Folsom rolls over Oak Ridge, 49-21

By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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In the Delta River League opener and the biggest game of the season to date for both teams, Folsom turned what most thought would be a close game and blew out Oak Ridge on their home field, 49-21. Jake Browning threw six touchdown passes, Harry Lipnosky and Phillip Carter scored a pair of touchdowns and Eddie Flores intercepted two passes to help lead the Bulldogs to victory. The win improved Folsom’s record to 6-0, while the loss was Oak Ridge’s first in six games. “Oak Ridge is a very good football team whose strength is on the lines and we were concerned coming in,” Folsom co-coach Troy Taylor said. “But our offensive line did a great job keeping Jake (Browning) up right and our defense got us some turnovers. We had the lead early and were able to run the ball in the second half to shorten the game.” Oak Ridge had hoped to beat the Bulldogs for the first time since 2006, but fell behind in the first half and weren’t able to make a comeback in the second half. “When you’re trying to play catch-up with a team that has an offense like Folsom, it’s a tough task,” Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere said. “We were outplayed tonight and out-coached. You can’t turn the ball over and fall behind Folsom and we had a chance to make some plays on defense tonight and we didn’t do it.” Folsom took a 7-0 lead on a 9-yard pass from Browning to Harry Lipnosky, one play after Folsom converted a fourth-and-10 with a 36-yard pass to Troy Knox. Oak Ridge tied the scored with a 6-yard pass from Jason Samuels to Tanner Hughes, but Folsom answered with another Browning-to-Lipnosky TD pass, this one from 30 yards out. Flores then picked off his first pass of the game and returned it to the Oak Ridge 31. Six plays later, Browning found Carter on a 7-yard TD pass on fourth down, which put Folsom up 21-7. Oak Ridge got as close as seven points the rest of the way when Samuels hooked up with Byron Spain on an 18-yard pass, but it was all Folsom after that. The Bulldogs scored two more times before halftime: the first one on a 3-yard pass to Bailey Laolagi and the second on an 8-yard pass to Knox, which came after Flores’ second pick of the game on a tipped pass by Laolagi. “It was great to have two interceptions tonight,” Flores said. “Those were my first picks since eighth grade. Oak Ridge is a lot bigger than us and a physical team, but we’re scrappy and handed it to them and got the win. It was a huge win because they were ranked number one in the section (by MaxPreps).” With a 35-14 lead at halftime, Folsom had the game in control. They tacked on a pair of touchdowns in the second half, the first on an 8-yard run by Josiah Deguara and the second on the second hook-up between Browning and Carter, this time from 11 yards out. Oak Ridge’s lone score of the second half was on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Samuels to Justin Priest. With the two turnovers, Folsom defense played a strong game and held their own against a powerful Oak Ridge offense. “We stepped up this week and shut them down,” linebacker Derek Stiles said. “Everyone did their jobs.” Offensively, the Folsom’s line gave Browning time to throw and when they do that, it usually means a win for the Bulldogs. “We played really well tonight,” said senior offensive tackle Mike D’Ottavio. “We had their scheme down and knew what we wanted to do and locked them down. The line came together and picked up everything they threw at us.” Folsom JV 35, Oak Ridge 7 Folsom improved to 6-0 with the lopsided victory. Calvin Gardner ran for two touchdowns and threw a pair of scoring passes to Lukas Hendricks to lead the way. Folsom’s other touchdown was a fumble recovery by offensive tackle Jake Coveau, who fell on the ball in the end zone for the score. “We had a couple of key players missing tonight and had some guys step up,” Folsom coach Jordan Banning said. “Kyle Markus and Pavin Pennel replaced Will Koch and Kyle Tham and Anthony Lopez replaced Wyatt Watson. Jeff Smith also played some good football tonight. Defensively, we were lights out tonight. It’s hard to lose when the other team can’t score.”