WOOD RIVER – It was the first time since 2004 that Wood River defeated Columbia in a football game.

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The Oilers continued their historic season with a 22-13 win at home over the Eagles. With the win, they improve to 5-1 but more importantly become playoff eligible. On top of that, winning their conference isn’t out of the question yet either.

“It’s a really good feeling,” Wood River head coach Garry Herron said postgame regarding the future of playoffs.

This year is a complete turnaround from last season’s 3-6 campaign in which they missed out on the postseason.

The Oilers led by as much as 14-0 at halftime after a couple of touchdowns, but Columbia did make a push to start the second half.

They scored a short rushing touchdown late in the third quarter and made the kick to make it 14-7.

After the kickoff, Wood River received the ball on their own 31-yard line. After about a seven-minute drive the Oilers found themselves in scoring position. Miguel Romero completed a 10-yard pass to Tyler Robinson that was good for a TD. Seth Slayden rushed in the two-point conversion to make it 22-7.

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Columbia would score a TD on their next drive and then attempt for two points. The conversion came up short, so Wood River still led 22-13 with about three minutes remaining.

The Oilers didn’t extend the lead any after that having to kick back to the Eagles, but they didn’t have nearly enough time on the clock to come back from a two-possession game as things winded down.

This win comes off the back of their only loss of the season after the Oilers were beaten by Breese Central on the road last week by a score of 21-6.

“This was the first time they’ve really had to do that, and I just told them ‘play your game’ and I feel like we played our game tonight,” Herron said.

It was once again another run-dominant game from the Oilers as a lot of plays were run through Slayden and their running backs. Their final score of the game was a rare-throwing TD, not because they don’t throw the ball well, but because they hardly ever let it fly.

It was a drawn-up play to combat Columbia’s swelling defense late in the game, and it worked.

The Oilers are now 2-1 in the Cahokia-Mississippi Conference and sit second behind Breese Central.

They’ll be on the road next week when they head to Freeburg. That conference matchup will kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 7.

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