Oak Ridge advances with 49-21 win over EnochsBy: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
A slow start defensively last week didn’t derail Oak Ridge’s chances of a win against Enochs, but that doesn’t mean they want to make a habit out of it.
The Trojans plays host to sixth-seeded Pitman (8-3) at 7 p.m. Friday, as the Pride were 49-19 winners over Tokay in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs.
“They’re a Wing-T based team, offensively, and are very talented,” Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere said. “They don’t have any stats on MaxPreps, but they’ve got a couple of talented running backs that I bet have rushed for over 1,000 yards. They’re a running team and are very good at it.”
Oak Ridge 49, Enochs 21
After the slow start defensively against Enochs, the Trojans righted the ship and went on to pull away on their way to a 49-21 victory.
“I think they (Enochs) had 150 yards rushing in the first five minutes of the game, but we made some adjustments and the team took to coaching and we did well from there,” Cavaliere said. “Hopefully, this week we can get it down earlier. I compare it to the Vacaville game. We held them to 21 points, but they still gained 300 yards rushing on the ground.”
After a flurry of offense from both the Trojans and the Eagles of Enochs High in the first half, Oak Ridge shut down the opposition en route to a 49-21 victory in the opening round of the CIF Division I playoffs.
Oak Ridge met the challenge of maintaining Enochs’ run game, led by Gabriel Lindsey-Turner and Tomas Alvarez. Nearly 200 rushing yards by the Eagles in the first half was slimmed to close to a third of that total to enable a second half shutout by the Trojans.
“Their offense was a little different from what we’ve seen this year so once we figured out their speed and tempo, we were able to shut it down on defense,” said Oak Ridge head coach Eric Cavaliere.
One-yard touchdown runs from Josh Wellman and Tanner Hughes in the second half extended a 14-point halftime Trojan lead. The backfield duo also provided Oak Ridge’s first two scoring plays in the first half.
“This win feels great and now we’re looking forward to the next one. Our defense adjusted, came out and did their thing and we were able to control the game. Our offense got a big push from the line and were able to explode,” said Hughes (11 carries, 75 yards).
Oak Ridge escaped the first quarter with a seven-point lead. It only took Enochs fifty seconds to get on the scoreboard. Three plays into the opening drive, Alvarez broke for a 53-yard run to the house, giving Enochs an early 7-0 lead. After the Trojans struck back three plays later on Wellman’s nine-yard carry, Alvarez once again broke for another run of 50-plus yards that set up Joshua Quevedo's touchdown reception, reclaiming the Eagle lead.
Two big plays in the air from Jason Samuels allowed a five-yard score from Hughes. Zach Claiborne then recovered an Enochs fumble deep in Eagle grounds and Oak Ridge capitalized with a Blake Martin TD run.
Claiborne was key in a pair of first half fumbles. He recovered a botched Eagle handoff in the first quarter and forced another fumble that was recovered by Chandler Christy, allowing the Trojans to maintain a two-score halftime lead.
“It took us about three or four drives to be able to adjust. Being able to throw the ball deep initially kind of loosened us up, which allowed us to run in the end and that was critical,” said Cavaliere.
At 5:04 in the second quarter, an Eagle snap sailed over the head of their punter and Oak Ridge pounced. They took over at the 21 and scored three plays later on a 13-yard Trent Buenzli TD catch, reclaiming the Trojan lead for good, 27-21.
Samuels' 39-yard hookup with Byron Spain took the Trojans down to the one, giving Martin a chance to run for his second first-half TD. Holder Victor Bunce duped the defense and threw a pass to Ross Dwelley in the end zone for the two-point conversion and a 35-21 Trojan lead with 1:54 left in the half.