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Trojans open with big win over Vista del Lago

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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When a team has a running back run for 100 yards, its chances of victory are pretty good. When nearly two running backs gain 100 yards, it’s almost a sure thing. Oak Ridge nearly accomplished that feat with the dynamic duo of Josh Wellman and Blake Martin, as the Trojans broke open a close game at halftime and rolled to a 42-6 victory over Vista del Lago on Friday in the opening game of the season. Wellman ran the ball 13 times for 111 yards and two scores, while Martin had 15 carries for 97 yards and one score. For good measure, Jericho Hallare gained 38 yards on seven carries and also scored once. Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere was excited with how well his team played and is excited to have a one-two combination of Wellman and Martin. “Those guys are a heck of a one-two punch,” Cavaliere said. “We’re so fortunate to have those guys. They’re very unselfish and they compliment each other so well.” The big Trojan offensive line paved the way for Wellman and Martin, opening big holes at times and at other times, holes just big enough for the fast and quick runners to squirt through, and from their the backs relied on their speed to do the damage. “We came out slow in the first half, but our defense held and then our offense picked it up,” Martin said. “The line made us (Josh and I) look good tonight. We just played with a better mentality and physicality in the second half.” The Trojans now focus on Rocklin, who they play Friday on the road. “Rocklin is always a well-coached, fundamentally-sound team and playing at Rocklin is always a fun because they have a great atmosphere there,” Cavaliere said. “We’ll have to be better Friday to win.” The Trojans found themselves in a battle with Vista at halftime, leading only 14-6 at halftime after the Eagles returned a kick 89 yards for a score just before halftime to take some momentum into the locker room. However, that momentum didn’t follow the Eagles out to the field in the third quarter. Oak Ridge took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 80 yards on 10 plays, leading to an 8-yard-run by Wellman with 9:15 to play. The drive featured a 23-yard run from Wellman and also a third-and-11 conversion on a pass from Jason Samuels to Byron Spain the play before Wellman’s touchdown run to keep the drive alive. “At halftime we felt the first drive of the second half would be the most important drive of the game,” Vista coach Chris Jones said. “It definitely turned out to be a game changer. They scored and then we had a three-and-out and then had a high snap that led to another score. Once momentum changes to the other side, it’s tough to get it back.” Vista never got the momentum back. After Oak Ridge scored to open the second half, they forced the Eagles to punt after a three-and-out and the snap sailed over punter Evan Ewey’s head. Hallare recovered the ball at the one-yard line and on the next play, he took the ball in the end zone and a 27-6 lead. Ryan Lamb’s extra point, one of six on the night, made it 28-6 and the rout was on. The Eagles went three-and-out again on their next possession and Oak Ridge started its next drive on the Eagle 40-yard line. Seven plays later and the Trojans were in the end zone again, this time on a 12-yard pass from Samuels to Trent Buenzli. Oak Ridge opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Samuels to Brad Buenzli. The Trojans made it 14-0 late in the second half when Martin scored on a 25-yard run. The touchdown came one play after Cory Gregersen recovered a Vista del Lago fumble. “When we needed a play tonight, we got it,” Cavaliere said. “We settled down offensively in the third quarter and made some adjustments. Once we got into rhythm we played the way we’re capable of playing. That third quarter was huge. We just took over.” Junior Varsity Vista 15, Oak Ridge 13 Oak Ridge led 13-0 with less than a quarter to play, but couldn’t hold on, as Vista scored twice in the final six minutes to gain the victory. Giuseppe Scalise scored on a fumble recovery and Ryan Sullivan found the end zone to account for Oak Ridge’s two touchdowns, which staked the Trojans out to a 13-0 lead at halftime. “Defensively, we played well until the fourth quarter and we never got the offense going,” Oak Ridge coach Ron Short said. “We made some mental mistakes. This one is hard to take.” Freshman Trojans 33, Vista del Lago 0 Oak Ridge freshmen beat Vista del Lago 33-0 on Thursday evening in Folsom. Brock Martin score twice on passes from Ian Book and Luke Woehler returned an interception for a touchdown. “We were fortunate to control this game on the defensive line of scrimmage,”?Assistant coach Mark Cooper said. “The outstanding play of John Moestopo, Brandon Claiborne, Nick Diaz-Kokaisl, Hayden Hughes and Ricky Rios really set the tone for the game.”