Columbia Star

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Ridge View hangs on to beat Cavaliers



Ridge View’s Breylon Boyd looks for running room against Richland Northeast.

Ridge View’s Breylon Boyd looks for running room against Richland Northeast.

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The Ridge View Blazers appeared to be cruising as they led the visiting Richland Northeast Cavaliers 41-20 to start the fourth quarter of their Region 5-4A clash on October 21. However, Cavalier quarterback Will Wilson led a furious comeback only to have his pass into the end zone fall incomplete as time expired, and Ridge View came away with a 41-34 victory.

“(Richland Northeast) Coach ( Walt) Wilson, his entire team and his staff— they played extremely hard, and our kids played hard the entire time,” Ridge View head coach Derek Howard said. “They made plays. We did some things, and we made some mistakes, then put ourselves in some good situations, and we didn’t put the football game away at the end but hats off to our kids. We preach we’ll take any win as long as we’ve got one more point than the other team.”

Ridge View struck first with a 12-play, 85-yard drive. Marcus Kelly had six runs for 35 yards, but the final play was the biggest as quarterback Breylon Boyd hit Adonis McDaniel for a 24-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-four play with 5:32 left in the first quarter. Nassio Charles added the extra point, and the Blazers led 7-0.

Ridge View’s Marcus Kelly break loose as Richland Northeast’s Cameron Brice Jason Taylor give chase.

Ridge View’s Marcus Kelly breaks loose as Richland Northeast’s Cameron Brice Jason Taylor give chase.

McDaniel finished with 121 yards receiving and the touchdown on six catches.

Richland Northeast responded with a 13-play, 62-yard drive. The Cavaliers also converted a fourth down for a touchdown as Avonte Grant ran in from nine yards out to cut the lead to 7-6 with 10:57 left in the second quarter.

After a Blazer turnover at the Richland Northeast 1-yardline and a Cavalier punt, Ridge View drove 58 yards in seven plays scoring on Kelly’s run from the one for a 14-6 lead with 3:52 left in the half.

Kelly finished with 170 yards rushing and the touchdown on 22 carries.

Richland Northeast answered with a six-play, 54-yard drive culminating in Wilson’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Zackery Watkins. Wilson then hit Blake Betette for the 2-point conversion tying the game at 14-14 with 47.4 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

Richland Northeast’s Will Wilson looks to pass against Ridge View.

Richland Northeast’s Will Wilson looks to pass against Ridge View.

The score stayed that way until the 9:23 mark of the third quarter when Boyd barreled into the end zone from seven yards out to complete a seven-play, 71-yard drive and give his Blazers a 21-14 lead.

After a Cavalier three-and-out, Boyd found Agnew for a 60-yard touchdown pass and a 28-14 Ridge View advantage with 7:22 left in the third.

Parker Ford then intercepted a long pass attempt from Wilson, and the Blazers scored five plays and 69 yards later with a 9-yard run from Boyd to take a 34-14 lead with 5:04 left in the third.

Boyd completed 8-of-14 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 86 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.

“Breylon’s an important part of what we do,” Howard said. “He showed tonight that he can play big time high school football on the 4A level. Just really proud of the work he put in this week. Really proud of how he’s continued to come to work every day throughout this year. He’s kind of played in a reserve role, but we told him we’d need him throughout the season, and I really think we’re at our best with Donald (Tomlin) and Breylon both playing and doing the things that they do very well in our game plan.”

Ridge View’s Adonis McDaniel on his way to the end zone.

Ridge View’s Adonis McDaniel on his way to the end zone.

Richland Northeast came right back with an 11-play, 60-yard drive. Wilson completed 6-of-8 passes for 42 yards including the final one of 24 yards to Watkins to cut the deficit to 34-20 with 11:52 to play.

However, Ridge View took all of 13 seconds to respond as Agnew raced 80-yards to the end zone on the ensuing kickoff to put the Blazers up 41-20 with 11:39 remaining in the game.

The Cavaliers did not quit.

Wilson led an 8-play, 74-yard drive finding Watkins for a 20-yard touchdown to cut the Ridge View lead to 41-26 with 6:56 left to play.

The Blazers were then stopped at their own 42-yardline, and two plays later, Wilson hit Betette for a 41-yard touchdown. Wilson then found Grant to complete the 2-point conversion and cut the Cavalier deficit to 41-34 with 2:41 remaining.

 

Richland Northeast then forced a three-and-out from Ridge View and drove 58 yards to the Blazer 18-yardline with 16.2 seconds to play. Wilson’s first pass fell incomplete, and then offsetting penalties on the next play left 5.9 seconds on the clock. Another pass fell incomplete, and then as time expired Wilson’s last heave fell incomplete, and Ridge View could finally celebrate.

Wilson completed 18-of-33 passes for 231 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. He also rushed for 86 yards on 12 carries. Watkins finished with seven receptions for 114 yards and three touchdowns for Richland Northeast.

The Blazers (8-1, 3-0) now turn their attention to the undefeated A.C. Flora Falcons in a game next Friday that will determine the Region 5-4A championship.

“We’re going to prepare as we always do, but we understand the task at hand,” Howard said. “Quite honestly we’re talking about the winner of that football game having homefield throughout the entire 4A Lower State playoffs. So it’s an important game to us. We’re playing a really good football team in A.C. Flora, but I think we’ve got a really good football team as well. I told our guys that we can play with any football team in the state of South Carolina on the 4A level. So I’m excited about what’s going to happen next week.”

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