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Oak Park survives an Overtime Showdown with Southfield, Moves On In Division 2 Football Playoffs

   | Lauren Beasley

State Champs! Sports Network

The second week of the Division II Football playoffs kicked off last night and in a rematch of an earlier season matchup that Oak Park won in overtime, this game was more of a defensive battle. And behind some great running by Malik Washing and a sturdy Oak Park defense, Oak Park won the rematch to move on in the playoffs, defeating Southfield in overtime 19-12.

After both teams struggled to move the ball or score in the first quarter, Southfield was finally able to get going early in the second quarter when Southfield quarterback Tre Walton connected with wide receiver Malik Madison for a 24 yard touchdown. Southfield decided to go for two but was unable to covert giving them a 6-0 lead over Oak Park. Later with two minutes on the clock running back Gerald Gates fumbled the ball which Oak Park was able to recover. Oak Park didn’t waste any time converting a touchdown off the turnover, as Malik Washington was able to break through the Southfield defense for a 9 yard rushing touchdown. Oak Park missed the extra point, leaving the scored tied 6-6. With only 12 seconds on the clock Oak Park tries to score one more time before the end of the half but Oak Park is picked off by safety Tre Walton of Southfield, ending the first half of play.

After a third period of drives and turnovers, including an Oak Park fumble that was recovered by defensive lineman Travis Dubose of Southfield - the game remained tied heading into the final period. With six minutes on the clock, Southfield took the lead after a 29 yard rushing touchdown by running back Gerald Gates. After missing the extra point conversion, Oak Park took a 12-6 lead. However that lead didn’t last very long, as Oak Park running back Malik Washington broke free for a 65 yard rushing touchdown. Oak Park then missed the extra point, tying the game at 12-12. In the last minute of the game Southfield had a chance to win the game in the red zone but quarterback Tre Walton was picked off in the end zone putting an end to the fourth quarter.

With Southfield and Oak Park tied 12-12, the two teams headed into overtime. Oak Park received the chance to score first and that’s exactly what they did. Oak Park running back Malik Washington rushed for a touchdown and after converting the extra point, Oak Park led 19-12. Southfield tried to score on their overtime possession, but Oak Park's defense dug in, stuffing Southfield for four downs and sealing the playoff victory.  Oak Park will go on the road next Friday against Wyandotte Roosevelt in the Division 2 regional final