The Oak Ridge Wildcats have started the 2019 football season with two losses.
The first was a 13-6 loss to Hardin Valley at home on Friday, August 23, and the second was a 41-6 loss at Dobyns-Bennett in Kingsport on Friday, August 30.
The Wildcats will play their first Region 3-5A game at Campbell County (2-0) on Friday.
Oak Ridge scored their one touchdown in the season-opening game against Hardin Valley (1-1) with a 21-yard pass from junior quarterback Mitchell Gibbons to senior running back Tyrell Romano with 8:26 left in the third quarter.
The Hawks had 181 yards of total offense (125 rushing, 56 passing) in that lightning-delayed game, compared to 131 yards for the Wildcats (34 rushing, 97 passing).
Romano had 50 of Oak Ridge’s 97 receiving yards that night. He also led in rushing, 15 carries for 27 yards.
Gibbons was 11-of-24 (45.8 percent) for 97 yards passing against Hardin Valley, with one interception and the one touchdown.
Junior Preston Turner led Oak Ridge with five tackles and six assists, and senior linebacker Jacob Adams had three tackles and seven assists.
The Wildcats scored their one touchdown at Dobyns-Bennett (2-0) the following week with a 29-yard catch by senior Isaiah Johnson with 8:05 remaining in the game.
Dobyns-Bennett had 423 yards of total offense (241 yards rushing, 182 passing), compared to 168 for Oak Ridge (66 yards rushing, 102 passing). The Indians had 20 first downs, compared to nine for the Wildcats.
Johnson led Oak Ridge with 106 yards on six catches and the one touchdown.
Gibbons was 11-of-20 (55 percent) for 102 yards against Dobyns-Bennett, again with one interception and one touchdown.
Sophomore running back Kendall Jackson led Oak Ridge in rushing against the Indians with 41 yards on six carries.
Adams led Oak Ridge on defense with six tackles and 10 assists.
Oak Ridge last lost to Dobyns-Bennett 28-25 in Kingsport in 2017. They beat the Indians in Kingsport 17-14 in 2015. They won at home last season, 41-12, and in 2016, 41-28.
The Wildcats defeated Hardin Valley 23-7 in the season-opening lightning-delayed game last year and beat the Hawks 21-20 in the 2017 season-opener.
Oak Ridge, which made it to the Class 5A quarterfinals for the second year in a row last year, hadn’t lost a season opener since losing to Farragut 34-21 in 2013. The Wildcats hadn’t lost two games in a row in the same season since losing to McMinn County and Webb in October 2016.
Friday’s game starts at Campbell County High School at 7:30 p.m.
Oak Ridge beat the Cougars each of the past five years, including in a 44-14 win last season.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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