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Trojans aim for upset against Bulldogs

By: Matt Long
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Oak Ridge got just what they needed Friday night in terms of a 51-15 win over Jesuit in a game in which they played well in every facet. It’s a good tune-up to what they’re going to have to do at home this Friday against Folsom, undefeated in the Delta River League and coming off impressive wins over Pleasant Grove and Sheldon, two teams that crushed the Trojans. Oak Ridge, however, is playing this game on the friendly confines of their home turf and as if they needed it, has the extra incentive to beat a rival from just down Highway 50. “Our guys have never beaten Folsom and that goes back to youth football,” Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere said. “There’s nothing our seniors want more than to beat Folsom and this is their opportunity to do it. It’s our chance to play spoiler against the second-best team in the area and probably a top-10 team in the state.” To beat Folsom Cavaliere knows his team will have to slow the Folsom offense and that starts with quarterback Dano Graves. “We have to try to neutralize Graves and getting him to stop his feet,” Cavaliere said. “We don’t want him running the ball or throwing the ball on the run and that type of thing. After that, we believe their second-best player is (Tyler) Trosin, so we have to try to take him away. After that they’ve got several other weapons so it remains difficult.” Oak Ridge 51, Jesuit 15 The Trojans took care of business quickly and emphatically, scoring on its first two offensive series. Will Tostenson was the one that got the Trojans off to a rip-roaring start, hitting Ryan Adams in the flat and Adams did the rest racing 75 yards for a touchdown. On Oak Ridge’s very next series the senior quarterback stepped up in the pocket and launched a perfect pass to Willie Tucker for a 49-yard score and from there the Trojans never looked back. “Our kids were really well prepared tonight,” Cavaliere said. “This was a playoff-like atmosphere for us and we were firing on all cylinders and good things happen when we do that.” Jesuit scored a touchdown to make it 14-7, but Oak Ridge went on to score the next 27 points to put the contest away. In that span, Tostenson threw two more touchdown passes to Adams again and Jordan Matanane. J.D. Smith kicked two field goals and then Preston Dean blocked a punt, picked it up and scampered 11 yards for another score. Dean would go on to score a 32-yard touchdown run and Smith kicked one more field goal as Oak Ridge’s offense had 513 yards of total offense. Tostenson completed 12-of-17 passes for 265 yards, Tucker had five receptions for 119 yards and Matanane rushed for 148 yards, as the Trojans offense seemed very motivated. That motivation likely came from potential free food for any Oak Ridge player that scored a touchdown, courtesy of Beach Hut Deli, according to Cavaliere. But a quick start was just as imperative. “Getting off to fast start was very important,” Oak Ridge fullback and defensive end Ryan Adams said. “If we didn’t this game would have been a lot closer.” Oak Ridge will now attempt to earn a home playoff game as it hosts Delta River League champion and state-ranked Folsom on Friday. “Right now we are undefeated at home and about 85 percent of us have been playing Folsom since we were junior peewees and they have always beaten us,” Adams said. “If we can pull off an upset of them it will make our whole senior year.” Jesuit JV 22, Oak Ridge JV 19 – In a battle for the DRL championship it was the Marauders who prevailed in a thrilling contest. “They made plays when they needed too,” Oak Ridge JV coach Ron Short said. “Our kids played with heart and Oak Ridge passion. These kids have a great future.” Jason Samuels threw two touchdowns; one each to Ross Dwelley and Byron Spain and Blake Martin also had a touchdown run for Oak Ridge (7-2, 3-1). Matt Mills contributed to this article.