Things looked shaky early.
The Out-of-Door Academy fumbled on its opening possession against Oasis High on Friday night and the Sharks took advantage, scoring a few plays later. ODA would respond with a 65-yard touchdown run from freshman Allen Clark and a two-point conversion, but Oasis didn't flinch, connecting on a long flea flicker and a subsequent goal-line touchdown run. After shutting out Berean Christian 28-0 a week ago, ODA trailed Oasis 14-8 after one quarter and was getting gashed on defense.
The Thunder then regained its composure and ripped off 36 straight points, turning a game that looked dicey into a laugher. Both teams would add some garbage-time touchdowns to make the final score 51-29, but make no mistake: after the first quarter, ODA was in complete control.
"It's been a lot of fun," DeRusso said of ODA's first two contests. "It's great to be out here. Everyone is rallying around one another. We have a good vibe right now. We just need to keep that going the rest of the season."
ODA did all of its damage on the ground. Senior running back Griffin DeRusso led the Thunder with three touchdowns, one of which went 55 yards, but plowing past Oasis was a group effort: senior Luca Marino finished with two touchdowns and Clark and junior Jack Meyers added one apiece.
Defensively, the Thunder gave Oasis sophomore quarterback Parker Smith fits, picking off three of his passes — one each by sophomore Frankie Clark, senior Jason Albano and freshman Dylan Walker.