Notre Dame opens its SOC I slate at Oak Hill

John Stegeman, PDT Sports Editor

October 4, 2012


PDT Sports Writer

The SOC I portion of the schedule sets up nicely for Notre Dame.

With three-consecutive conference home games to close out the regular season, the Titans could have the inside track towards the SOC I title. They will play their first SOC I and final road game Friday night with a trip to Oak Hill.

“Oak Hill is well-coached ball club,” Notre Dame coach Bob Ashley said. “They’re a tough, physical team, they rely on the run game and they play great defense.”

Ashley’s Titans (5-1) are coming off a 70-22 home victory a week ago against Manchester. They accumulated 511 yards of total offense in their final tune up before conference play.

It’s the first time a Ashley-led team reached the 70-point mark in a game during his entire coaching tenure. Kevin Lewis set a school record with 10 made extra points on the night.

“We didn’t set out to score 70 but our kids played hard and we just did a real nice job of executing,” Ashley said.

The Oaks (5-1, 1-0) shut out host East 49-0 in the SOC I opener for both schools. Senior tailback Wes Harden marched for 171 of his team’s 345 yards on the ground while holding Tartans quarterback Justin Crager to 82 yards on 14 carries.

Ashley has been impressed with the Oak Hill tackling under first-year coach Nathan Dugan.

Dugan told the Jackson County Times-Journal this week that his team has to be prepared for another fight.

“We are going to warn our kids all week long not to take them too lightly because of the size advantage,” Dugan said, “This team will play hard all four quarters, and they will not quit, so we have to play hard for the whole 48 minutes.”

Last year, Notre Dame won 30-21 in Spartan Stadium.

Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 242, or cleist@heartlandpublications.com.