Orion falls to Rockridge

by Mindy Carls correspondent
Orion’s Dathen Moore catches a 7-yard pass from Kaden Meguffy in the third quarter on Saturday, March 20, at Charger Field.

Orion’s varsity football team celebrated senior night at its season opener on Saturday, March 20. Just in case.

Three Rivers rival Rockridge spoiled the celebration with a 26-6 win at Charger Field.

Taking the opening kick to the Charger 37, the Rockets needed a little over three minutes to put the first points on the board with a 1-yard pass from Brayden Deem to Nate Henry. The point-after kick failed.

The teams traded three-and-outs until Rockridge got a drive going at its own 40. Continuing into the second quarter, the drive finally produced a touchdown on another Deem-to-Henry pass from the six. Otto Fox’s kick was good for a 13-0 lead.

The teams again exchanged punts, until with 4:31 to go in the first half Orion started a drive at its own 33. On 2nd-and-2 from the 33, Braydi Mascari ripped off a 12-yard run to the 45. The run produced a first down.

Orion pushed the ball across the 50-yard line only to fumble the ball away.

Taking over with 2:22 to go, the Rockets drove to the Charger 9 but could not punch the ball in before halftime.

Orion had the ball first in the third quarter but had to punt. Rockridge’s first play ended with a fumble, which Orion’s Maddix Moninski recovered.

Four plays later, the Chargers turned the ball over on downs at the Rocket 42.

Rockridge drove 58 yards for its third touchdown on a 24-yard pass from Deem to Wyatt Rudsell. The kick failed, leaving the visitors with a 19-0 advantage midway through the third.

As the fourth quarter began, the Rockets needed only four plays for their fourth and final touchdown on a 13-yard run. The kick was good.

Rockridge’s next possession ended with a fumble, which Orion’s Jayson Johnson recovered at the Orion 42.

The third Charger quarterback of the day, Coby Schultz, completed an 11-yard pass to Quinn Hoftender for a first down at the Rocket 45.

A holding penalty put Orion in a 2nd-and-20 hole, but Schultz passed to Blayden Murdock for 12 yards. On fourth down, Rocket Jenson Whiteman picked off a pass.

The Chargers forced the Rockets to punt the ball. A short kick gave Orion possession at its own 47.

Mascari reeled off a 33-yard run to the Rockridge 16. Schultz picked up three yards to the 13, Mascari five yards to the 8 and Schultz four yards to the 4. Mascari pushed the ball into the end zone from there with 1:10 to go. The kick was blocked.