Trojans face Folsom in regular season finale

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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One of Oak Ridge’s goals this season was to make the playoffs. With a 14-3 win over Jesuit on Saturday, the Trojans have accomplished the goal. While a Delta River League title is out of the question, the Trojans would love to finish the regular season with a win over rival Folsom, a team that has beaten the Trojans four seasons in a row. Oak Ridge might have to do so without its top three quarterbacks. Starter Jason Samuels has been out weeks with a broken collarbone, while Frank Trifeletti has been out the entire year with a knee injury. Dylan Collie, who has gone from top wide receiver to quarterback, injured his right shoulder against Jesuit and as of Sunday he couldn’t raise his right hand above his shoulder. That leaves Collie’s backup, Sean O’Donnell, or junior varsity quarterback Jacob Sipes as the starter Friday if Collie can’t go. Collie said Sunday evening, however, that it’s going to take a lot to keep him out of the game. “I’m doing good,” Collie said. “Under the emotions of the game and trying to throw yesterday, it made it worse than it really was. I have to go to a specialist Monday for more tests, but I think my shoulder just needs some physical rehab. I’ve never missed a football game in my career at any level and it’s going to take quite a bit to keep me off the field. On top of that it’s my last regular season game and it’s against Folsom and that’s a special rivalry.” The Trojans have a big test on Friday with Folsom, a team that will be eager to rebound from its loss to Pleasant Grove. Oak Ridge, however, is coming off a superb defensive effort against Jesuit, where they intercepted four passes. “Our defense played awesome,” Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere said. “We’re really pleased with them. Coach (Darren) Jonutz had a great game play and kids followed through with the execution. They’re a really intelligent group and have bought into watching film, studying and executing a game plan.” Trojans defense holds Jesuit at bay, win 14-3 With a Saturday afternoon victory over Jesuit, the Oak Ridge Trojans moved one step closer to earning a spot in the postseason. The Trojans mixed a swarming secondary with a steady ground-and-pound attack to control the tempo of the game and beat the Marauders, 14-3 at Loyola Field. The Trojans (6-3) picked off a two passes in each half, nullifying the Marauder air attack. Matt Howard, making his first start, took away a pass at the end of the first quarter. Oak Ridge punted on the ensuing possession but the Trojan defense manufactured a three-and-out against Jesuit, which allowed quarterback Dylan Collie to scramble 56 yards to the house on the first play of the next Trojan drive. On Jesuit’s next drive, Brandon Herd stepped in and nearly returned a pick-six 55 yards before being brought down at the Marauder four-yard line. Preston Dean took the handoff on the next play for the Trojans’ second score of the day to go up 14-0. “We watched a lot of film this week and it paid off for us,” said Herd, who was one of four Trojans with an interception on Saturday. “We haven’t really been attacked that often in the secondary this year. We just had a lot of guys getting in the right spots in the right coverage.” Jake Rosada was next in line for the Trojan interception carousel, hauling one in at the end of the third and Ben Sweet completed the pick party on the first play of Jesuit’s next drive with 6:43 remaining. The stingy Trojan defense only gave up one field goal in three attempts from Andrew Nave, while preventing the Marauders from reaching the red zone throughout the entire game. Once the offense got the ball, Oak Ridge was able to efficiently manage the clock as five rushers totaled 233 yards, led by Dean with 87. “I believe this win means that we’ve earned ourselves an 11th week, which is obviously the postseason. That’s where you want to be and we needed that second win in league to get there. The kids came through and played hard and we got it today,” said Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere, whose Trojans now are even at 2-2 in the Delta River League. “We don’t have a bunch of superstars that are going to get scholarships all over the place but they practice hard, they’re coachable, they know schemes and study film. Their work ethic really showed as we were a step ahead of Jesuit all day today.” Oak Ridge’s final game is Friday night at Folsom High. Should the Trojans take down the Bulldogs, Oak Ridge would have a good chance at hosting a first round playoff game. JV Trojans 28, Marauders 14 The JV Trojans took a 28-0 shutout all the way until four minutes left in the game. The Trojans are now 4-0 in Delta River League and the win ensured at very least a tie for the league title with one week remaining in the season. Oak Ridge got receiving touchdowns from Justin Priest and Trent Buenzli while getting scoring runs from Josh Wellman and Tanner Hughes. “What these guys put out on the field today was wonderful. The last four games, these guys have really begun to get what it means to play Oak Ridge football. I’m really proud of them,” said Oak Ridge coach Ron Short, whose team will challenge Folsom this week for a chance at an outright league championship. “Oak Ridge/Folsom is a big rivalry. It’s going to come down to who wants it more. It’s going to be a good game; what rivalries are all about.” Nick Pecoraro contributed to this article.