By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
Thirty-seven years ago, the Red Oak Hawks stood alone atop a district football standing. The program is now four wins away from rewriting that history.
It was 1982 when the Hawks last won an outright district championship, though they did share a title in 2012. Following a 48-13 dismantling of previously-unbeaten Dallas Kimball on Friday, only Dallas Adamson, Conrad, Spruce and Seagoville stand in the Hawks way of history.
“We enjoy every victory that we get and to beat a quality football program like Kimball, obviously, we are excited about that,” Red Oak head football coach Chris Ross told KBEC Sports. “[…] I thought the guys did a good job tonight. We made some mistakes early but I thought the guys were able to overcome it. So much about a growing football team like we are right now is about overcoming things that don’t go your way and our guys did that tonight.”
Dallas Conrad is currently winless, while Adamson is 2-4 on the season but 0-3 in district play. Spruce fell to Seagoville 21-17 this week to fall to 2-4 on the season and 1-2 in District 6-5A. Seagoville ended week seven with a respectable 5-1 record and 3-0 mark in 6-5A, though has yet to play Kimball, South Oak Cliff or Red Oak.
Yet even with victories against Dallas South Oak Cliff and Kimball out of the way and a favorable schedule ahead, Red Oak outside linebacker Carter Lincoln and wide receiver Coby Cavil were not quite ready to crown themselves as district champions.
“I think we are playing well,” Lincoln said. “We are playing confident football but it is never good enough for this week. We are just trying to get better from here.”
Cavil added, “I feel great about it. We just have to stay consistent and keep pushing on to the next week.”
As for Friday at the Sprague Athletic Complex, the Red Oak offense amassed 499 yards of total offense and 30 first downs during the victory. Kimball, meanwhile, was limited to just 144 total yards — which included 161 passing yards and negative-17 rushing yards — and nine first downs.
You read that rushing total correctly: The Red Oak defense pushed the Kimball offensive line back to negative-1.1 yards-per-carry on 16 attempts.
CJ Palmer led the Red Oak rushing attack with 24 carries for 189 yards and two touchdowns.
Zach Sanders —who scored the first Red Oak touchdown from 13 yards out with 5:32 to play in the first quarter — added 67 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.
Red Oak junior quarterback Joshua Ervin completed 17-of-his-21 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns.
Cavil was on the receiving end of seven Ervin passes and finished the game with 72 yards and touchdown receptions of 20 and 15 yards.
Raymond Gay (3-26) and Palmer (1-25) also added to the Hawks passing game.
Kimball’s leading rusher, Brandon Epton Jr., finished the game with five carries for a team-best nine yards, while quarterback Keith Hargraves completed 12-of-15 passes for 161 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Both teams were penalized — a lot. Kimball was flagged 11 times for 110 yards while Red Oak received 10 flags for 100 yards. The Knights also turned the football over three times to the one of Red Oak.
Red Oak will face Dallas Adamson at 7:30 p.m. Friday on the road. And, rest assured Red Oak faithful: The Hawks are not looking past any of their four upcoming opponents.
“We prepare every week the same and we treat every team as the same team,” Ervin said after his near-perfect night passing. “It feels good to win those two games (SOC, Kimball) but we cannot get complacent. We have to go out and compete every day. If we do that, we set ourselves up to be in a good position for the playoffs and, then looking further down the road, we just have to keep grinding and stay consistent.”
All photos by Fred Phipps/KBEC Sports
Fred Phipps/KBEC Sports contributed to this report
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith