The Oak Ridge Wildcats advanced to a Class 5A football semifinal game after a 31-28 quarterfinal win at West on Friday.
The semifinal game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, November 27, against South Doyle (10-3) on Blankenship Field in Oak Ridge.
Before Friday, the Wildcats (10-3) had lost to the Rebels 22-7 during the regular season in September. A year ago, their season ended at West (12-2) in a 34-14 second-round loss.
The Wildcats led early in the Friday night game, but West took the lead late in the second quarter and held it into the fourth quarter. Then, the two teams traded leads three times in the fourth quarter. Oak Ridge senior quarterback Mitchell Gibbons threw the winning touchdown to senior wide receiver Jonathan Stewart with 2:33 remaining in the game.
Gibbons threw for 203 yards (16-of-27 with one interception) and four touchdowns. Gibbons also led the Wildcats with 69 yards rushing on 17 carries and three first downs, according to preliminary statistics by Mark and Shawna Haste.
Stewart had five catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Besides the winning catch late in the fourth quarter, he had a touchdown reception late in the third quarter.
Also scoring for Oak Ridge with touchdown catches were Cole Adams and Preston Turner (five catches for 50 yards), and Efrain Rodriguez with a 40-yard field goal, according to broadcaster David Clary.
Junior running back Kendall Jackson had 10 carries for 43 yards for the Wildcats.
Adams led the defense with six tackles and four assists. Jacob Berven had four tackles, four assists, and one sack, and Brian Kelley had four tackles and four assists.
Oak Ridge had slightly more total yards than West, 259 to 226. The Wildcats had more passing yards, 203 to 160, but fewer rushing yards, 56 to 66. Each team had 14 first downs.
The Wildcats advanced to the quarterfinal game with a 30-7 first-round victory over Soddy Daisy at home and a 23-0 second-round win at Rhea County.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
You can contact John Huotari, owner and publisher of Oak Ridge Today, at (865) 951-9692 or [email protected]
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