The O’Dea football team exited team buses adorned with the school’s maroon and gold colors and walked through Memorial Stadium’s northwest entrance two hours prior to game time. The players dropped their equipment near the end zone and jogged around the field to warm up.
Hours later, they never stopped running.
Powered by dynamic running back Myles Gaskin, the No. 2 Irish ran away with a 49-7 win over No. 5 Mount Si on Friday night to advance to the 3A quarterfinals.
Gaskin was a little bit of everything on Friday — fast, strong, evasive. At times, he was downright magical, as he ran for 231 yards and five touchdowns on just 14 carries.
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“Once again, it was my O-line,” Gaskin said. “They opened up the holes, (I) try to make a dude miss and we just keep ballin’.”
It was the junior’s 76-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter that broke a scoreless tie. From there, the floodgates opened and O’Dea poured on the points using a heavy dose of Gaskin, sprinkled with carries by Jack Flor and Pierre Le Dorze.
Gaskin’s final two carries of the first half — a pair of touchdowns — gave O’Dea a 28-0 lead heading into the locker room. The Irish put the seal on the game early in the third on Gaskin’s fifth touchdown run, a 42-yarder that eased O’Dea to a 35-0 advantage.
The combination of Gaskin, Flor and Le Dorze was too much to handle for a Mount Si defense that had given up more than 20 points just once this season.
The trio rushed for 384 yards collectively in under three quarters. But after the game, all praise went toward the offensive line.
“They’re starting to play a little better,” O’Dea coach Monte Kohler said. “They’re young and they’re just starting to get into a little bit of a groove where they know what they’re doing, and they feel comfortable. Honestly, we make a mistake, Myles will clean it up on his own.”
The O’Dea offense had to find its rhythm in the first quarter. That’s where the Irish defense stepped up to keep the Mount Si offense in check until Gaskin and Co. got things clicking.
Wildcats quarterback Nick Mitchell, an Oregon State commit, never looked comfortable. Mitchell dropped two snaps and gave up a fumble late in the first half to set up one of Gaskin’s touchdown runs.
“I love our defense; they’re the best defense in the state,” Le Dorze said. “I mean, when we need a stop, they get a stop. If we make a mistake on offense, they make up for it. They’re always there.”