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|OCS champions crown perfect season with 1A state title|
The Ouachita Christian Eagles learned the value of hard work pedaling to earn the 2012 Class 1A state title Friday afternoon upending the Haynesville Golden Tornado, 20-8, despite trailing behind in the first half with turnovers that threatened to undermine them.
Defending state 1A champions Eagles took control of the second half, leading them to a championship victory in the 2012 LHSAA/State Farm Prep Classic, a repeat of their 2011 success when they took home the state 1A title after defeating West St. John, 23-7.
"Winning back-to-back championships is a dream come true," said OCS Eagles head coach Steven Fitzhugh. "We never told ourselves that we were going to repeat or win back-to-back titles, but we kept our focus on getting better every week and that was especially true this week: we opened up the week and said, 'Let's get better this week.'"
With the Haynesville win, OCS finished their 2012 season with a perfect 15-0 record, increasing their multi-season win streak to 30 games since losing the 2010 state championship.
Fitzhugh said people asked him how his guys were handling the pressure of not just winning the state championship, but winning the second championship in a row. Fitzhugh answered flatly, "There was no pressure."
"I reminded our guys that this was the new 2012 trophy. We weren't coming here to defend an old trophy. It was safe at home. Let's get out there and fight for the new one," Fitzhugh said.
Haynesville led 8-7 when the second half began with an aggressive drive led by senior quarterback Braden Bristo and senior Colby Webb, topped off by a one-yard touchdown run in the hands of Webb, bumping the Eagles out to lead with 14-7.
Ouachita Christian's first possession of the fourth quarter was quickly ended as Haynesville Delandre Kingsby forced the Eagles' fourth fumble on a 19-yard run by Ahkeem Henderson.
Haynesville drove the ball deep into OCS territory before loss on downs at the OCS three-yard line. Bristo and Webb led another invasion that took OCS, after 14 plays, 97-yards into the end zone where Webb punched it in for a score on an 18-yard run, giving OCS the final 20-8 score.
Webb finished the night with 99 yards rushing on 16 carries and three touchdowns.
"I heard one coach say that when you're in a critical situation, you don't think of plays, you think of players," Fitzhugh said. "And on our first possessions of the third and fourth quarter, Bristo and Webb came together on those drives and took us in where we needed to be. Our triumph is theirs because they're demonstrating the senior leadership we value as an OCS tradition."
Haynesville's following 34-second drive was interrupted when Bristo picked off a Haynesville quarterback Jerrell Jackson pass. Bristo took a knee to end the game, another proverbial knee to receive the award for Outstanding Player for OCS as selected by the working media at the Prep Classic.
"To have Braden, who has started for four years, catch that interception and take the knee to end the state championship game, the season and the seniors' legacy was just real special," Fitzhugh said.
Bristo was five-of-ten on 62 yards passing, led the team in rushing with 100 yards on 14 trips and recorded 38 yards on two receptions.