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Trojans, Bruins set to battle

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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Ponderosa’s football team has struggled the last few years, dampening somewhat, the fierce rivalry with the Trojans. This year, however, the Bruins are having their best season in recent memory and their showdown Friday at Oak Ridge has real meaning. Both teams enter the game with 1-1 records in the Delta River League, while the Trojans are 6-1 overall and the Bruins are 5-2. Oak Ridge has lost to Folsom and beat Sheldon, while the Bruins picked up a win over Jesuit before losing to Pleasant Grove. “The game with Ponderosa is always a big game because of the historic rivalry and this year it has a little extra flavor because we both have similar records,” Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere said. “On top of that, for all intents and purposes this game is for a playoff spot so it means a lot to both teams. I expect the best out of Ponderosa and expect the same out of us.” The Bruins are led by Jeff Camilli, a senior fullback and linebacker who in many cases looks like a man playing among boys. He’s only carried the ball 15 times this season, but has gained 112 yards and scored six touchdowns. He makes more of a mark on defense, as he makes it very tough to run on the Bruins, who have allowed only 81 points this season. “He’s a very good player, who looks to be on a different level,” Cavaliere said. “His a big guy physically, and for a guy his size, he shouldn’t be able to move the way he does. On top of that, he just knows how to play the game.” Oak Ridge 63, Sheldon 7 Cavaliere couldn’t have asked for a better performance out of his team on Friday night. Coming off a disappointing loss to Folsom, the Oak Ridge High football team got back to playing good football, as the Trojans jumped on Sheldon early and scored often in a 63-7 win. It was the team’s first win against Sheldon since joining the Delta River League three years ago and the first win at the Sheldon-Pleasant Grove stadium, as the team got two monkeys off their back in one win. “We needed to get off to a good start and we did and we executed well all game long,” Cavaliere said. “We brought our “A” game tonight.” Josh Wellman led the Trojans with four rushing touchdowns. Quarterbacks Jason Samuels and Jacob Sipes also had rushing touchdowns, as did running back Blake Martin. Samuels threw a touchdown pass to Byron Spain, while Cory Gregersen returned a fumbled backwards pass for 12 yards for another Oak Ridge score. “We had something to prove this week,” Wellman said. “We had a chip on our shoulder all week and we wanted to show people that we can do a lot more than we did against Folsom. This win is huge. A shout-out to the offensive line; I’ve never had four rushing touchdowns in a varsity game.” Wellman opened the scoring with a 26-yard run just 49 seconds into the game. The second score was Gregersen’s 12-yard return, and Wellman put the Trojans up 21-0 with a two-yard run and that’s how the first quarter ended. Oak Ridge scored three more times in the second quarter, starting with a six-yard pass from Jason Samuels to Byron Spain. Samuels followed with a one-yard run before Wellman scored his third touchdown on a four-yard run and a 42-0 Oak Ridge lead. Oak Ridge opened the scoring in the second half with a five-yard run by Blake Martin, before Sheldon got its only score of the game on an 89-yard kickoff return. Oak Ridge’s final score came on a 10-yard run by Wellman. After the game, Cavaliere summed up the game with one statement to his team. “We needed to get our mojo back this week and we did,” Cavaliere said. Oak Ridge’s junior varsity team picked up its first win in a month, beating Sheldon 21-6. Stephen Douglas scored two touchdowns, one on a 71-yard run, while Andrew Lackowski also scored. “It was a great defensive performance,” Oak Ridge coach Ron Short said. “We finally played with passion. It was an all-around team effort. It feels good; we needed a lift.” Dalton Santos, Nolan Book, Douglas, Griffin Prather and Tanner Emanuel led the defense, according to Short. Tackling Hunger What: Donate money or canned goods When: Friday night’s football game at Oak Ridge Benefits: Food Bank of El Dorado County How: Look for the Tackle Hunger table upon entering the stadium