by a series of fumbles that pushed them so far back that it led to a safety for John Bapst, which gave Crusaders a 23-6 lead in the third quarter. The turnover also gave the Crusaders more momentum. They scored with 6:30 left in the third quarter when Ouellette threw TD pass to Butler. The kick failed but John Bapst led 29-6. 

Two-way starter Nolan Mitchell liked how it all turned out for the Crusaders.

“I felt like we did really well,” Mitchell said. “We definitely have a couple of things to polish. We can definitely do a lot better, but we came out, we played hard and got the win.”

The Raiders made a last-ditch effort to get on the board in the fourth quarter. Brayden Dubuc fired off a 95-yard pass to Swan, who scooped up the pass and headed in the end zone with a TD. Kaiden Delano scored the conversion, but the Crusaders finished the game with a 29-14 victory.

“Both teams are young,” O’Connell said. “I have no doubt that the future is bright for Oak Hill. Chad does a tremendous job. They are well-coached. We fall into that boat, too. We don’t have a ton of kids who have played a lot of football, so there are some growing pains out there.” 

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