MAYS LANDING - Joe Sprigg usually sees nothing but the blue uniforms of his Oakcrest High School football teammates when he returns kickoffs.
The senior caught the opening kickoff and saw something new Friday night.
"I started running toward my line," Sprigg said. "Usually, I run into them. But this time a hole opened, and all I saw was daylight and green grass."
Sprigg returned the kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.
The score propelled the Falcons to a 35-6 win over Ocean City in a Cape-Atlantic League National Division game. Oakcrest (5-2) has won four straight and is contention to qualify for the playoffs for the second time in school history and the first since 1985.
"The first couple of seconds we take it back for a touchdown," Sprigg said. "Every body is pumped. We just kept going and scoring again and again."
Oakcrest hasn't had a winning season since 1998. The Falcons are enjoying their rare success. Oakcrest students stood in the stands, wore white shirts with the words "Falcon Fanatic" and cheered on the team.
"It's been a long time since Oakcrest has won," linebacker Billy Fursin said. "My friends are telling me they're all tailgating. People are liking it."
Oakcrest dominated defensively. The Falcons held Ocean City to negative-13 rushing yards.
"We tried to come out and spread the field and throw the football," Ocean City coach Mark Impagliazzo said.
"They got after us and got pressure on our quarterback. We had guys open, but we couldn't (get them) the ball."
Oakcrest consistently blitzed Ocean City. The Falcons didn't hide it. Fursin and fellow linebacker Brandon Bell often lined up right behind the Oakcrest defensive line poised to rush as soon as the ball was snapped.
Fursin had five tackles for a loss and Bell had two. Zach Reichenbach, David Green, Josh Santiago and Ismail Showell also tackled Ocean City ball carriers behind the line of scrimmage.
"It's so much fun," Fursin said, "to get to the quarterback, make sacks and make the crowd go nuts."
The Oakcrest offense relied on its rushing game.
"We wanted to control the line of scrimmage," Oakcrest first-year coach Chuck Smith said.
The Falcons scored on their second possession of the game. Steve Adkisson finished a 15-play, 75-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown run on a sweep to give the Falcons a 14-0 lead with 9 minutes, 14 seconds left in the first half.
Oakcrest made it 21-0 when junior Fabian Santiago, last spring's state Group IV 100-meter dash champion, ran 54 yards for a touchdown with 5:24 left in the first half.
Oakcrest quarterback Quaashie Jetter made the most of his rare throws. The sophomore completed 5-of-6 for 62 yards and a touchdown for one of his better games of the season.
"He's getting that touch," Smith said of Jetter. "Mentally he's got it, but it's just having that little touch on the ball here and knowing when to throw it there."
Oakcrest will remain in contention for a low seed in the South Jersey Group IV playoffs with a win next Friday at Pleasantville.
But just as important, the Falcons need one more win to clinch the program's first winning seasons in 12 years.
Oakcrest players spent much of the past dozen seasons getting ribbed in school for defeats.
The Falcons left the field Friday with smiles as James Brown sang "I Feel Good" over the public address announcer.
Contact Michael McGarry:
Ocean City 0 0 6 0- 6
Oakcrest 7 14 7 7- 35
OK-Sprigg 90 return (Carney kick)
OK–-Adkisson 12 run (Carmey kick)
OK-Santiago 54 run (Carney kick)
OK-Clements 15 pass from Jetter (Carney kick)
OC-Coccodrilli 13 pass from McGuigan (kick missed)
OK-Adkisson 5 run (Carney kick)
First Downs 6 11
Rushing (-13) 215
Passing 43 62
Turnovers 1 1
Rushing: Ocean City, Schultheis 8-13. Oakcrest, Sprigg 10-54, Adkisson 4-43, Santiago 2-56, Bell 8-25, Jetter 18-23.
Passing: Ocean City, McGuigan 8-13-0-43. Oakcrest, Jetter 5-6-0-62.
Receiving: Ocean City, Coccodrilli 2-18. Oakcrest, Clements 3-31.
Records-Ocean City 1-5, Oakcrest 5-2.