Oak Ridge was one of three teams to knock off a Top 10 opponent on Friday after it beat Pleasant Grove 28-14. We also recap victories from San Ramon Valley, Terra Nova and Campolindo.
No. 3 Pleasant Grove (8-1) took its undefeated record on the road to face No. 8 Oak Ridge (8-1) in the NCP Game of the Week. For the second straight year, the Trojans knocked off the Eagles by the score of 28-14.
The Trojans got on the scoreboard first on an 11 play, 87 yard drive capped by an 11 yard touchdown pass from Ian Book to Justin Priest. The Eagles answered with a 71 yard drive finished by a tough two yard run by Ian Broom. The score remained the same until halftime with both teams holding on fourth and one attempts.
Oak Ridge took the second half kickoff and with five pass completions and five rushes covered 65 yards. The last being another touchdown pass from Book to Priest. The Trojans added another score to end the third quarter on a 28 yard touchdown run by Drew Lackowski on fourth and one. With the way the Trojans were playing defense this lead would hold up for the 14 point win.
Oak Ridge is very well balanced on offense with 167 yards passing and 236 rushing yards. The primary rushers were Lackowski (19 carries for 109 yards) and Stephen Douglas (13 carries for 69 yards) on mostly toss plays to the short side of the field. Both runners were very patient in allowing blocks to materialize and then run downhill. Book continues to impress as he finished 13-for-20 for 167 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Oak Ridge head coach Eric Cavaliere said after the game "we saw a couple things on film that would allow us to run to the short side and we executed it."
Pleasant Grove has a strong group of running backs that include Broom as well as Damaree Morris who kept Pleasant Grove moving the chains and playing a very clean game. The difference in this game was Pleasant Grove had the speed advantage at the skill positions but Oak Ridge controlled both lines of scrimmage.
Pleasant Grove was playing without their most explosive back, Brandon Lewis, while Oak Ridge was without their leading rusher Josh Wellman. Both stars were out with injuries. Next up the Eagles entertain Folsom and Oak Ridge travels to face Jesuit. Both of these teams will be in the playoffs and expect both to make some noise. Michael Benton
Wolves handle Foothill
The Foothill Falcons came into San Ramon Valley to battle the Wolves for second place behind California in the East Bay Athletic League. There was an outside chance that Foothill or San Ramon could share the EBAL title with Cal, however, this was eliminated as the Grizzlies won easily over Livermore 21-3. Falcons' quarterback Kyle Kearns and running back Isaiah Langley came into the game looking to dominate the Wolves, but they never got the chance. San Ramon blew the gates off this game, as back-ups were in for the Wolves for most of the fourth quarter, in a 54-42 win that wasn't as close as the final score.
San Ramon's defense pounded Foothill, forcing over five turnovers while knocking Langley, who was recently offered by UCLA, out of the game in the second quarter. Kearns threw three interceptions in the game and was rattled throughout by a harsh defensive line attack led by senior Devon McPherson. Carter Nichols and Kyle Makaiwi were making plays for the San Ramon secondary all game, including a 98 yard interception return for a touchdown from Makaiwi that iced the game.
"All season I have been praying I could make a play like this and it finally came, it was my first career touchdown, very exhilarating," Makaiwi said.
As for the Wolves offense, Marcus De La Pena exploded. He rushed for 154 yards and five touchdowns on 29 carries. San Ramon definitely had a huge size advantage on the lines, as the Wolves offensive line created space for De La Pena all night. Matt Winaker added a pair of touchdown passes including one to Nichols.
"We have the best line in EBAL, they work hard every night and our coaches put us in a position to win," De La Pena said.
With Cal winning against Livermore, they have now locked up the outright EBAL title. San Ramon appeared dominant against Foothill, as they have now joined its counterparts in the playoffs, clinching a berth on Friday. As we head into the last week of the regular season, Foothill will host Amador Valley and San Ramon will host across town rival Monte Vista. Derek Lytle
Eight is enough for Terra Nova
Eight was the magic number for Terra Nova as the Tigers stay undefeated for the season to go to 8-0 as they scored eight touchdowns in a 57-27 victory over Menlo-Atherton in Pacifica on Friday night. Menlo-Atherton scored first and trailed 28-21 at the half, but could not slow the Tigers down in the second half as the Bears drop to 5-3.
The Tigers scored a season high 57 points and broke the 50 point mark for the third time. The offense is stacked with playmakers led by junior quarterback Anthony Gordon, senior running back John Wallace, and senior wide receiver Domenic Ortisi. Terra Nova likes to run a spread offense that is up tempo that puts pressure on opposing defenses. On defense, the Tigers were physical and got after the opposing quarterback. Senior linebacker Nick Pierotti had several bruising hits and was an active tackler to lead the defense.
Next week, Terra Nova will face an identical 8-0 Sacred Heart Prep. Expect the Tigers to play a physical game on both sides of the ball in order to keep Sacred Heart Prep on its heels. The winner will most likely decide the regular season champion in the Peninsula Bay League.
Menlo-Atherton hung tough and battled back after giving 28 unanswered points to trail 28-7 before narrowing the deficit to 28-21 at the half. The offense was led by senior running back Isiah Nash who made several big runs while senior quarterback Brian Keare was versatile in both passing and scrambling. Senior Oliver Bucka deflected a few passes as a defensive end and also was a big target as a tight end.
Menlo-Atherton will face Menlo next week as both teams are battling for third place in the league. The Bears defense will have to tighten up as Menlo has scored over 40 points in seven of its eight games so far. Steve Hu
Is Campolindo a title contender?
Campolindo had little trouble beating Dougherty Valley 49-14 to stay perfect at 9-0 and clinch the programs' third straight Diablo Foothill Athletic League title. It is the first three peat in school history.
Senior quarterback Andrew Zolintakis threw for 263 yards and five touchdowns, including four to senior Justin Dunn. He finished with 158 yards on seven catches, including taking a short hitch route 52 yards for a score.
"Dunn just had an incredible night. Zolintakis had his usual steady performance. You can always count on Zolintakis," Campolindo head coach Kevin Macy said. "With (Phillip) Rei out and Preston Kilwien injuring himself in warm-ups, we were out of receivers. For Justin to step in tonight, we needed it."
Junior Nick Fadelli rushed for 145 yards on 13 carries in the ever improving Cougars' ground game. He had success running off tackle and getting outside for big gains.
The Cougars won the 2011 North Coast Section Division III title, but are they good enough to win it again in 2013? They are a very well coached team which overcomes being a smaller team. To be successful, Campolindo needs to be effective in the ground game, limit the big plays allowed on defense and develop receiving targets over the next couple of weeks. Marin Catholic remains the top team in Division III with Campolindo and El Cerrito lumped into the second tier. The Cougars beat the Gauchos 42-27 earlier this year.
"We need options," Macy said on his running game. "We used to use our passing to set up the running game and now this will give us the chance to use the running game more to help us protect our passing game a little." Douglas Benton