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Trojans quickly shift focus after loss

By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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by Matt Long Telegraph sports editor Oak Ridge’s loss to Sheldon Friday night left a sour taste in the collective mouth of the team, but the coaches and players quickly put the loss behind. Immediately after the game when the team huddled up to discuss the loss, the coaches briefly spoke about the night’s performance before looking ahead to this week’s opponent, archrival Ponderosa. The Bruins, 2-4 on the season, are coming off a blowout loss to Pleasant Grove, 58-7. With virtually no shot at the playoffs, the Bruins’ season would be made if they could beat their rivals in front of a big home crowd. The Oak Ridge coaches made sure to let their players know it too. Suffice to say, the Trojans will be ready for the Bruins. Dylan Collie will be back behind center for his second game as quarterback, despite the fact that he was bitten by the turnover bug against Sheldon. Turnovers aside, however, the Trojans moved the ball very well on the ground against Sheldon, gaining 266 yards on 46 carries. Preston Dean rushed for 156 yards on 26 carries, while Collie ran the ball 10 times for 67 yards. If they have the same type of success Friday night, without the turnovers, a victory over the Bruins will be there for the taking. Sheldon 28, Trojans 23 When a football team commits seven turnovers the chances of it having a chance to win are slim to none. Oak Ridge High’s varsity football team, however, was 43 yards from victory on Friday night before the final turnover ended the game and the Trojans were on the wrong side of a 28-23 final score, a Delta River League opening loss to Sheldon. As it turned out, the Trojans would have had a great chance to win the game had they only committed six turnovers. Sheldon returned one of Oak Ridge’s five fumbles for a score late in the first half. Also earlier in the game, it appeared Trojan quarterback Dylan Collie broke the plane of the end zone for a touchdown, but the referees never signaled and the next thing anyone knew the ball was on the ground bouncing toward the five-yard line. Sheldon scooped the ball up and returned it the 19-yard line and retained possession of the ball there. The loss stung the Trojans, as a chance for an unbeaten league record is now gone and a league championship is also unlikely, as either Pleasant Grove or Folsom has the potential to run the table. The Trojans were able to make a game of it, however, with nothing other than heart. Offensively, the Trojans physically dominated Sheldon up front, as Preston Dean (26 carries, 156 yards) and Collie (10 carries, 67 yards) ran the ball up the middle of the defense for most of the night. Defensively, Oak Ridge gave up a couple big plays, but otherwise controlled the Huskies and came up with several big stops in the second half to keep the team in the game. Collie, quarterbacking his first game since his freshman year after the injury to Jason Samuels last week, struggled. Although he threw for two touchdowns, he completed only four out of 13 passes and was picked off twice. After the game the Oak Ridge coaches were all positive, all telling the players how proud of them they were for fighting as hard as they did. “We were put in the tough situation with basically losing two quarterbacks in the last three weeks,” Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere said. “We made good adjustments and played with a lot of heart tonight. We just made too many mistakes and this is our league. If you don’t play your best you’re not going to win. To make as many mistakes and turnovers as we made and still have a chance to win says a lot about our heart.” Oak Ridge turned the ball over on the first play from scrimmage when after a 10-yard gain Collie fumbled. Two plays later Sheldon scored and took a 7-0 lead. The Trojans moved the ball down the field on their second possession before Collie wasn’t given the touchdown and Sheldon recovered his second fumble. Oak Ridge finally got on the board with a 30-yard field goal by JD Smith. Jake Rosada, who played a strong game defensively, ended Sheldon’s next drive with a blocked punt that set up his team’s first touchdown, a 4-yard pass from Collie to Dean. Bobby Gatta followed with a 65-yard interception return to give the Trojans full control and a 17-7 lead. The Huskies, however, scored on the next play on an 80-yard run which made the score 17-14. The Trojans couldn’t capitalize on a Rosada interception when Collie’s third fumble was returned for a touchdown and Oak Ridge trailed 21-17 at halftime. After Oak Ridge’s fourth turnover to begin the second half, Sheldon scored to take a 28-17 lead. The Trojans cut it to 28-23 with an 18-yard pass from Collie to Lance Berringer with 4:41 to play, but that’s as close as they got. Oak Ridge JV 34, Sheldon 21 Tanner Hughes scored twice and Dylan Sipes threw for one touchdown and ran for another in a convincing win in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicates. The Trojans opened up a 27-0 lead and cruised the rest of the way. Josh Wellman also scored on a touchdown run, while Trent Buenzli hauled in Sipes’ touchdown pass. “It was a good all-around performance, a pretty mistake-free game,” Oak Ridge coach Ron Short said. “We were much more physical this week on both sides of the ball and defensively, we did an outstanding job. On offense we were unstoppable.” OR frosh 35, Stagg 0 The Trojans improved to 6-1, as quarterback Craig Holloway led the offense to a pair of early touchdowns to lead the way, while the team received stellar offensive line play from Logan Delwiche, Tony Bollinger, Hunter Wheeler, Giuseppe Scalise, Hunter Spriggs and Alex Chisick. Quarterback Ryan Sullivan threw touchdown passes to Chisick and Scott Douglas.