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Big plays keep Trojans from win in opener

By: Matt Long
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The goal of every defense is to not get burnt by the big play, but that’s the exactly what happened to Oak Ridge in the season-opening game against Rocklin on Friday. Not just once, but five times, and it cost them the game. Rocklin ran five plays which accounted for a whopping 187 yards, two of which went for touchdowns and that led to a 40-32 win. “Defensively, we’re a work in progress,” Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere said. “I thought the front seven played pretty well. We shut down the run early, as I think Rocklin had less than 50 yards rushing in the first half. However, we had some breakdowns in the secondary and when that happens, it doesn’t matter how well you play up front.” Rocklin scored a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter and both came on long passing plays of 65 and 78 yards. “When you give up the deep ball, it’s a back breaker,” Cavaliere said. “The big play hurt us. Other than those five plays, we had a pretty tight ship.” Cavaliere said the big pass plays were a result of the defensive backs watching the play rather than concentrating on their job on the play. He added, though, that the defense will improve. Offensively, the Trojans played better, scoring 32 points, while only committing two turnovers, one of which was a dropped pass that led to an interception. Quarterback Connor Benander completed 14-of-22 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown. Running back Jordan Matanane ran the ball well, gaining 120 yards on 24 carries, while Jacob Allen accumulated 184 yards of total offense. Robbie Beyer also booted a 31-yard field goal. “There were a lot of positives,” Cavaliere said. “We functioned well on offense, ran the ball well and had success throwing the ball. We scored every time we were in the red zone, only punted a few times and had two turnovers. It was a successful night offensively.” Oak Ridge’s offense will likely have to play just as well this week, as the Trojans head to Folsom to play the Bulldogs. Folsom can light up the scoreboard with the best teams, scoring 41 against Davis in its 41-21 win over the Blue Devils on Thursday. Likewise, the Oak Ridge defense will have to play better if the Trojans are to have a chance at victory. “Folsom just reloads on offense, losing one phenomenal quarterback and then just putting his brother in there who threw for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns in the first half,” Cavaliere said. “Folsom does a nice job of spreading things out and making you defend the entire field. It’s going to be a matter of keeping their offense off the field.” After dominating Folsom for years, the Trojans have dropped two straight games to the Bulldogs. They’d like nothing more than to beat Folsom this year in front of their Homecoming crowd. JV opens season with win Frank Trifeletti threw three touchdown passes and the Trojans defense kept Rocklin at bay during a 27-6 victory. Dylan Collie started the scoring with a punt return for a touchdown and Trifeletti followed with touchdown passes to Lance Berringer and then Collie, as Oak Ridge led 21-0 at halftime. Rocklin opened the third quarter with its only points of the game, but Oak Ridge came right back with a final scoring drive, capped off by Trifeletti’s third touchdown pass, this time to Trent Stigerts. “It was a good opening game,” Oak Ridge coach Aaron Brackney said. “The defense played really well and only gave up a few plays and gave the offense good field position. I thought the highlight was in the second half after Rocklin scored, the offense drove down the field, took up a lot of clock and scored which put the game away. We executed well.” Freshman squeak out 13-3 win With eight players out sick, the Trojans came through with an outstanding defensive performance and put together two scoring drives in the fourth quarter to defeat the Thunder. In the third quarter, the defense held Rocklin to a field goal and then DeShaun Johnson scored twice in the fourth to secure the win. Wide receiver Chad Augood, filling in for the regular kicker who was out sick, kicked one extra point. Alex Worden and Zach Claiborne recovered fumbles on defense. “It was a great team win,” Oak Ridge coach Vance Mueller said. “The two scoring drives were obviously big with great blocking for the line and fullback Keaton Subjeck.”