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Orrick Coach Pat Richard said his Bearcats had one of their best week of practices heading into Friday’s District 13 meeting at home with Braymer. The Bearcats turned that into what Richard called their best game of the season as the two-time defending Class 1 titleholders thrashed the visiting Bobcats 38-0.
The win extended Orrick’s winning streak to 38 games and officially tucked away another spot in the postseason.
Richard said his team continues to improve along the line on both sides of the ball, and the return of 6-3, 240-pound junior Jordyn Butler, who has missed most of the season with an injury, certainly helped as well.
“We have improved up front so much in the past few weeks, and it is because of the effort and hard work of our kids,” he said. “Jordyn Butler returned this week for the first time since week one, and he made a huge impact on offense and defense. His energy, hard work in practice and in the game, was outstanding.”
Once again, Orrick relied on its ground game as the Bearcats posted 265 rushing yards on 45 plays. Clayton Jones completed his only pass attempt of the night, which was good for a 56-yard scoring strike to Turner Twyman.
Meanwhile the defense held a good Braymer offense to 90 yards on the ground and just one pass completion for a loss of one yard.
“We did a good job of controlling the clock and running the football; we also did a much better job of being mentally focused and eliminating penalties,” Richard said. “Braymer is the biggest team we have faced this year and they are a very physical group. We knew going in that we were going to have to get off the ball and play fast up front all night. I thought that we did a great job of playing more physically than we have all year.”
The Bearcats grounded out a 70-yard drive on their first possession with Kalija Rogers capping the drive on the 13th play with the first of his two touchdowns on a one-yard run. Aaron Blyth ran the conversion for an 8-0 lead. Orrick would score on its next three possessions on the way to a 32-0 halftime lead. Rogers, who ended the night with 89 rushing yards, added his second touchdown on a 3-yard run, with Logan Eubank running for the conversion.
The Jones-to-Twyman combination put the Bearcats back on the board with 3:24 remaining in the half with Eubank running for his second conversion. The defense got in on the scoring act on the next Braymer possession as Jones scooped up a Bobcat fumble and raced 27 yards to the end zone. Blyth’s conversion run pushed the Bearcat halftime cushion to 32-0.
Nothing changed in the second half as the Orrick defense stopped Braymer’s opening drive on downs and turned the ball back to the punishing Bearcat ground game. Orrick used 8 plays to move the ball 76 yards for the final score of the night with Blyth finding the end zone on a 4-yard run.
Blyth picked up 68 rushing yards on 15 carries, with Eubank running for 86 more on a dozen attempts. Jones rounded out the balanced ground attack with 22 yards on just three carries.
Trevor Corbin led the Bobcat rushing chart with 49 yards on 13 carries.
PHOTO: Logan Eubank (16) was a key part of Orrick’s ground assault in Friday’s game. (Photo by JoEllen Black/The Daily News)