Osbourn Park 13,
Osbourn Park's Roland Hilliard is a slippery running back. The soggy conditions helped Hilliard become even more elusive in the Yellow Jackets' 13-7 victory over Osbourn last night, as the 5-foot-8 senior slipped, slogged and slithered for 86 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries in a Virginia AA Cedar Run District game.
"The field was real sloppy, but it helped to get [the defenders] slippery so I could slide right by them," Hilliard said. "The footing got bad at the end, but I was still able to make my cuts."
Neither team had played since Oct. 4 -- a 24-day layoff -- but Osbourn Park showed little sign of rust in the first half, when it took a 7-0 lead on a three-yard run by Hilliard, capping an 11-play, 69-yard drive.
Hilliard, who has rushed for 882 yards and nine touchdowns on 139 carries this season, has been a key for the resurgent Yellow Jackets. Osbourn Park (5-1, 3-0) has won four straight, and is in position to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 1988.
"That's on our minds every day," said junior wide receiver Andrew Dykstra, who had six receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown. "We want to win district, get into the playoffs and take it from there."
The Yellow Jackets' defense was also able to navigate the soggy conditions, holding Osbourn to 65 yards of offense. In the third and fourth quarters, the defense forced Osbourn into turnovers on downs four times, including three times inside its own 35-yard line.
"That was very big -- it helped our offense with the momentum," said senior defensive lineman Clark Lanzendorf, who had a crucial second-down sack on Osbourn's final possession. "I feel like this team can rest on its defense. Our goal is to get a shutout every time, but if that's not attainable, we want to hold them to the least points possible."
Under the direction of first-year coach Steve Schultze, Osbourn (1-5, 1-2) opened the season with a 15-14 victory over Stonewall Jackson to end a 32-game losing streak. Last night, after sophomore running back Jared Stamper scored on a 13-yard run in the third quarter, the Eagles had several chances to score and claim their second victory.
"Our defense played real well. We had a couple of turnovers but we couldn't convert," junior running back Calvet Corprew said. "That's football."