SACRAMENTO — Rebounding in resounding fashion from last week’s loss to Folsom, Oak Ridge crushed host Sheldon 63-7 in Delta River League action Friday night.
The Trojans led 49-0 before the Huskies scored on special teams. Even the high-flying, gymnastic-oriented Oak Ridge cheerleaders kicked you-know-what with their halftime performance.
“I knew this team would be prepared, bounce back and get after it tonight,” Trojan coach Eric Cavaliere said.
Oak Ridge immediately set the tone, capitalizing on Sheldon’s fumble of the opening kickoff as Joss Wellman scored the first of his four touchdowns. Troy’s defense, solid all evening, chipped in a score as Cory Gregersen alertly scooped up a botched Husky lateral pass and ran it in.
Oak Ridge’s offensive balance of Jason Samuels’ passing and the running of Wellman, Blake Martin and Tanner Hughes moved the chains all evening.
“When we can run the ball it’s hard to defend us and getting off to a good start makes all the difference,” Cavaliere said.
Credit for Troy’s success on the ground goes to center Kareem Ballal, Gregersen, Hekoti Chapman, Tuita Chapman and Jacob Proul who opened the holes for Wellman and Co. Wellman opened the scoring when he went in untouched from 26 yards out.
“The offensive line was outstanding and worked hard all week,” Wellman said. “We had a chip on our shoulder from last week and felt like we had something to prove. That first touchdown was textbook the way it was drawn up.”
The blowout was evident early. Wellman’s 4-yard run made it 21-zip in the first quarter and Samuels’ 6-yard slant to Byron Spain extended as the second got underway. Oak Ridge led 42-0 at the break after Samuels followed Ballal in from the 5 — after hooking up with Justin Priest for 60 yards — and Wellman dove in from the 3.
The Trojan defense pitched a shutout and dropped numerous Huskies for no gain and, in several instances, for losses. Senior Zack Claiborne picked up another sack when he dropped Sheldon quarterback Nolan Merker who, despite throwing a nice ball, never found his rhythm against the Troy secondary.
“Our game plan was perfect and we were hitting well. We knew what was coming, every single formation,” Oak Ridge senior Chad Augood said. “We played hard, had our intensity up and looked to redeem ourselves.”
Martin’s 7-yard run, Jacob Sipes’ 4-yard scamper and Wellman’s 10-yard burst all went for second-half touchdowns. Trojan kicker Ryan Lamb was a perfect 9-0f-9 in point-after-kicks out of Victor Bunce’s hold.