Bearcats strike quickly in rout

The Orrick Bearcats seem to be primed for a run at their third consecutive Class 1 state title. Orrick completed its domination of District 13 competition Thursday night as the Bearcats thumped St. Mary’s 50-0 at a soggy Simmons Field. Orrick outscored its district opponents 141-0 and will host the District 14 runner-up Wednesday night in Regional play.
Orrick didn’t waste much time taking control of the game. As a matter of fact, the Bearcats didn’t waste a lot of time with long scoring drives with four of their scores coming on plays over 30 yards. Senior fullback Kalija Rogers led the charge with four touchdowns, while running for 182 yards on just 9 carries.
“Kalija had a big night running the ball and the line did a great job blocking the trap,” Orrick Coach Pat Richard said. “Our line just keeps getting better and that’s going to be the key to our success in the playoffs. If we play well up front, we’re going to be successful. If we don’t, it’s going to be a short trip.”
The two shorter Orrick scoring drives of the night came following back-to-back blocked punts by Logan Eubank.
“We had kind of gone this year and not blocked a lot of punts which is rare for us and we got that tonight,” Richard said. “Logan did a great job of coming up the middle and going to the block point. That’s something we’ve got to keep working on because anytime you get a blocked punt, it just changes the game completely.”
Rogers took advantage of both blocks with touchdown runs on the following snap with a 33-yard burst, and a 19-yarder off trap plays as Orrick cruised to a 30-0 lead with 9:33 remaining in the first half. Richard said his offense was taking advantage of what the St. Mary’s defense was doing.
“The beauty of our offense is that if you take something away, you’ve got to give something up and we took advantage of that tonight,” he said. “They gave up the fullback and we took advantage of that.”
Rogers’ first score of the night came on Orrick’s third play from scrimmage – a 55-yard run with 6:25 left in the first period. On the Bearcats’ sixth play of the night, Aaron Blyth found lots of room off the right side for a 70-yard scamper and a 14-0 Orrick lead following Eubank’s run for conversion. After the blocked punts, the Bearcats were able to get two more scores on the board before the half.
Rogers added his fourth touchdown of the night with a 38-yard run, followed by Clayton Jones running the conversion. The Bearcats would take a knee on the conversion attempts following the final two Orrick scores.
Eubank scored with 17 seconds remaining in the half, followed by Blyth’s second touchdown, a 7-yard run, to cap the first Orrick possession of the third quarter. The Bearcat reserves then took over to preserve the sixth shutout of the season as Orrick stretched its victory string to 39.
Orrick ended the night with 369 rushing yards and did not attempt a pass, while the defense held St. Mary’s, who ends the season at 5-5, to 26 rushing yards with Henry Handley gaining 22 on 10 carries. James Newberry completed 5 of 13 passes for 62 yards.

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