Tuesday, November 25, 2008

ATH: OLH 's great season over . . .

OLH falls to Austin Hill Country in playoffs
By Thomas Phillips, The Daily Times, Published November 24, 2008


Our Lady of the Hills ended its football season Saturday much different from the way it started: This game went four quarters.

The Hawks lost 75-46 to Austin Hill Country in Marble Falls in the second round of the TAPPS playoffs. It was OLH’s fifth game of the season to last four quarters. The Hawks, who end the season 9-3, won seven games this year when referees invoked the mercy rule, enforced when one team is up by at least 45 points at the end of the first half.

“We need to play full games,” said coach Tony Bushong. “That’s the only way we’re going to get better.”

Scheduling changes have been made so the Hawks, playing six-man football, face stiffer competition next year.

“We’re going to try to play some elite teams,” he said.

Austin Hill Country (7-4) ran to victory in the arms of running back Collin Bland, who scored eight touchdowns for the Knights.

“We couldn’t stop him,” Bushong said. “He was a senior, and he gave us a good dose.”

Bland scored on runs of 51, 39, 21, 21, 20, 13, 3 and 1 yards.

For OLH, junior J.D. Salinas ran for 87 yards and two touchdowns, and freshman Marshall Walker ran for 130 yards and one touchdown.

Junior quarterback Brock Bushong scored one touchdown on the ground and ran for 40 yards. He threw 59-yard and 10-yard touchdown passes to junior Will Gregory and went 9-for-18 for 181 yards through the air.

All of Gregory’s receiving yards came on the touchdown catches. Junior Austin Reyes also had 76 yards receiving.

OLH entered to the game ranked No. 8 by sixmanfootball.com and beat Bryan Allen 57-24 the previous week for the Hawks' first-ever playoff win.

“I still like our first year in TAPPS,” Tony Bushong said.

TAPPS, the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, is the statewide governing body for private-school athletics.

“We had a pretty good season,” Bushong said.

2008 was also the first year OLH participated in a district. The Kerrville team is in its third year as a program.

Bushong loses four seniors for next year — Michael Hofmann, Kyle Higgins, J.J. Reyna and Zach Domingue.

“I’m very proud of our seniors, and we’re going to miss them,” Bushong said. “There’s no replacing boys like that.”

Moving up for OLH will be players from a JV squad that went undefeated this season.

“Maybe with a little luck we’ll go farther,” Bushong said.

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