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Trojans trounced by Bruins, 61-35

By: Jim Stiles
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The final game of the regular season pitted the 5-4 Trojans against the visiting 6-3 Ponderosa Bruins. Both teams are headed for postseason play but winning this game was as much about pride as it was about winning a league championship and gaining playoff momentum. With senior night festivities in full swing, the Trojans had hoped to ride their five game win streak to another win, but the Bruins had other plans and dealt the home team a stunning 61-35 loss. The tone was set early when the Trojans muffed a short kickoff and turned the ball over to Ponderosa. The first play of the possession was a 26-yard pass that put the Bruins in position to run it in from the 12-yard line on the second play. In just two snaps the visitors stung the home team 7-0. After a three-and-out possession from Oak Ridge, the Bruins elusive tailback Lyndell Scarr moved the ball through the line steadily for short gains. With 4:26 in the quarter he punched through the line to put the visitors ahead 14-0. On the ensuing kickoff Oak Ridge standout Brett Thompson wove his way through the kicking team to provide the offense with great field position on the visitors 40-yard line. Tailback Jacob Allen took over with five carries for gains before quarterback Connor Benander hit Robbie Beyer on a quick slant to put Oak Ridge on the scoreboard 14-7. It only took the visitors four plays to retaliate. With 10 seconds left in the first quarter, quarterback Casey Fiederich rolled left and pitched to Scarr, who ran down the left sideline 34 yards to increase the lead 21-7. Scarr burned the home team for eight touchdown runs and five for 30 yards or more. Almost all were off-tackle and with Trojan defenders simply unable to wrap him up. Momentum shifted back and forth between the teams for awhile, but the inability of the Trojan defense to stop the evasive tailback cost them the big plays. With their backs against the wall the whole game, the Trojans never gave up. Thompson and Beyer each made crucial catches on fourth downs. The same two also were able to put the ball into the end zone and were joined by Jordan Matanane and Nick Buerki, who also scored. The loss was a shocker to the Trojans. Head coach Eric Cavaliere described the game as a dissapointment, but also as motivation to get ready for the playoffs. “We’ve been working all season on improving ourselves," Cavaliere said. "This game was a disappointment, but on Monday we start all over again and we need to take some pride into it.” JV Trojans fall, 17-7 Oak Ridge led 7-6 after three quarters on a touchdown run by Ryan Adams, but the Bruins scored 11 points in the fourth quarter to win it. Both teams played tenacious defense and punters on both sides got a lot of playing time. The fans made their presence known and the players showed emotion on the field. It was clear that this game had meaning for both teams. On their first possession in the fourth quarter, Ponderosa scored and then ran in a conversion to establish a 14-7 lead. On the first play after kickoff, the Trojans fumbled and turned over the ball. It only took the Bruins four plays to kick a 20-yard field goal and seal the game. The JV squad is done for the season and head coach Aaron Brackney characterized the team as a work in progress. “We improved week-to-week and as the season went on the team got tighter," Brackney said. "When that happened we had flashes of greatness.”