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A 52-14 victory over Owendale-Gagetown first postseason win

Steve Austin was the Million Dollar Man, right?

Well, Merritt Academy senior running back Austin Oswald had to be feeling like a million bucks after his thrilling performance against Owendale-Gagetown in a game played at Anchor Bay Friday night.

Oswald, who was nearly unstoppable, busted loose for touchdown runs of 50, 15, 6, and 47 yards. All of those came in the second half when the Mustangs scored 36 of their 52 points.

Oswald’s TD runs helped lead Merritt to a 52-14 victory in the opening .

“Austin is our home run hitter,” said Rob Girvin, the Merritt coach. “Pretty much all of his touchdowns are of the 40-plus yard variety. Runs, kickoff returns, interception returns, pass receptions. We try to mix him in here and there because he’s not a super big kid and we don’t want to wear him out.”

Oswald is listed at 5-11, 140 pounds in the program.

“He is like lightning,” continued his coach.

It was a thunderous outing against a team that the Mustangs had only beaten once before in school history.

“Owendale-Gagetown is a very good team. When we went up there earlier this season, it was a close game. We barely beat them and that’ was the first time we’d ever beaten them,” said Girvin. “I was a little worried when we fell down 8-0 in the beginning. The boys had it in their mind that they wanted to do this, and they proved it. Their last goal was they wanted to win a playoff game.”

It was also the first postseason win in the history of the school.

A lot of that comes thanks to Oswald.

“Every time I got the ball, I wasn’t expecting to get into the end zone. I just wanted to get as many yards as I could,” said Oswald. “I ran a couple of sweeps. This was the most top-scoring ball that I had. When I got past the line, it felt awesome having everyone chase me. I didn’t turn around until I got to the end zone.”

Ironically, Owendale-Gagetowm lit the scoreboard first when Jake Warack broke free on a 27-yard touchdown with 2:33 to go in the first quarter. Warack’s two-point conversion run made it 8-0.

Merritt returned fire on the first play of the second quarter when Tim Shamblin sprinted into the end zone from six yards out. John Basile added two more points on the conversion run.

The Merritt Mustangs took the lead with 8:56 to go in the first half when quarterback John Basile connected with Matthew Shather on a TD that covered 85 yards. Shamblin added two more points on the conversion and it was 16-8 at halftime.

Owendale--Gagetown would also score the first touchdown of the second half; this one on a five-yard run by David Binder. The conversion try failed.

Joining the offensive onslaught in the second half was Manny McBride, who raced 40 yards to the end zone with nine minutes to play.

Last Updated: 10/28/2016 11:09:05 PM EST