Osage clinches a playoff spot with homecoming victory

By Kristi Nixon

OSAGE — From a three-win season to clinching a playoff spot on homecoming night, the Osage football team gave the home team plenty to cheer about in a 36-10 win over Garner-Hayfield-Ventura.

The Green Devils used a physical offense and a tough defense to earn their first home win of the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time, a homecoming win that helped them improve to 4-3 overall, 3-1 in Class 2A District 3.

Osage quarterback Max Knudsen makes an off-balanced throw after scrambling around, avoiding a tackler to complete a touchdown pass to Cole Adams in the second half of the Green Devils’ 36-10 win over G-H-V. EJ Photo/Kristi Nixon

“It feels pretty good,” senior wide receiver Nathan Havel said. “We knew we had to come in clutch to get it done after losing a few (games) right away. Really close games that we needed to win.”

Already leading 20-10 on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Max Knudsen to Havel, Knudsen made a defender miss, scrambled around until he found Cole Adams, who used his physicality to push his defender five yards into the end zone for the score.

“Eh, it was a lot easier than it looked,” Cole Adams said of the play. “It feels pretty good. We had to pick up the teamwork today and bring the brotherhood. We hadn’t won a homecoming in forever and we wanted to put it together for the community.”

There were some tense moments as both Mac Muller and Barrett Muller went down in the second half. Barrett Muller returned to the game after a blindside block penalty on the Cardinals. Coach Torian Wolf said Mac Muller needed to be assessed.

Noah O’Malley picked off GHV quarterback Owen Pueggel on the ensuing play.

O’Malley assessed the team’s ability to comeback from a slow start.

“It’s pretty fun,” O’Malley said. “I feel like now we can have fun in this last game and ever since we had that three-game losing streak and our backs were against the wall, we took things seriously and started strapping it up, got serious in practice. I think all of the guys had fun doing it. We rolled with it. Kept going.”

Wolf said he knew that clinching a playoff spot was on the table, but it was more important bringing home a victory in front of the home crowd.

“It feels awesome,” Wolf said. “That’s our focus tonight, we wanted to get our first home win. We haven’t had one in front of our crowd and what a great crowd we had tonight. That was the motivator. It will be the same next week in clinching a home game for the playoffs. We had to take care of the opponent in front of us and that’s what we did tonight.”

More on this story will appear in the Oct. 16 print edition of the Enterprise Journal

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