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Wekiva Muscles Past Pioneers

Lincoln Phillips, Sports Editor

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Senior Kevin Moran runs with the ball against Wekiva.

Oak Ridge suffered a 41-6 home loss to Wekiva at Lee Leonard Stadium in the team’s season-opener Friday.

Despite the lopsided result, the Pioneers stayed competitive throughout the first half. The Pioneers forced a Wekiva fumble on the first play of the game and intercepted the Wekiva quarterback twice before halftime. However, Wekiva found some success, using some long passes and a few big runs to gain the upper hand, 14-0, in the first quarter.

The Mustangs added a touchdown in the second quarter.

Oak Ridge answer scored on a 4-yard TD run by senior Kevin Moran, who also scored in the prior week’s preseason game. Moran’s rush to the right side followed a 17-yard gain on a pass from quarterback Darvion Bailey and cut the lead to 20-6.

Late in the first half, Oak Ridge stopped a Wekiva drive with an interception inside the Pioneers’ own 10-yard line. The Pioneer defensive back nearly broke loose on a long run, but he was tripped up and the drive stalled.

“First half, we were all good and worked hard. We were straight, although once the second half started we had troubles and lost motivation and ended up not caring. All we have to do is look to the next game and improve,” said Moran, a running back who transferred this fall after playing at another Orange County school last season.

Wekiva added to its lead in the second half.

Offensively, the Pioneers simply failed to execute well. Penalties canceled a few plays that went for positive yardage, and Wekiva’s swarming defense seemed more than Oak Ridge’s offensive line could handle. Bailey was under pressure many times and often threw incomplete due, in part, to the pressure.

At the end of the second quarter, it looked like the Mustangs would score another TD and make the game very predictable. However, a key interception from the Pioneers kept the game relatively close.

Emotions ran high during two different plays. In fact, a Wekiva player was ejected after a skirmish that started when the Wekiva delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit.

Oak Ridge will see if it can bounce back on the road against Jones this Friday.

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Wekiva Muscles Past Pioneers