By Cody Holliday
SHINGLE SPRINGS — Visiting Oak Ridge turned in solid performances on both sides of the ball Friday and blanked Ponderosa 41-0 in Delta River League football action before a packed crowd.
Troys’ victory marked the end of the Trojan-Bruin rivalry dating back to the early 80s. With lots of pregame and halftime festivities, it was a game like none other in the long-running series.
“This has been a great rivalry and as far as league games tonight was the final one,” Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere said. “Were going to play Ponderosa the next two years in the preseason and after that hopefully we can continue things. It’s a great thing for these communities and it’s always a great atmosphere.”
Oak Ridge was quick to score as it turned its first possession of the game into quick points when Ian Book connected with Trent Buenzli on a fourth and two play for a 28-yard touchdown. The Trojans then took advantage of a Jacob Sipes interception on the Bruins’ ensuing possession as Book hooked up with Justin Priest on a 26-yard score and a 14-0 lead.
“We were really able to run the ball well and that opened up a lot of things for us,” Cavaliere said. ” Our guys made plays tonight and played really physical and that was great to see.”
Drew Lackowski led the Trojans with 106 yards on four carries. Josh Wellman added 72 yards and Tanner Hughes finished with 65 as the Trojans amassed 316 on the ground.
While the Trojan offense was off to a quick start, the Bruins never got going. Trailing by two scores the Bruins punted on their next possessions and watched as the Trojans extended their lead as Tanner Woods scored on a 21-yard run early into the second quarter.
“We didn’t play hard and we didn’t play smart tonight,” Ponderosa coach Jason Tenner said. ” You can’t win playing a good football team like that (Oak Ridge).
The Trojans tallied one final first-half score as Book found Priest in the end zone for an 8-yard score with just 14 seconds left in the first half.
“I thought that touchdown going into the half was huge,” Cavaliere said. “It gave us a lot of momentum going into the break.”
Neither team’s offense had much going in the third quarter till late when the Trojans found the end zone again as Hughes caught Book’s fourth touchdown of the game. Book finished with 152 yards passing. Justin Priest led the team with 95 on seven catches. Buenzli added 46 on two receptions.
With their passing game ineffective for most of the game the Bruins fought hard for yards on the ground. Austin Tibbs led the team with 63 yards rushing on 18 carries, Ryan Edleman added 36 and Kevin Ackernecht chipped in with 15 as the Bruins managed just 132 yards of offense.
“Tonight it looked like we didn’t practice, like we didn’t know what we were doing,” said Tenner of his team’s struggles. “As a coach I’m embarrassed because we put way too much time in for that to be the end product.”
Troy added a late score as Josh Clevenger scored on a 5-yard run.