Oak Hall football captures North Florida Conference title – Gainesville Sun
Larry Savage @SunPreps
In two years coach Matt DiBernardo has taken the Oak Hall football team from the depths of mediocrity to conference champions.
Winners of just two games in the two years before his arrival, DiBernardo’s Eagles soared high and mighty Thursday night, capping a perfect 10-0 season with their biggest prize.
Senior Chase Trunnell chewed up 185 yards rushing, junior Trey Saunders scored three touchdowns and junior quarterback Matt Armstrong tossed a pair of scores and ran for another, as Oak Hall dominated John Paul II 41-13 to capture the North Florida Football Conference title.
Challenged early in the third quarter when the Panthers turned an interception into points, trimming the Eagles’ lead to 20-13, Oak Hall responded in a big way.
The Eagles scored the final 21 points of the game, getting two touchdown runs by Saunders of 21 and 10 yards, and a 21-yard scoring pass from Armstrong to Chance Mayo to break the game open.
“It feels great,” DiBernardo said following the trophy ceremony. “I feel great for the kids and the school.
“I know we had a great plan and you have to hand it to the kids just to take hold of the plan and follow it. We asked them to believe into something without knowing anything about it. They did and it has paid off.”
The Eagles recovered an onside kick to open the game, capping it off with a 19-yard pass from Armstrong to Leon Cummings for an early 7-0 lead.
They added to that later in the first quarter when Saunders, catching a fumble in the air, took it in for a 1-yard score.
Armstrong added a five-yard bootleg run around left end for a 20-0 lead, but John Paul II (5-4), with less than a minute left in the