Joe Davidson

Top-ranked Folsom on a wrecking path, rolls No. 2 Oak Ridge. ‘This is a special group’

It was a red blur on offense and a red mob on defense, and it blew in like a Texas tornado at the expense of the region’s second-best team.

Wearing their bright red uniforms, the top-ranked Folsom Bulldogs put on a stunning clinic of championship-caliber football on Friday night at Prairie City Stadium, storming to a 62-6 victory after leading 55-6 at halftime in a Sierra Foothill League showdown over No. 2 Oak Ridge.

It left emphatic notice that this act must be witnessed to be believed.

It’s the 13th consecutive win for the Bulldogs over their rivals from El Dorado Hills, dating to 2006. Folsom is 66-3 at home since 2010 and has won 36 consecutive league games, starting in 2011, in a decade that includes six Sac-Joaquin Section championships and three CIF State banners.

To say that Folsom (4-1) has come of age since its 14-0 opening-night loss at national powerhouse De La Salle would be a gross understatement. The Bulldogs took that loss personally, and they have played angry since, blasting past good teams in then-No. 2 Jesuit 50-14, Antelope 41-0 and state-ranked Chaminade of West Hills 70-34.

Folsom is in as good of a groove as it has ever enjoyed, and that includes the 16-0 teams of 2014 and 2017.

The Bulldogs unleashed their embarrassment of riches on an Oak Ridge defense that has played well this season and had a bye week last week to prepare.

Folsom had one-handed touchdown catches, stop-and-start scoring sprints, and had some trick plays and a general good time.

And all with a business-like approach, a mandate from coach Kris Richardson to his group before the kickoff. Oak Ridge is 3-1.

“This is a special group, and we can do a lot of things,” said assistant coach Bobby Fresques, who delights in helping the offense run so smoothly, thanks in part to a standout offensive line headed by 2017 All-Metro center Kaden Richardson, son of the coach.

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Kaiden Bennett dazzled again, a different player since the De La Salle contest. The senior quarterback completed 19 of 22 passes for 386 yards and six touchdown passes with one rushing. He was 15 of 18 for 345 and six touchdowns in the first half.

Bennett on the game’s second play hit Parker Clayton for a 67-yard touchdown. On the next possession, he passed it 10 yards to Joe Ngata, who lateraled to younger brother Daniyel Ngata, executing the trick play to perfection with a 35-yard touchdown for a 14-0 lead.

Bennett had scoring strikes of 35 and 46 yards to Elijhah Badger, including a one-handed grab, and Bennett made it 62-6 in the middle of the third with a 17-yard touchdown to CJ Hutton.

Daniyel Ngata had a stop-and-start, juke and spring touchdown run of 22 yards just before the half that had a press box full of spotters and clock operators insisting it was as good a run as they’d ever seen, and some of them have watched 40 years of Folsom football.

“Great player,” coach Richardson said of Daniyel Ngata.

The unsung guys play defense, including linemen Tyler Hardeman, Caleb Freeland and DeShawn Lynch and linebackers/secondary men Clayton Parker and Caleb Nelson, who had two interceptions.

The unit is coached by fiery coordinator Sam Cole, who has the intensity of a man who’d race out to play a few downs if it didn’t violate CIF rules.

A 2005 Folsom graduate and one-time cornerback, Cole played at Tarleton State in Texas.

“I called coach Richardson and said I wanted to stay in football,” Cole said. “I love it here. Our guys compete. Smart, fast, physical — that’s what we do.”

Said coach Richadson, “Sam’s the best defensive coordinator in the area, fantastic. We all beg, borrow and steal from other coaches, but he’s also putting in packages that make sense for our kids. Our defense has been lights out.”

So has the offense.

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