Trojans move to 2-0 with 21-7 win over Rocklin

By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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A fake punt call with just under four minutes left in the game ultimately sealed the victory for the Oak Ridge Trojans on Friday night at home against Rocklin. Jake Rosada took a fourth-and-four handoff and got just enough yardage to pick up the first down. Two plays later, Preston Dean burst through the Thunder defense for a 35-yard score to give the Trojans a 21-7 win. “Our defense was playing well and I thought if we could steal a possession, we could win the game. And we did," said Trojan head coach Eric Cavaliere. "I had faith in our guys and in (Rosada) to put the ball in his hands and we got just enough.” “I started off a little slow tonight but I knew at the end, I had to get it together for my team,” said Dean, who admittedly was playing with a stinger in his neck for much of the first half. Rocklin, who beat Los Banos 27-19 last week, fell to 1-1 on the season. “The bottom line when you look at this whole game is that Oak Ridge was able to execute for the whole 48 minutes of this game. You've got to tip your hat to them,” said Rocklin head coach Greg Benzel. "We have to play Rocklin football and we'll be OK. Our defense fought and you can't question our heart, but unfortunately we didn't make plays tonight.” Rocklin did get solid defensive contribution from defensive back Stevin Cisneros, who picked off two Oak Ridge passes—one in each half. The Trojan defense was led by senior defensive back Bobby Gatta, who picked off two Thunder passes in the first half, including one in his own end zone which prevented Rocklin from potentially tying the game with 1:11 left in the first half. “I knew they were going come back with that hitch-and-go. I saw it and I just jumped on it,” said the senior Gatta. “Our offense persevered through the second half. We stayed together as a team and that's what got us through. We never gave up.” The Trojans held a one-touchdown lead at halftime thanks to a five-yard run from sophomore Josh Wellman, who ran a sweep in from the right side for the game's first score. The touchdown capped off a 60-yard drive for Oak Ridge. Rocklin tied the game early in the second half when quarterback Austin Tautu connected with Cory Burmester from nine yards out with 3:20 left in the third. The two teams then traded interceptions on back-to-back plays on the following possessions. Cisneros picked off his second pass just before Ben Sweet got the ball right back for Oak Ridge. Oak Ridge took the lead on that same possession when Dean ran in his first score of the night from nine yards out with seven minutes to go in the fourth. “Team unity, camaraderie and the brotherhood of football. These guys want to play for each other,” Cavaliere added. Rocklin won the junior varsity game, 26-3.