A six-yard touchdown run by Oak Ridge quarterback Rian Hall with 29.8 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter broke a tie Friday night and propelled the Wildcats to an exciting 35-28 first-round playoff victory over Science Hill.
Hall’s game-winning run followed a crucial 12-yard catch by Wildcats receiver Robert Valdez on a fourth-and-4 play with 1:02 left to play at Blankenship Field.
Oak Ridge (10-1) had a few two-touchdown leads during the game—ahead 21-7 in the second quarter and 28-14 in the third—but the Hilltoppers (9-2) rallied back behind Science Hill quarterback Reed Hayes to tie the game at 28 with 3:38 remaining.
“Tonight, we had to fight for everything, every first down, every yard,” Oak Ridge coach Scott Blade said, calling it an incredible game between two good teams.
The Wildcats travel to Maryville next week to play the top-ranked Rebels in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs. Maryville, which gave Oak Ridge its only loss during the regular season, eliminated Hardin Valley 42-10 on Friday.