It might not have been their best football, but the Indians got the job done as they defeated Oakdale, 34-6, in the first round of the playoffs.
"I'm not sure we are playing our best football right now and that's not a good thing," Oneida coach Tony Lambert said. "We've gotta find a way to get better next week."
The Indians were clinging to a 14-6 lead at the half, but managed to get going in the third quarter.
Logan Marlow capped off a 95-yard scoring drive for the Indians with a 17-yard touchdown run to give his team a 21-6 lead.
Evan Roberts gave the Indians a little more breathing room with a four-yard touchdown run to take a 28-6 lead with one quarter remaining to play. Roberts led Oneida with 73 yards and a touchdown.
"I felt like we finally wore them down," Lambert said. "They are a lot bigger than we are and they have got a lot better."
Lambert was impressed with the play of Alex Bowling.
"We got a spark from Alex Bowling," he said. "He's been our most improved player this year. I've really been impressed with what he's done. He plays like he's wanting it to keep going."
Oneida's first score came on a two-yard touchdown run by Jake Lawson. Bowling's extra point gave the Indians a 7-6 edge with 6:57 remaining in the second quarter. Lawson finished with 56 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.The Indians took a 14-6 advantage late in the first half on a 32-yard touchdown run by Matt Hood. Hood finished with 39 yards on four carries.
The Indians finished with 343 total yards of offense while holding Oakdale to 232 yards. Marlow fought off sickness before the game and completed seven of 12 passes for 102 yards.
Lambert was also impressed with the performance from Seth Cross.
"Seth came in and did a tremendous job," Lambert said. "He made some big stops. He gave us a big spark. I'm so proud of him."
The Indians know they will have their hands full as they travel to Greenback on Friday, November 11 for another 7 p.m. kickoff. The Cherokees defeated the Indians 48-10 on September 2.
Lambert knows he will have to have his team ready for its second trip to Greenback.
"Greenback is the No. 2 team in the state," he said. "If you're going to get there you have to play them some time, it might as well be next week."
He also added that he is ready for the challenge.
"I'm looking forward to the opportunity and I know our kids will embrace it."