Trojans enter bye week undefeated at 3-0By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
Oak Ridge’s varsity football team had a break through win a year ago against Reed, leading to a 9-1 regular season, the team’s first since 2013.
Last Friday the team had another first, beating Reed for the first time in three meetings on their home turf in Sparks, NV. Oak Ridge held a slim 14-7 lead at halftime, but controlled the game in the second half on its way to a 42-13 win. The Trojans improved to 3-0 win the victory.
“We didn’t play our best football in the first half, but other than that things went really well,” Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere said. “It’s hard to get off the bus after that long drive and play well, and we’ve never been able to do that. We were able to turn it around in the second half.”
The Trojans have only allowed 33 points in three games this season, and the team’s defense was strong on Friday night. Stopping the run made a big difference, as Reed only managed 2.1 yards per rush, finishing with only 57 rushing yards on 27 carries. Sam Sanders made 10 tackles to lead the team, while Justin Lamson, Ryan Enney and Nathan Addleman each made seven. Vincent Mini was in on six. Addleman had two tackles for a loss, while Enney and Lamson each had one.
Addleman and Mason Walsh each had a sack. Lamson and Mujahid Samad picked off passes with Samad returning his for a score. Anthony Whiting and Jacob Crannell recovered fumbles.
“We shut down the run and that forced them to pass the ball,” Cavaliere said. “They were able to pass protect well, and they had time to throw, especially early, but we didn’t give up any big plays and we were able to get a couple turnovers. Our defense played well.”
Offensively, the Trojans were balanced with two rushing touchdowns and three through the air. Addleman rushed for 99 yards and one touchdown, while Mitchell Anderson gained 87 yards with a score.
Quarterback Matt Jenner only completed eight passes, but they went for 120 yards and three touchdowns. Avant Jacobs, Gage King and Gui Lozada hauled in touchdown passes from Jenner.
The offensive line played well for the Trojans.
“It always starts up front,” Cavaliere said. “The years Reed has beaten us, they’ve been better up front. The years we’ve beaten them, we’ve been better up front and that was the case on Friday. Our line play has been the strength of our team up to this point.”
After a 3-0 start, Oak Ridge has a bye week this week before opening up Sierra Foothill League play Sept. 14 at Folsom.
“It feels early to have a bye week, but we’ll take it when it comes,” Cavaliere said. “It’s better than it was a few years ago when we had it week 10. We’ll work on ourselves this week, and a week from today we’ll start focusing on Folsom.”