With an explosive first quarter that included a pair of touchdowns on its first two offensive series and some of the most relentless defensive plays seen this season, the Oak Ridge High football team showed visiting Jesuit it wasn’t about to let a brutal loss to Pleasant Grove ruin the rest of the season.
After scoring just three points last week and yielding 49, the Trojans put it all together Friday on both sides of the ball and pounded the Marauders 51-15 in Delta River League action.
The victory improved Oak Ridge to 2-2 in league and improved the team’s playoff positioning. Likely heeding the gloomy weather and impending rain, fans were fewer in numbers but there was still plenty of noise to go around for the men in blue and gold. Most who did show carried umbrellas that came in handy at the start of the fourth quarter.
After winning the toss, Oak Ridge captains deferred to Jesuit which elected to receive. The Marauder’s return team brought Trojan kicker Jon David Smith’s kick to the 24-yard line where linebacker Preston Dean made his first of many tackles of the night. Following an initial first down by Jesuit, Oak Ridge held them at the 45, forcing a punt.
Trojan Quarterback Will Tostenson sprung into action on Troy’s first offensive play of the night in connecting with Ryan Adams. Oak Ridge blockers left him a gaping hole that sent Jesuit’s defensive backs chasing Adams all the way to the end zone.
After another short offensive series that forced a second punt, the Trojan offense took the ball once again at their 45 and Tostenson connected with Dylan Collie for a 50-yard touchdown pass. Jesuit’s offense then took some of the wind out of Oak Ridge’s sails with a short touchdown pass after a grueling offensive series and the Trojan offense scrambled to answer before the end of the first quarter. Running back Jordan Matanane picked up 40 yards in several plays but after a couple of close calls, Oak Ridge failed to score.
The second quarter began with Oak Ridge struggling for a third touchdown. Following a 10-yard holding penalty, the hosts opted for a 30-yard field goal. Smith’s kick was straight between the uprights to make it 17-7 in favor of the Trojans.
Jesuit’s next offensive series was short-lived, thanks to a fumble recovered by Dean and a revitalized Trojan offense steadily moved the ball down the field. Tostenson connected with an almost-kneeling Adams in the back corner of the end zone for touchdown No. 3.
Oak Ridge picked up right where they left off at the start of the second half as the Tostenson-Matanane train kept rolling toward the end zone during the first series, climaxing with a 20-yard touchdown run by Matanane. The third quarter saw another 30-yard field goal by Oak Ridge and the play of the game by Preston Dean on a punt return: he successfully blocked a punt, picked it up and ran for a 40-yard touchdown.
The Trojan defense hardly missed a beat the entire game and made the Marauders work for any yards gained. But a momentary lapse before the end of the quarter did send a Jesuit runner sailing for the team’s second and final touchdown, ending with a successful two-point conversion.