Trojans next challenge: Del Oro on Friday

By: Matt Long
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A 3-0 start has Oak Ridge High’s varsity football team feeling good, but another big test is waiting for them Friday. The team is thrilled to be at home for the first time this season on Friday, but the opponent, Del Oro, is as tough as they come. “They’re something else,” Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere said. “Every year they’re a top-3 program and this year is no exception. They’re fast and they’re physical, well coached and they play hard.” Del Oro is 1-2 on the year and is probably glad to see Oak Ridge, and that’s not a slight on the Trojans. Del Oro is coming off a 47-7 loss to Clovis West and they dropped a 38-13 decision to Bishop Gorman in the season opener. The team’s lone win is a 41-19 victory against Bullard. All three teams are among the strongest in their respective areas every year. After not playing the Eagles for two seasons, Cavaliere is glad to have them back on the schedule because they challenge his team. “They’ve had the physical edge on us in the past and they’ve got some big guys again this year,” Cavaliere said. “We have to play up to their level of physicality. We have to play tough, physical football on both sides of the ball to beat them.” The Trojans are coming off their third straight victory, this one another impressive effort against Cordova resulting in a 49-7 victory. Will Tostenson and Willie Tucker had another great game for the Trojans and Cordova couldn’t stop them. Tostenson completed 12-of-17 passes for 224 yards and threw four touchdowns, three to Tucker. Tucker had 123 receiving yards and also recovered a fumble in the end zone for a fourth touchdown. “Will and Willie were pretty darn good again,” Cavaliere said. “Will has been so efficient and so coachable and he’s been really smart. Willie has been a man among boys in the secondary. He’s just been bigger, stronger and faster than anyone else.” The duo hooked up for Oak Ridge’s first score with 4:43 to play in the first quarter on a 27-yard pass. Cordova tied the game at seven early in the second, but didn’t find the end zone again. Less than two minutes later, Tostenson hit Tucker again for a 28-yard touchdown and Oak Ridge led 14-7. “They kind of shut down our run game, but we did what we needed to do in the passing game and that was key,” Tostenson said. Tucker added, “We’ve been together since seventh grade so it’s like we know what each other are thinking. We started a little slow offensively tonight, but we picked it up and took off in the second half.” Oak Ridge scored one more time before the half when Tucker recovered an Oak Ridge fumble in the end zone. Tucker converted a fourth-and-10 on a fake punt to extend the opening possession of the second half and that led to his third touchdown and most impressive catch, hauling in a 12-yard throw from Tostenson on fourth down. That put Oak Ridge up 28-7. Forty-one seconds later after Cordova muffed the kickoff and Oak Ridge recovered, Tostenson hit Dylan Collie on a fly pattern down the side line for a 41-yard score and the rout was on. Preston Dean and Frank Trifeletti scored on short touchdown runs in the fourth quarter to finish the scoring. JV Trojans 42, Cordova 6 Quarterback Jason Samuels had a great game, throwing four touchdown passes and running for another, as the Trojans crushed the Lancers. Josh Simms caught two touchdown passes, while Samuels also hooked up with Blake Martin and Brad Buenzli for scores. Oak Ridge’s sixth touchdown came on a 38-yard run by David Nelson. “It was nice to put a lot of things together and play well,” Oak Ridge coach Ron Short said. “The team stayed focused the whole game and kept the intensity up. We executed well on the offensive and defensive lines and we were physical for four quarters. It was important to have a good experience in preparation for Del Oro next week.”