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Orrick Coach Pat Richard said his Bearcats answered last week’s wake-up call in a big way Friday night by clinching their fourth straight I-70 Conference title. After dodging a bullet fired by Concordia a week earlier, the Class 1 top-ranked Bearcats reverted back to form by thumping the St. Paul Saints 46-6.
The Orrick road victory pushed its winning string to 36 games as the Bearcats head into district play gunning for their third consecutive state title.
The Orrick defense completely shut down the St. Paul’s running game in the Bearcats’ final conference game of the season as the Saints dropped to 1-3 in the league and 3-4 overall. The six senior Bearcats have never lost a conference game in their careers.
“Our seniors are proud of their accomplishment of four undefeated conference championships in a row,” Richard said. “We are excited to get district play started this week.”
All of the Saints’ offensive yardage – 127 yards – came from 15 completed passes on 26 attempts.
“We played our best game up front on both sides of the ball, and that is the key to our success,” Richard said. “Defensively, our ends played much more physically and the insertion of Dakota Haslar into the lineup at nose guard made a big difference for us.”
Haslar, a junior, had 1.5 sacks for the evening with 2 of his 4 tackles resulting in losses.
As for the Orrick offense, the Bearcats piled up 402 yards on the ground on the legs of Aaron Blyth with 144 yards on 14 carries, Logan Eubank with 116 yards on just 4 carries, and Kalija Rogers with 81 yards on 7 attempts.
Clayton Jones went to the air three times and completed a pair for 28 yards with Rogers and Blyth catching one each.
Orrick scored on its first five possessions of the game, with the end of the first half stopping the sixth Bearcat series. Orrick scored on the opening possession of the second half, which was played under the running clock.
Eubank’s first carry of the night on the first Orrick snap from scrimmage resulted in a 60-yard touchdown run. Eubank followed with the run for conversion. The second Bearcat drive of 67 yards took seven plays with Rogers covering the final 35 yards, with Jones carrying over for the conversion and an 18-0 Orrick lead. Eubank added the second of his three touchdowns on the next Bearcat possession with a 15-yard run followed by Blyth’s conversion.
Blyth then scored on a 4-yard run, followed by Eubank’s third score on a 24-yard run to boost the halftime cushion to 40-0. Blyth capped the Orrick scoring with a 56-yard run on the third play of the second half. St. Paul scored its only touchdown late in the third period.
Larry Blair and Eubank led the Bearcat tacklers with 9 each, with Cameron McGlothlin in on a half-dozen stops.