The Oliver Ames football team was finally able to find it's mojo in the second quarter of it's game against North Quincy Friday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Quincy.
The 29-point quarter propelled the defending Davenport Division champions to an eventual 43-22 win to improve to 2-0.
The explosion of offense and turnovers on defense was just what Jim Artz's Tigers needed.
OA was struggling to move the ball and eliminate mistakes and hadn't scored since the first quarter of
"I think against Medfield it was kind of just the opposite," Artz said. "We started off fast and kind of just lost our focus and tonight we came out and made some early mistakes, didn’t focus real well and then we had a great second quarter and did some good stuff. Hopefully that’s a sign of a little bit of aging and maturity."
The scoring started with a St. Claire Ryan 15-yard touchdown run. Greg Cummings' extra point gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead just 17 seconds into the quarter.
North Quincy quickly answered with an 83-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Andrew Minton to wideout Shawn Thomas. A successful two-point conversion made the score 8-7.
The Red Raider lead was short lived, though.
On OA's next possession, quarterback Nick Cidado found Greg Cummings for a 56-yard TD strike. A Joey Tepper reception for a two-point conversion made the score 15-8 Tigers, and they never looked back.
OA's defense forced five turnovers on the day, including one on a fumble recovery in the second quarter to set up a Cidado touchdown pass to Mike McMilla, making the score 21-8.
"We’ve very quick to the ball," Artz said. "It’s nice to see an aggressive defense. I thought that was our strength all along, but in the pre-season the offense looked really good and the defense just had their moments. But now if you put them in some bad spots with bad turnovers in bad areas they’re very stingy – don’t like to give stuff up."
Sophomore linebacker Joey Tepper continued with OA's ability to capitalize on mistakes. With time winding down in the half, he picked off a Minton pass and took it 30 yards to the endzone.
Tepper finished the day with a two-point conversion reception, an interception for a touchdown and a forced fumble.
"He’s a pretty good sophomore and he’s only going to get better. He’s not there yet but he’s pretty special and he’s only going to get better," Artz said.
The second half was dominated by OA's run game, which featured juniors Matt Berksza and Colin O'Hearne. The duo replaced St. Claire Ryan who was removed from the game for precautionary reasons.
Berksza scored the Tigers two second half touchdowns, including an 85-yard run with 7:37 remaining in the game.
"Matty Berksza’s not a bad little option and Colin O’Hearne ran hard too," Artz said. "It was all in all a pretty good day."
Artz said the Tigers will have need to eliminate careless errors when they travel to Bedford next week.
"Bedford’s a real big physical team," he said. "They beat a good Westwood team last week so we’re going to have to cut down on the mistakes and play well."