By Mike Morrison
The Marietta Times
NEW MATAMORAS -Oak Glen quarterback Lucas McDowell was not even on the field at the start of Friday night's contest but by the time the first half was complete the Golden Bear senior had rushed for 231 yards and four touchdowns to pace Oak Glen to a 69-6 rout over Frontier.
Oak Glen started junior Justin Stivason behind center but were quick to bring McDowell in for a different look and it worked to perfection on an evening where the temperature at game time was still in the upper 80s.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound McDowell romped for first half touchdown runs of 45, 60, 61 and 49 to dominate the Cougar defense and put things out of reach early.
The Golden Bears struck first on McDowell's first run with 9:29 left in the first quarter.
One bright spot for the Cougars came on the ensuing kickoff when junior Eddie Salazar rambled 95 yards down the right sideline to cut the lead to 7-6.
That however would be the only time the Cougars would get close to Oak Glen who beat Frontier 38-14 one year ago.
"I can't take anything away from them, they are a very good football team," said Cougar head coach Todd Bradford. "I think they will see a lot of playoff time."
The Bears answered Salazar's touchdown quickly, driving 60 yards in two plays with McDowell's second score of the night making it 14-6.
After stopping Frontier on their next drive, Oak Glen put together a six-play, 50 yard drive with senior Dylan Davis scoring on a 12-yard run with just over 3 minutes to play in the first quarter to go up 21-6.
Frontier then put together one of their best drives of the night, marching from their own 17 into Bear territory before stalling out and being forced to punt the ball back to Oak Glen.
Oak Glen faced a third and two at its own 39 yard line when in came McDowell and once again he eluded numerous Cougar tacklers en route to another touchdown run, this one for 61 yards.
Another bright spot for Frontier was the punting of Taylor Merkle, who buried Oak Glen on its own five-yard line with a 42-yard punt on the Cougars next possession.
But even the bad field position could not slow down the Golden Bears as they marched 95 yards on only 8 plays with none other than McDowell scoring once again from 49 yards to make it 35-6 with just under three minutes left in the half.
After the Cougars turned the ball over on downs at its own 28 yard line, the Bears scored one more time on a pass from Stivason to Jeff Hissam with only seconds to play in the half.
Any hopes of a second half miracle comeback were quickly dashed for the Cougars when Tyler Steed intercepted a Jordan Jefferson pass and danced 25 yards into the end zone for a 49-6 lead early in the third.
Oak Glen called off the dogs at that point, bringing in most of their second string players to finish out the game.
Bradford could find some positives in the game but felt his team took a step backward in a few areas.
"We are on the right track, we have to keep progressing, but I think we may have backed up just a little bit tonight," said Bradford in his seventh year at the helm of the Cougars.
Frontier was led in rushing by Jared Howell who chalked up 69 yards on only five carries and Austin Amos who ran 15 times for 46 yards.
Cougar quarterback Jefferson completed two of nine passes for 25 yards and an interception.
Frontier dropped to 0-2 with the loss and will try and regroup next Friday when they travel to Buckeye Trail.