OIL CITY, Pa. – Oil gushed for the third time in three years, as Oil City captured its third consecutive District 10 football title Saturday night with a 51-14 win over Harbor Creek in the Class 4A contest at Oil Field in Oil City.
“It feels pretty good,” Oil City head coach Dan York, whose teams won the Class 5A championship in 2018 and 2019, said. “We are just glad to get another one under our belt.”
The Oilers (8-0) did it the way they have been doing it since York took over the program in 2016 – by mashing their opponent.
Oil City ran for 362 yards on 47 carries, an average of 7.7 yards per tote, and had a pair of backs cross the 100-yard mark.
“We did what we usually do,” York said.
Sean Stack was the unlikely hero for the Oiler rushing for a career-high 202 yards on 14 carries and scoring a career-best four touchdowns. Stack, a senior, had rushed for 673 yards in three seasons with 12 touchdowns, including 458 yards with eight scores this season, entering the night.
“Sean’s a fantastic running back,” York said. “Unfortunately (for him), we have Cam Russell. Cam got a little dinged up – he’s been wearing a wrist brace – but Sean is a great kid. He is a weight-room warrior, and he’s quick as a cat. His feet are quick. We do quickness drills in the offseason, and he always wins the quickness drills.”
Stack showed off that quickness on touchdown runs of 78 and 33 yards, but he also showed the ability to score on shorter carries as well finding paydirt from six and three yards out in the contest.
“It felt great,” Stack said. “But Cam led the way, really. He just got hurt a little bit. I had to step in. But I give it all to the line. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have had the game I had.”
Stack helped the Oilers put the game away with three touchdowns in a span of 6:22 in the second quarter after Oil City had taken a 14-8 lead on a pair of Holden Stahl touchdown passes.
His 78-yard run, one play after Oil City had forced a Harbor Creek punt, gave the Oilers some breathing room and a 20-8 lead with 7:35 left in the first half. He took a pitch and broke to his left getting into the clear and outrunning the Huskies defense to the end zone.
“As a running back that is the best feeling in the world,” Stack said. “You can’t beat that. Open field and you use your speed to get the touchdown, that’s the greatest thing in the world.”
Stack was at it again following another Harbor Creek punt finding a crease on fourth-and-3 and going 33 yards to make it 28-8 after he ran in the 2-point conversion.
The redheaded senior then showed he could score on a short run as well, going into from six yards out after Oil City recovered a fumble at the Harbor Creek 28-yard line, and Russell, who had 134 yards of his own on 19 carries despite being “dinged” up, carried twice to the 12 followed by a 6-yard Stahl run to the six.
Stack then put the 2-point conversion into the end zone again to make it 36-8 at halftime, Oil City.
“It feels amazing,” Stack said of winning the title. “Especially this year because the last two years it was a different group. This year it’s our senior group. We have been here all three years. It is special this year.”
Stack picks up six yards late in the game
The game started off like it was going to be a dogfight with the teams trading touchdowns in the first quarter.
Oil City scored on its second play from scrimmage when Stahl found JT Stahlman for a 52-yard touchdown pass 2:25 into the game that coupled with Russell’s 2-point run made it 8-0 Oilers.
But Harbor Creek, which went three-and-out on its first possession, answered right back with a 10-play, 63-yard drive that ended with an 8-yard Casey Smith to Cameron Williamson touchdown pass that coupled with Marrick Bauer’s 2-point run tied the score at eight with 4:57 left in the opening quarter.
Oil City, though, couldn’t be stopped.
The Oilers, who didn’t punt on the night, went on a 13-play, 80-yard drive to take the lead for good on a 13-yard Stahl to Dakota Cole touchdown pass two minutes into the second quarter.
“Their veterans,” York said. “We have six kids who probably started three years ago, so they are veterans. They don’t really get down on anything.
Harbor Creek looked like it was ready to answer when it quickly moved from its 28 to its 48 in four plays. But an incomplete pass by Smith on third-and-4 forced a punt, and that turned out to not be a great idea when Stack broke off his 78-yard run to give Oil City some breathing room.
“We try (to put teams) away,” York said. “As best we can, but we try.”
Oil City’s defense also played a key role in the victory.
The Oilers, who lost leading tackler Brayden Crocker to an injury last week, allowed Harbor Creek just 237 yards including only 89 on the ground. The Huskies came into the game averaging 382 yards per game including 184.7 on the ground.
“We knew coming in, Harbor Creek is a good team,” York said. “There was a little confusion (on defense) on some things, growing pains, and putting kids in new positions. We struggled a little bit, but we tried.”
The Oilers defense came up big at the end of the first half stopping Harbor Creek on four straight plays inside the 15-yard line to keep the Huskies from gaining any momentum going into halftime.
That included a nice pass breakup by Tim Crose on the final play of the first half.
The second half was just a matter of Oil City finding a way to run out the clock.
The Oilers weren’t quite as crisp turning the ball over twice, but they did still outscore Harbor Creek 16-6 in the half.
The Huskies struck first on 17-yard Smith to Austin Vaughn pass, but a 3-yard run by Stack and a 1-yard plunge by Zac Kiefer ended the scoring.
Watch Kiefer go in for the game’s final touchdown.
“We have big kids, strong kids,” Stack said. “If people watch film, they can’t stop it. There’ not much you can do.”
Watch Stack’s full postgame interview.
Oil City will face Juniata, a 24-21 winner over Bellefonte in the District 5-6-9 Subregional title game Friday night, in the first of the PIAA playoffs either Nov. 6 or 7. That game, under the PIAA’s COVID-19 decision to play most playoff games at the home field of the team at the top of the bracket, will be at Juniata, it is believed.
NOTES – Oil City had won one District 10 football title (1998) prior to the current run of three in a row.
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OIL CITY 51, HARBOR CREEK 14
Score by Quarters
Harbor Creek – 8 0 6 0 – 14
Oil City – 8 28 8 7 – 51
OC – JT Stahlman 52 pass from Holden Stahl (Cameron Russell run), 9:35
HC – Cameron Williamson 8 pass from Casey Smith (Marrick Bauer run), 4:07
OC – Dakota Cole 13 pass from Stahl (Run fails), 10:01
OC – Sean Stack 78 run (Pass fails), 7:35
OC – Stack 33 run (Stack run), 3:17
OC – Stack 6 run (Stack run), 1:13
HC – Austin Vaughn 17 pass from Casey Smith (Conversion failed), 2:34
OC – Stack 3 run (Stack run), 0:18
OC – Zac Kiefer 1 run (Dakota Cole PAT), 2:58
RUSHING – Harbor Creek: Cameron Williamson 7-39, Casey Smith 9-36, Caden Herman 3-13, Team 1-1. Oil City: Sean Stack 14-202, Cameron Russell 19-134, Holden Stahl 10-18, Zac Kiefer 3-14, Dakota Cole 1-negative 6.
PASSING – Harbor Creek: Casey Smith 20-for-32, 148 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception. Austin Vaughn 0-for-1. Oil City: Holden Stahl 4-for-6, 96 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception.
RECEIVING – Harbor Creek: Marrick Bauer 2-18, Cody Smith 7-59, Cameron Williamson 1-8, Austin Vaughn 6-46, Matt Stenger 1-1, Ryan Whitman 3-16. Oil City: JT Stahlman 3-83, Dakota Cole 1-13.
INTERCEPTIONS –Harbor Creek: Gavin Ennis. Oil City: JT Stahlman.