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November 2, 2012

Oak Park High football edges Southfield High

By Christian Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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Oak Park High football edges Southfield High
Southfield High's Lawrence Marshall tackles Oak Park's De'llontae Johnson Nov. 2 in a Division 2 district final. Southfield fell 19-12 in overtime.

Just like their first meeting, it took an extra session for Oak Park High to come out on top against Southfield High in a Division 2 district final Nov. 2 at home.

The Knights won 19-12 in overtime.

"For us to be able to fight and beat them twice this season is a great accomplishment for our team," Oak Park coach Greg Carter said.

In their first meeting, the Knights won 24-18 in overtime.

This time around, Oak Park stopped Southfield at the 1-yard line on fourth down in overtime for the win. The possession before, the Knights scored on a fourth down of their own from 2 yards out when running back Malik Washington plunged in. It was his third touchdown of the game.

"The line did everything. All I had to do was find the hole," Washington said.

Southfield took the early lead in the game when quarterback Tre Walton found Jeff Madison on a 4-yard score with 11:53 left in the first half.

The Knights answered with just under two minutes left, forcing a Southfield fumble, which gave Washington the chance to score on a 12-yard scamper to tie it 6-6 going into the half.

The Blue Jays reclaimed the lead with 6:09 left in the game as running back Gerald Gates found an opening on the left side for a 27-yard score to make it 12-6.

Oak Park wasted little time bouncing back, as Washington ripped off a 66-yard touchdown run on the Knights' first play of their possession.

"At some point in the game, we believe that Malik will make a play for us," Carter said.

Southfield drove down to Oak Park's 18 on its final possession, but threw an interception on fourth down to force overtime.

"I don't know if there was a turning point, but when you make mistakes, things get magnified to a degree," Southfield coach Tim Conley said. "Not being able to convert extra points, we had a (turnover) down here, those kinds of mistakes ... the kids played their hearts out, but when you make a mistake in the playoffs, you pay for it."

Southfield ends the season 7-3 overall. Oak Park goes to 9-2 and takes on Wyandotte Roosevelt at a date and time not yet determined.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Christian Davis at cdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1062. Twitter Follow Christian on Twitter.