Pioneers Rally For Homecoming Win

Pioneers Celebrate on Homecoming Night

Alex Verdelus, Sports Editor

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Oak Ridge found success in all parts of the game against University during Monday’s homecoming tilt, and that boosted the Pioneers to a 28-21 win, the team’s second in five days.

Oak Ridge, which played twice in five days due to Hurricane Matthew’s effect on the scheduled, sealed the win in the fourth quarter when junior linebacker Levon Stubbs returned an interception for a score to make it 28-14. University cut into the lead and threatened to tie it late in the game.

Encroachment penalties on the Pioneers gave the visiting Cougars new life on their final drive, but the Pioneers’ blitzing defense managed to close the deal by pressuring University’s quarterback.

With the win, the Pioneers improved to 3-4,

“All we did was do our jobs. The coach tells us, if we do our assignments, good things will happen,” said senior D’Andre Weaver.

Weaver threw for 86 yards and two touchdowns, and the running game, featuring six different backs, rushed for 144 yards, including a 36-yard run by senior Christopher Betanco and a 14-yard scurry by junior Marcus Taylor. Both runs helped Oak Ridge take a 21-14 lead in the third quarter. Defensively, the Pioneers showed some muscle by holding University scoreless for two quarters.

The Pioneers did have their share of obstacles, with flags punishing successful plays, including a kick return touchdown called back for a face mask penalty in the third quarter. The yellow flags also proved problematic toward the end.

The rescheduled game, which had originally been scheduled for Oct. 7 left Oak Ridge with only two days to prepare for Apopka, a juggernaut with tradition on its side.