Trojans run over Union Mine, 38-13

By: Jim Stiles, Telegraph Correspondent
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In a league win over the visiting Union Mine Diamondbacks on Friday night, Oak Ridge learned about trust on its way to a 38-13 victory. Head coach Eric Cavaliere placed his trust in senior running back Jacob Allen, calling his number for 32 carries. Allen put his trust in his offensive line to open up numerous holes in the Diamondback defense. The whole Trojan team trusted in the big-play ability of the Trojan defense. In this game they all delivered. On their second possession, Oak Ridge drove the ball around the ends to the Union Mine 12-yard line, but only managed a field goal from Robbie Beyer for an early 3-0 lead. Halfway through the second quarter Oak Ridge struck again, this time on a touchdown on a pass from Connor Benander to Beyer down the right side. Beyer also contributed the point after and increased the Trojan lead 10-0. Just three minutes later Union Mine found paydirt from the nine-yard line on a quarterback draw down the middle to narrow the deficit 10-7. With only 40 seconds left in the first half, Benander threw a hitch pass to the right side and Allen finished the play with a stunning 35-yard run and hurdle to finish in the end zone, putting the Trojans up 17-7 at the break. The Diamondbacks mounted a running attack of their own in the third quarter and advanced to the 11-yard line. From there running back Paden Gee found enough daylight to put the ball in the end zone to narrow the deficit to 17-13. Oak Ridge, however, slammed the door in the fourth quarter with three unanswered touchdowns, two by Allen and another on a pass reception by Colby Wilmer. While the Trojans displayed an impressive offense, Cavaliere gave credit to players on both sides of the ball. “Our defense had several red-zone situations but they always managed to get the turnover or the stop when it counted,” he said. “This is a good Union Mine team, but our offensive line simply wore them down, creating all our run opportunities.” Defensively Oak Ridge dealt the visitors five sacks, two of those from Robbie Demaso, and three interceptions (Tommy Massa, Bobby Braman, Dequarius Leggett), each ending red zone drives by Union Mine. Next week Oak Ridge plays host to Cordova. JV Facing league competitor Union Mine, the home team Oak Ridge Trojans played a strategic game, locating the opponent’s weaknesses and exploiting them. Fullback Jake Hamilton ran the ball hard and often, relying on inspired play from his interior offensive line of guards Josh Gallagher and Cody Frakes and center Alan Petterle. The Trojans and Diamondbacks took turns scoring in the first half. Oak Ridge quarterback Frank Trifeletti found Lance Berringer and Dylan Collie for two scores and Hamilton ran another in to give the Trojans a 21-14 lead at halftime. Union Mine scored with 6:17 left in the third quarter, but that was the last points either team earned in the game. A clutch fourth quarter interception by Collie in the end zone ensured that the home team would seal the win at 21-20. “League opponents are always more competitive, the intensity is just somehow higher,” Oak Ridge coach Aaron Brackney said. “It comes down to who wants it more. Tonight, on offense, our line did, and they controlled the game.”