Oakwood Christian Eagles

Oakwood Christian Academy has conference championship banners in soccer, basketball and volleyball lining the walls of its gymnasium, but never a state championship banner.

That's all about to change.

After claiming a Southern Christian Athletic Association league title earlier this month, the OCA soccer team earned the school's first state title in any sport on Friday as they rolled past Old Suwanee Christian of Buford, 7-1, in the Georgia Christian Athletic Association (GCAA) championship match in Chickamauga.

The Eagles got on the board just nine minutes into the championship game as Caleb Epperson slammed home a penalty kick to give his team a lead it would never relinquish.

Oakwood would just miss on two more scoring chances in the next 12 minutes before finding the net again in the 22nd minute. Ryan Scarborough hit a perfectly-placed free-kick into the top right corner of the net from 30 yards out to increase the lead to 2-0.

Eight minutes later, Scarborough sent a corner kick just over the top of the crowd in front of the net and right on the head of a streaking Chase Heptinstall, who snuck in undetected off the back side for beautiful goal.

Scarborough would make it 4-0 with four minutes left in the half as he followed up an initial shot by Epperson that the Conquerors' keeper could not corral in front of the net.

After Sam Lewis nearly connected on a goal three minutes into the second half, Epperson rifled low, skimming pass two-thirds of the way across the field right to the foot of Lewis, who redirected it into the net to increase the Eagles' lead to 5-0.

Epperson nearly scored on a long-range shot in the 46th minute, but on Oakwood's next trip down field, the senior was able to get one through a crowd of players in front of the net for his second tally of the night.

The final goal of the game for the Eagles came in the 57th minute as Corey Holder sent a shot to the back of the net from inside the 18-yard box to make it 7-0.

OSC, who had very few chances to score in the match, was able to prevent the shutout by scoring on a penalty kick with 17 minutes to play following a somewhat questionable handball call against Eagles. However, it would be much too little, much too late as OCA hoisted the championship trophy.

Epperson was named as the game's Most Valuable Player.

Read more on the Eagles' title in Wednesday's edition of The Walker County Messenger.

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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