Virginia 6A football: Oakton’s Nick Delgado helps kick aside W.T. Woodson

Oakton had four overtime downs with which to craft a game-winning score, but the Cougars opted to use just one. Senior place kicker Nick Delgado already had hit from all over the field — five times, to be exact — so a 27-yard attempt was as good a distance as any.

His shortest field goal of the day was his last. That 27-yarder gave the Cougars a 25-22 overtime win over W.T. Woodson in Vienna in a game that was action-packed but decided by clutch kicking.

“In high school overtime, all you got to do is score points,” Oakton Coach Jason Rowley said. “. . . Kick the field goal. Let’s win the ballgame and go home.”

“He did a fantastic job,” Rowley added of Delgado. “He scored all our points besides one touchdown. He was spot on.”

Delgado transferred from Gonzaga before his senior season. Behind Ryan Forrester as a sophomore and first-team All-Met kicker Ben Cima last year, Delgado watched, learned and practiced — but never started.

The Oakton PA announcer credited someone else with Delgado’s first field goal — a 43-yarder. By the time Delgado had added four more — from 36, 41, 27 and 33 — the Oakton student section was chanting his name.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Delgado said. “The best part is seeing the whole team happy to have a win after the game, honestly.”

Delgado tied the game with 35 seconds left in regulation, drawing his Cougars even for the first time since the first half. Woodson rode big plays from its hurry-up offense to quick-strike points that held Oakton off for much of the game.

But Delgado’s range and consistency salvaged a few Cougars drives that otherwise might have proved fruitless. Woodson nailed a field goal of its own before seeing its overtime try bounce off the crossbar, but Oakton took points on fourth down the Cavaliers could not. The option changed its game plan.

“We’re down 22-19 there. Coaches thinking, ‘Hey, let’s go for it,’ ” Rowley said. “No, let’s put our kicker out there. Let’s tie that game up, and let’s keep moving the ball.”

Oakton’s other points came from diminutive running back Patrick Francisco, who charged through the Woodson defense for a nine-yard touchdown late in the second half.

That helped the Cougars overcome a 95-yard interception return for a touchdown by the Cavaliers’ Zach Lee, who picked off a batted ball near the goal line in the third quarter.

Chelsea Janes covers the Nationals for The Washington Post.

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