Too many turnovers trip Trojans against Oak Ridge

Macro shot of American football ball background football tile / Getty Images
Macro shot of American football ball background football tile / Getty Images

The Oak Ridge Wildcats ended the Soddy-Daisy Trojans' season Friday night with a 40-23 win in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.

The contest started off with a myriad of mistakes, as the teams traded interceptions early. Five minutes in, Soddy-Daisy safety Jalan Render returned an Oak Ridge fumble 47 yards for the first score.

Later in the quarter, Trojans quarterback Isaac Barnes threw his second interception of the game, setting up a 4-yard touchdown run by Tyrell Romano. The ensuing kickoff was returned 77 yards by Gavin Lane to set up a Dustin Lee 21-yard field goal.

On their next possession, the Wildcats began to relay on their running game. They reeled off seven straight rushes and quarterback Mitchell Gibbons proceeded to punch it in for a 12-7 lead.

Oak Ridge (6-5) capitalized on Barnes' third interception when Kendall Jackson rumbled in for a 1-yard score.

"For us it was too many turnovers," Soddy-Daisy coach Justin Barnes said. "We couldn't get anything going, and to hold them to just 19 in the first half was pretty incredible."

In the second half Oak Ridge continued to pound the football. After blocking a punt, the Wildcats cashed in their third rushing touchdown of the night to extend their lead to 16.

Facing a large deficit, the Trojans (6-5) began to swing the momentum in their favor, putting together an 11-play, 80-yard drive. It ended on a 39-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-9. A failed 2-point conversion left it 26-16.

Oak Ridge answered that score with a long drive of its own. On a fourth-and-7 Romano made a 27-yard touchdown run.

Despite trailing by 17 well into the third quarter, Soddy-Daisy continued to battle back. On the last play of the quarter Isaac Barnes connected with KeSean Eubanks on a 71-yard touchdown pass.

The Wildcats were able to steal momentum and seal the victory when they returned Barnes' fourth interception 89 yards for a touchdown. Up 40-23 Oak Ridge was able to hold Soddy-Daisy's offense in check for the rest of the game to clinch its fifth straight win over the Trojans.

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