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Blair Oaks dominates second half, knocks out Lutheran North in Class 3 quarterfinal

Blair Oaks dominates second half, knocks out Lutheran North in Class 3 quarterfinal

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WARDSVILLE — Lutheran North football coach Carl Reed didn't mince words Saturday when he described the second half.

Blair Oaks rolled to a 44-9 victory against Lutheran North in a Class 3 state quarterfinal, scoring 37 unanswered points in the final 24 minutes after trailing 9-7 at halftime at Blair Oaks Athletics Complex.

"They came out and dominated in all phases of the game," Reed said. "They took it right to us."

Blair Oaks (11-1), the 2018 Class 2 state champion, advanced to play Nov. 28 at Cardinal Ritter (4-3) in a Class 3 semifinal.

This is the second time in three seasons Blair Oaks has beaten Lutheran North. Blair Oaks beat Lutheran North 48-21 in the 2018 Class 2 semifinal.

But it didn’t look like a repeat was in order after the first half, when Lutheran North (5-1) held Blair Oaks to just 35 yards of offense on 15 plays.

The Falcons rolled up 306 yards of offense in the second half, led by senior running back Jayden Purdy, who carried the ball 13 times in the second half for 115 yards and three touchdowns.

"We just made adjustments and the line came out and really played," Purdy said. "It was just that and executing."

Running away Lutheran North’s Travion Ford, a University of Missouri recruit, didn't hurt.

Ford had two sacks in the first half and terrorized the Blair Oaks line in the first half.

“He is everything that he's billed up to be," Blair Oaks coach Ted LePage said. "We went to a set that matched their defense better.”

Lutheran North was content to chew up the clock and get 3 or 4 yards per carry in the first half, running 38 plays for 85 yards.

But possession time didn’t result in points, and the Crusaders finished with only 143 yards of total offense.

"We could never do much on the offensive side of the ball and we've got some things to correct in the offseason," Reed said.

This is the sixth time this season Blair Oaks has limited its opponent to 10 points or less and the nine points is the least amount of points the Crusaders have mustered since last year's 6-0 district championship victory over Lift for Life.

The Crusaders appeared to grab a huge momentum swing when junior Toriano Pride returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown and a 9-7 lead with only 16 seconds to play in the first half.

"As a younger coach, I probably would have gone ballistic at halftime, but I told my offensive coordinator that's who we are," LePage said. "Let it go. It's 9-7, who cares? We can score 21 points in two minutes. Be yourself and play."

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