Quarterback Jase Trotter amassed 340 all-purpose yards and scored four touchdowns on the night — connecting on 12 of 16 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown, while carrying the ball 12 times for 103 yards and three touchdowns.
Chris Austin led the Wildcats in rushing, gaining 124 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns. Oakman’s ground game produced 339 yards for the contest.
Quinton Harris had a remarkable performance with 171 total yards — leading the team in receiving with 128 yards on five catches with a touchdown, while rushing for 43 yards on five carries.
Harris also scored a touchdown on defense with an interception return.
Jake Jones led the Oakman defensive effort with 11 tackles and a tackle for a loss.
“We did a real good job offensively tonight — even when Cottonwood came back in the first half and tied the game at 14, we were able to kick it back in gear, regain the lead and made sure we stayed on top,” Oakman coach Mark Hastings said. “Jase came through tonight in a big way as he has for us all season long, making great throws and picking up good yards on the ground. Both Quinton and Chris had great nights and really helped our offense move the ball. It was a great way to open the playoffs.”
Oakman held Cottonwood on downs on the initial series of the game, then drove 76 yards on 11 plays, with Trotter finding the end zone from a yard out to allow the Wildcats to gain the 7-0 advantage.
The Wildcats struck again near the end of the first quarter, with Austin ending a seven-play, 86-yard drive on a four-yard run, extending the Oakman lead to 14-0.
The Bears battled back in the second quarter, scoring on drives of 65 and 61 yards to tie the game at 14-14.
Three plays into the Wildcats’ next offensive series, Trotter found the end zone from 22 yards out to end a 63-yard drive — giving Oakman the 21-14 edge.
Oakman added an additional touchdown following a 16-yard strike from Trotter to Harris to close a six-play, 70-yard drive to take a 28-14 lead into halftime.
The Wildcats picked up where they left off to start the second half, driving 55 yards on eight plays, as Austin took the ball into the end zone on a five-yard run — pushing Oakman further ahead, 35-14.
Cottonwood countered with a four-play, 64-yard drive to draw within 15, 35-20, before the Wildcats returned the favor with a four-play, 67-yard drive of their own.
Trotter scored his third rushing touchdown of the night on a one-yard run, giving Oakman the 42-20 advantage.
On the first play of Cottonwood’s ensuing offensive series, Harris stepped in front of a Bears’ pass and raced 42 yards for the touchdown, pulling Oakman further ahead, 49-20.
Each team added one additional score in the fourth quarter — Oakman finding the end zone with a three-yard run by Chris Lindsey to end a 10-play, 69-yard drive and Cottonwood driving 79 yards for its score to secure the 56-26 final.
Oakman (10-1) travels to Luverne next week to face the sixth-ranked Tigers (10-1) in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs. Luverne defeated Leroy on Friday night, 42-6, to advance to the second round.