EL DORADO HILLS — Tomorrow, Oak Ridge returns to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section’s D-I game, this time against Delta River League foe Folsom at 7:30 p.m. at Sacramento State.
Defense will be the name of the game.
Trojan defensive coordinator Darren Jountz guides a defense yielding 15.9 points per outing against a potent Bulldogs’ offense that scores 52.6 points per game. In the team’s first matchup, a 35-0 setback, Oak Ridge intercepted Folsom quarterback Jake Browning five times.
Jonutz and Trojan head coach Eric Cavaliere have known each other since 2004 season when they were Ponderosa co-coaches for one season.
“Darren was a part of that program for several years prior and still wanted to be a part of it,” recalled Cavaliere.
The Bruins went 4-6 that season. Afterwards, Cavaliere stepped down when his family moved to Arizona while Jonutz stayed as head coach.
In 2006, Cavaliere returned to El Dorado County, landing a teaching job at Oak Ridge and returned to the sidelines as an assistant coach under Chris Jones. In 2008, Cavaliere took over for Jones left for Vista del Lago.
Jonutz joined Cavaliere’s staff for the 2011 season. Since then, the two have cranked out winning records in Division I and made great strides in the postseason.
“Bringing Darren into Oak Ridge was a highly improbable thought, seeing how Darren had geared a ton of his coaching motivation toward beating Oak Ridge in the past,” Cavaliere said.
While Folsom’s defense can punish an opponent, Browning’s quick-strike capability will be first and foremost on the Trojans’ mind.
“They are who they are and they are good at it,” Cavaliere said. “I place a lot of trust in Darren — he’s very good at what he does, and it goes beyond X’s and O’s.”
It’s hard to think another five inteceptions tomorrow won’t lead to points. Regardless, the Oak Ridge offense must stay on the field to keep Folsom’s sidelined. Defensively, the Trojans (12-1) need to string together some three-and-outs, a rarity against the Bulldogs (13-0).
“We are excited about getting back to the D-I game,” said Cavaliere, “but getting there is one thing and now we are looking to get there and win.”
Note: Tickets for Saturday’s game can be purchased in advance at Oak Ridge High’s Finance Window, located at the south side of the Administration Building A, between the hours of 7:15 to 8:30 a.m., 12:30 to 1 p.m. and 2:50 to 3:30 p.m.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.