OAK HILL – Braylon Howell put together an impressive performance on Friday night.

But it was bittersweet.

Howell, who moved from his normal tight end position to the backfield on Friday, had a career-high 75 rushing yards on 16 carries, but the Oaks suffered their third straight loss, 23-0, to Rock Hill on Senior Night at Davis Stadium.

In addition, Aidan Hall, who also started the season at tight end, lined up in the backfield at fullback. Hall also had a good night, as he ran seven times for 23 yards.

“We gained some yardage tonight. We started one series at our six-yard line, and we drove it into the red zone,” said Oak Hill head coach Paul Carver. “We ended up turning it over on downs, but if you make a drive with a power offense, then you belong on the field.

“I thought that was a positive. We had a long-sustained drive, and now, we have to finish. We are going to try to put a few more wrinkles in, doing it slowly over time. I do think we are getting better, and that is our mission. I believe it will turn into a win or two for us this season.”

Oak Hill’s offense played out of the spread, confusing the Redmen’s defense enough to call a timeout in the first half.

It was the season-opener for Rock Hill, which has been quarantined the last two weeks due to COVID-19.

Coach Carver had higher expectations and felt his team had the advantage going into the game against the Redmen on Friday night.

“A little bit of a disadvantage is we got scrimmage film from them since they haven’t played, and they got game film from us,” said Carver. “I think that kind of negates it a little bit, but I am not sure if they were able to practice since they were quarantined as a team or not.

“They have an older group of kids on their team, and they know how to finish a game. That is what we have to learn.”

Both teams had one long-sustained drive in the first half but came away with no points.

The Redmen drove 62-yards in 18-plays on their opening series in the first quarter before turning the ball over on downs at the Oak Hill 6-yard line.

Then it was Oak Hill’s turn.

The Oaks drove to the Rock Hill 17-yard line before a holding penalty, and a pair of quarterback sacks by the Redmen defense ended the drive.

The remainder of the half resulted in a defensive stalemate, as both teams went in at the half in a scoreless tie.

Despite being hindered by the scoreless half, Oak Hill had no answer for Rock Hill’s ground game on its opening series to begin the third quarter. The Redmen responded with a touchdown and two-point conversion with 7:33 left in the quarter.

On the third play of the drive, Trenton Williams hit Owen Hankins on a swing pass out of the backfield that went for 33 yards to the Oak Hill 34-yard line. Five plays later, he had a 17-yard run to the Oak Hill 5-yard line, and Skyler Kidd finished it off on the next play.

Kidd also scored on the two-point conversion run to take an 8-0 lead.

“They got a big play, and big plays aid teams like both of us,” said Carver. “They put it together and ended up scoring.”

Oak Hill’s ensuing possession ended when quarterback Darrick Boggs threw an interception on a third-and-10 play.

Boggs threw two interceptions, including a pick-six that put the nail in the coffin in the fourth quarter.

“We wanted to try some stuff. I thought our passing game was there, we just couldn’t capitalize on it,” Carver said. Those are things we need to work on.

“The pick-six is just something that happens. We don’t throw the ball a lot, so that is an area we need to get better in as well. Darrick is a good quarterback. We just need to work on getting better and running our routes along with his release and timing on that kind of stuff too.”

Levi Jiles stepped in front of the pass intended for Nate Clutters and returned it 25-yards to paydirt. Kidd again ran in the two-point conversion attempt to make it 16-0 with 5:48 remaining.

After Oak Hill turned the ball over on downs on its next series, Jiles sealed it for the Redmen on a 14-yard touchdown run with 1:37 left in the game.

Rock Hill (1-0) held a slim 11-9 advantage in first downs for the game and outgained the Oaks 187-130 in total offensive yards.

Kidd was the workhorse for the Redman, as he finished with 76 rushing yards on 17 attempts and a touchdown. Hankins rushed for 71 yards on 14 carries and had a 33-yard reception in the victory.

Oak Hill will host Northwest with homecoming activities planned for next Friday night at Davis Stadium. Coach Carver is a Northwest alum and played for head coach Bill Crabtree.

“Northwest will be ready to play. Coach Crabtree is building a program down there, and he will have them ready. We need to be ready as well. We will look at their film to see what they like to do and see if they’ve made changes since the last time we played them, and I believe we can get us a quality win next week.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., with homecoming activities to take place at halftime.