Tartans, Oaks ready for SOC I matchup

Michael Hamilton

PDT Sports Contributor

The East Tartans will travel to Oak Hill to battle the current SOCI leaders, the Oak Hill Oaks, in a Week 8 matchup. The Tartans (5-2) look to pick up their third SOC I victory, and in turn give the Oaks (3-4) their first SOC I loss of the season.

Both teams are coming off conference wins from Week 7. The Tartans defeated the Eastern Eagles 34-14, while the Oaks beat the Northwest Mohawks 30-23.

The Oaks took sole possession of the SOC I as a result of their victory over the Mohawks last week. Going into that game, both teams were tied for the lead in the conference. After their win over the Mohawks, Oak Hill now stands alone atop the SOC I.

The Tartans have only a single blemish on their SOC I record, a 41-0 loss to the Northwest Mohawks in Week 6.

East Head Coach, James Gifford, believes his team is ready to chop down the Oaks Friday night.

“We feel really good,” said Gifford. “We’ve had a great week of practice.”

Gifford expects a physical game against the Oaks.

“It’s a typical Oak Hill team, they’re real physical up front,” said Gifford. “They have some nice athletes, and it is definitely going to be a hard fought game.”

According to Gifford, his team is excited for the matchup against the Oaks, and knows they will need to, “play good ball to be able to have a chance against them (Oak Hill).”

Gifford thinks the Oaks overall record is not an accurate reflection of how good the Oaks are.

“It’s just one of those situations where they played four real good teams, that they’ve lost against, that a lot of teams would lose against,” said Gifford. “You really just have to take their record and throw it out the door.”

A Tartans win over the Oaks would open up the SOC I standings, and leave the last two weeks of the 2015 regular season as must win games for all in shot of claiming the SOC I title. However, an Oaks win could very well cement an Oak Hill claim on the SOC I title, a title they have had a stranglehold on, taking the title in six of the last seven years.

For the Tartans to be victorious, Gifford believes his team needs to play a physical, turnover free game. “We feel athlete to athlete, we compare to them or maybe even have the edge on them athletically,” said Gifford. “It’s just playing physical up front, and winning the game in the trenches.”

The matchup between the East Tartans and the Oak Hill Oaks is scheduled for a 7 PM kickoff in Oak Hill, on Friday, October 16th.

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