Blair Oaks dominates California 69-0 in career win No. 200 for LePage

Blair Oaks coach Ted LePage watches a play from the sideline during Friday night’s game against California at the Falcon Athletic Complex in Wardsville. LePage recorded his 200th career win with the Falcons’ 69-0 victory against the Pintos. (Josh Cobb/News Tribune)

WARDSVILLE -- It was as close to a perfect night as the Blair Oaks Falcons could have delivered.

Blair Oaks scored a total of 10 touchdowns, including three in the second half by the backup players, and the defense held the California Pintos to 36 total yards, which includes 2 net yards rushing. The Falcons dominated from start to finish to rout the Pintos 69-0 on Friday night at the Falcon Athletic Complex.

“I really thought our defense set the tempo,” Blair Oaks coach Ted LePage said.

Friday’s victory was career win No. 200 for LePage, who was inducted into the Missouri Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame last December and is in his 23rd season as a head coach.

“I didn’t get into this for the number of wins, I just want to win the next one,” said LePage, who has a career record of 200-65. “When I work with a team like this, I want to come back to work tomorrow.”

Blair Oaks’ first possession ended with an interception, but the Falcons scored on four of their next five drives.

Brady Kerperin started the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run out of the Wishbone formation. Nolan Laughlin made the first of his nine successful extra-point attempts to give Blair Oaks a 7-0 lead with 5:55 to go in the opening quarter.

Following a California turnover on downs, Tyler Bax completed a 27-yard touchdown pass down the middle of the field to Hayden Lackman with 3:08 to play in the first quarter.

Blair Oaks then scored four touchdowns in the second quarter to build a 42-0 halftime lead.

On the second play of the second quarter, Bax found a wide-open Joey Wilde on the left sideline for a 48-yard touchdown pass. Two possessions, later, Bax threw his third touchdown pass of the game, this time down the middle of the field to a wide-open Nick Closser for a 25-yard score.

Bax scored a rushing touchdown on a 14-yard keeper up the middle with 1:17 to play in the first half, making the score 35-0. The Blair Oaks defense forced a turnover on downs with :14 to play, setting up one more scoring opportunity before halftime.

Bax threw a 35-yard pass down the middle of the field to Lackman, and after a Blair Oaks timeout, Wilde took a jet sweep to the right for a 3-yard touchdown run as time expired.

With a running clock for the entirety of the second half, Blair Oaks started the third quarter with a nine-play, 62-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by Eli Luckett, increasing the lead to 49-0.

The second- and third-string offense took the field the rest of the game.

Backup quarterback Wyatt Meldrum scored on a 17-yard keeper with 1:02 to go in the third quarter, then Hank Lueckenotte scored on a 17-yard run with 8:22 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The defense had the finishing touch to cap the scoring. On the third-to-last play of the game, Parker Spencer recovered a fumble and run into the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown return with :59 to play.

California had 13 offensive possessions in Friday’s game. Eight ended with a punt, three resulted in turnovers and two more finished with a fourth-down stop for a turnover on downs.

Ayden Luckett recovered a fumble early in the second quarter for the Falcons, while Sam Closser snagged an interception with less than three minutes to play until halftime. Austin Nilges also recovered a fumble on a muffed punt return, which led to Nick Closser’s touchdown grab on the ensuing play.

Bax finished the game 12-of-17 passing for 229 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He also finished with eight carries for 33 yards.

Lackman led the receiving corps with four catches for 68 yards. Seven Blair Oaks players caught at least one pass in the win.

Meldrum was only on the field for nine plays, but the Blair Oaks senior led the team in rushing with five carries for 76 yards. He also completed his only pass attempt for 40 yards to Nilges.

The Pintos had just one first down, when quarterback Walker Friedmeyer completed a 20-yard pass along the sideline to running back Ayden Bryant late in the second quarter.

Friedmeyer was 5-of-10 passing for 34 yards and one interception. Brooks Volkart was the Pintos’ leading rusher with four carries for 12 yards.

Defensively for California, Volkart had an interception and Chase Schlup recovered a fumble.

Blair Oaks (3-1, 2-0 Tri-County), ranked No. 1 in Class 3 in this week’s Missouri Media Rankings, plays next Friday at Boonville (1-3, 0-2 Tri-County), which is coming off a 44-26 loss Friday at Southern Boone.

California (2-2, 0-2 Tri-County) plays next Friday at School of the Osage (1-3, 1-1 Tri-County), which picked up its first win of the season Friday by a score of 37-12 at Eldon.