Trojan football team sweeps non-league competition

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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For the exception of one season-ending injury to wide receiver and cornerback Bradford Buenzli, the first five games couldn’t have gone much better for Oak Ridge High’s football team. The Trojans enter the bye week with a perfect 5-0 record and wins over four respected football programs in Vista del Lago, Rocklin, Grant and Vacaville, as well as a blowout win over overmatched Washington. As well as the Trojans have played, their work has just begun with the demanding and difficult Delta River League schedule coming up. “Obviously, it feels good to be 5-0, but we understand we have a lot of work to do,” Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere said. “The task ahead of us is the Delta River League and we’re 4-6 the last two years in league and that’s not anything to be jumping up and down about. We’ve played some tough opponents so far, but it doesn’t get any easier. Every game is a battle and it starts with Folsom and that’s a big rivalry.” One thing Cavaliere has liked about his team is their work ethic and their receptiveness to coaching. The team has improved every week, capped with an impressive 24-21 win over last year’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division II champions in Vacaville. “We’re making progress and getting better and that’s what we need to be doing,” Cavaliere said. “We played our best game of the season so far against Vacaville and that’s what we needed to do because if we hadn’t we wouldn’t have won the game.” The bye week coming a week before league play begins is a good thing for the Trojans. There’s no better time for the bumps and bruises to heal, as the team prepares for some tough opponents. “The only difference this week with the bye is that we won’t have a game plan practice for our next opponent (Folsom),” Cavaliere said. “We’re going to clean up some things at individual positions, make some adjustments and re-coach or re-teach some things if need be. This bye week couldn’t have come at a better time right before the meat of our season begins.” Oak Ridge 24, Vacaville 21 Oak Ridge has beat all-comers during preseason play, including Friday’s 24-21 win over Vacaville. Trailing 21-16 in the fourth quarter and Vacaville driving for the score that would have secured the win, Josh Wellman recovered a Bulldog fumble with around three minutes remaining and breathed new life into the Trojans. From there Oak Ridge drove 80 yards and Jason Samuels threw his second touchdown pass of the game to Marcus Spain from 10 yards out with about a minute to go to put Oak Ridge in front 22-21. The two-point conversion from Samuels to Justin Priest made it 24-21. Vacaville made it to the Oak Ridge 27-yard line and attempted a 45-yard field goal in the final seconds which would have tied the score, but the kick was short. “It was a heck of a game; what a physical battle,” Cavaliere said. “Vacaville’s offense is so good and at times they wore us down. But at the end of the game we did the same thing to them. It was just a great game in a great atmosphere and a great win for us.” Earlier in the game Ryan Lamb booted a 15-yard field goal and Samuels threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Spain before Wellman scored on a 29-yard run. Samuels finished with 232 yards passing and two touchdowns, both to Spain, who caught four passes for 65 yards. Ross Dwelley had a huge game with seven receptions for 113 yards, while Wellman carried the ball 11 times for 65 yards and one score.