FOLSOM — In a game much closer than the final score indicated, Oak Ridge dropped its first Delta River League game of the year in a 35-0 loss to Folsom.
The Trojans picked off Folsom quarterback Jake Browning five times Friday but failed to put points on the board.
“Defensively, we played well all night. Folsom’s tough to stop. The key for us tonight is we just couldn’t execute on offense like we needed, and part of that’s on us, but also credit to Folsom. They’re really good up front, and that’s where they beat us, up front,” Trojan coach Eric Cavaliere said.
Folsom grabbed the lead 12 seconds into the game when Cole Thompson took the opening kickoff 87 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown. Oak Ridge went 3-and-out on its first drive, but the Bulldogs dropped the punt and the Trojans recovered deep in Folsom territory.
A couple of first down passes from Ian Book to Jacob Sipes and Tyler Allie set up Oak Ridge with first and goal from the 9 yard line, but they couldn’t punch it in and Adam Walter’s field goal was blocked.
Oak Ridge’s defense continued to play strong. After giving up a long drive to the Bulldogs, the Trojans forced and recovered a fumble close to their own goal line, keeping the vaunted Folsom offense out of the end zone. Oak Ridge made a couple of first downs, but on a second and 5 from its own 42 yard line, Book was sacked and fumbled. Folsom’s Bailey Laologi recovered, but the next play Oak Ridge’s Nick Menendez intercepted a Browning pass, saving the Trojans again.
Headed into the second quarter trailing 7-0, Oak Ridge looked to take control but Eddie Flores stepped in front of a Book pass for an interception. The Trojan defense stood strong again, forcing a fourth and 6, but Folsom went for it and after scrambling away from rushers, Browning found Bryan Weldy across the field for a 28-yard touchdown and a 14-0 advantage.
Sipes took the ensuing kickoff into Folsom territory, but Oak Ridge ended up punting again. The Trojan defense forced a punt, and on fourth and 2 at the Folsom 36 Book found a wide open Allie in the end zone, but he dropped the pass. Both teams traded of failed drives as the Bulldogs led 14-0 at halftime.
Oak Ridge (0-1, 5-1) received the second half kickoff, but went three and out and were forced to punt. Folsom drove 89 yards down the field and helped by a couple of Trojan penalties, Laologi capped off the drive with a short touchdown run.
Late in the third, Oak Ridge’s Drew Lackowski picked off Browning for his second time but the Folsom defense forced another punt from the Trojans. Browning drove the Bulldogs down for their fourth touchdown of the evening, stretching the score to 28-0 on a 42-yard strike to Josiah Deguara. Folsom added another TD late en route to the shutout win.
Oak Ridge (0-1, 5-1) now turns its attention to Sheldon this Friday.
‘We just got to get our first win in the Delta River League,” Cavaliere said. “That’s what we need to focus on, and right now that’s against Sheldon. We’re going to come out Monday, have a great week of practice, and let it play out on Friday night.”
Note: Former Mountain Democrat Sports Editor Liz Kane’s granddaughter, Jess Brandt, kicked the halftime field goal for 52 Chick-fil-a’s Friday. She’s a soccer player and a Bulldog sophomore.