WATERFORD - Coming into Friday night's game at Carm Bonito Field, the only team standing in the way of the Oil City Oilers football team capturing an outright Region 7 title was the homestanding Fort LeBoeuf Bison.
The Bison looked like they might provide a bit of a roadblock for the Oilers as they came into the matchup riding a three-game winning streak. But, head coach Dan York's Oilers had little trouble with the Bison as they built a 21-0 lead by halftime before pulling away in the second half to record a 41-13 victory and the right to hold the Region 7 title all to themselves with a perfect 8-0 overall record and a 5-0 mark in conference play.
The Oilers came out ready to play on both sides of the ball from the start as they opened on defense and quickly forced a three-and-out. After the punt gave Oil City the ball on its own 31, it covered the distance in only seven plays with an 18-yard run by Noah Petro and a 29-yard connection from Holden Stahl to J.T. Stahlman sparking the drive. Zac Kiefer finished off the series with a nine-yard run to the endzone and Lucas Lingo booted the ensuing PAT for a 7-0 lead.
The Bison looked like they were primed to score on their next possession as they marched into Oil City territory in ten plays. But, the drive stalled at the Oil City 28 after a fourth-and-15 play resulted in only eight yards.
Oil City followed with a turnover-on-downs itself at the Fort LeBoeuf 48. But, the Bison couldn't take advantage and were held to another three-and-out followed by a punt.
After the punt and a penalty pinned Oil City back at its own six, the Oilers' chances to come away with a score looked pretty bleak. But, Petro broke free for back-to-back runs of 30 and 58 yards to put the ball at the Fort LeBoeuf six. Oil City cashed in on the next play as Holden Stahl reached the endzone on a six-yard run. Lingo's ensuing kick, however, failed and the Oilers led 13-0 with 6:12 left in the half.
The Bison followed that up with a promising drive of their own as they marched from their own 40 to the Oil City five in eight plays. But, Oil City's defense stood tall and forced a fumble on a second-and-goal play form the five. Kuezale Townsend pounced on the loose ball, giving the Oilers possession at their own eight with little time left in the half.
The Oilers were able to take full advantage of the miscue as Stahl connected with the wide-open Brayden Crocker streaking down the middle of the field on a third-and-eight play from the ten. He sprinted the rest of the way to the endzone to complete a 90-yard touchdown pass. Stahl followed by running in the two-point conversion and Oil City went into the half with 21-0 advantage.
The second half got off to a slow start as each team punted after only running three plays each. But, the Oilers were able to add to their lead on the second possession of the third quarter as they drove 58 yards in eight plays with Stahl punching the ball into the endzone on an 11-yard run. Lingo booted his second PAT for a 28-0 edge with 5:15 left in the third.
Oil City's defense sniffed out Fort LeBoeuf's next series as Dakota Cole came away with an interception, giving the Oilers the ball at their own 40. They once again took advantage of the mistake as they covered the distance in six plays with Petro finishing off the series with a one-yard run to paydirt on the first play of the fourth quarter. Lingo booted his third PAT for a 35-0 lead.
Fort LeBoeuf got on the board on its next possession at Ben Kuri sprinted 67 yards to the endzone and Adam Scarpino kicked the PAT to cut the deficit to 35-7. However, Oil City added another touchdown on its next series as Petro scored on a seven-yard run. Lingo's ensuing PAT kick was blocked and Oil City was in command with a 41-7 lead with only 5:30 left in the ballgame.
Fort LeBoeuf added a late score on a three-yard run by Dominic Gentile, but the PAT missed to set the final score, 41-13.
Petro led the Oilers with 185 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Stahl completed all three of his passes for 151 yards while Crocker added 51 yards rushing.
Oil City will travel to Slippery Rock for a non-region game on Friday night.