Columbia Star

Blazers earn comeback win over Redhawks



The Ridge View Blazers broke through for two third quarter touchdowns to break open a tight contest with the Westwood Redhawks and escape from Westwood District 2 Stadium with a 29-18 victory Friday, October 18.

The win gives head coach Perry Parks’ Blazers a 5-3 overall record and a 3-0 record in Region 3-4A play. Coach Matt Quinn’s Redhawks drop to 5-3 overall and 1-2 in the region.

Ridge View got on the board first as Caleb Rayner capped a 55-yard, game-opening drive with a twoyard burst across the goal line. Justin Griffin added the first of his three PAT conversion kicks.

In the second quarter, the Blazers’ offense stalled deep in their territory after absorbing one of the 19 penalties flagged against them in the game. A grounding penalty against Ridge View on the next play awarded Westwood a safety.

Much to the delight of the home faithful, Westwood took its ensuing possession at the Ridge View 46, and six plays later quarterback

Ahmon Green galloped into the end zone from 12 yards. Then he tossed the two-point conversion pass to Xorian Dobey to give the hosts a 10-7 lead heading to halftime.

The pace picked up in the third quarter as did the flurry of penalty flags. Westwood opened the quarter with a 52-yard drive, taking nine plays and 4:18 off the clock. The drive culminated in a 16-yard scoring strike from Green to Cam Atkins. Julian Milligan punched in the two-point conversion run, and the Redhawks led 18-7.

Ridge View then took control of the contest with touchdowns on its next two possessions. Washington galloped in from 12 yards out, and Cincere Scott added the two-point conversion run capping a 68- yard, 12-play drive.

The Redhawks fumbled on their next drive, and Ridge View recovered at the Westwood 32. A 23-yard strike from Washington to Jordan Smith brought the Blazers to the Redhawk 3-yard line before Scott ran it in and Justin Griffin kicked the PAT to give the Blazers a 22-18 lead.

A short drive from Westwood early in the fourth quarter stalled, and, after a punt, Ridge View went to work at its own 18. On fourth-and-two from the Blazer 45, Scott dropped back to punt but took off on a run, finally getting pulled down at the Westwood 18. David Mitchell carried the ball five yards closer on the first try and 13 yards for the score on the second. Griffin’s PAT gave Ridge View a 29-18 lead.

The Blazers then snuffed out a late Westwood drive to hang on for the win.

Scott had two runs from punt formation and both set up Ridge View touchdowns. Coach Parks says that play has been in Blazer arsenal all year.

“We have been running it, but that is the benefit of having a player like Cincere Scott back there,” Parks said. “You have to honor that.”

Penalty flags fell like the autumn leaves. Westwood was hit 14 times for 111 yards, Ridge View had 19-for-195. Offensively, Westwood had 247 yards, and Ridge View went for 246. But the final numbers are what matters, 29-18, and Parks is getting into the most fun time of the year.

“This is getting close to playoff football,” Parks says. “That is what you want to see. You have to be able to take a punch and keep playing. First quarter was what we expected; second quarter was awful. But football is a game of four quarters, and you have to play ‘em all.”

Ridge View will host South Pointe in a battle of region unbeatens at District 2 Stadium in Blythewood Friday, October 25, at 7:30 pm.

That evening, Westwood will host the Lancaster Bruins.

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