Raiders gear up for play­off run

Cedar Ridge routs West­wood with eye to­ward post­sea­son.

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL - By Rick Cantu Con­tact Rick Cantu at 512445-3953. Twit­ter: @Rick­yprep

ROUND ROCK — Af­ter a three- sea­son-long waltz through its district, Cedar Ridge’s foot­ball team as­pires to make a name for it­self at the state level, too.

On Fri­day night at Dragon Sta­dium, the Raiders tuned up for the Class 6A, Divi- sion I play­offs with a 49-3 vic­tory over West­wood in the District 13-6A fi­nale for both teams.

Cedar Ridge (9-1, 6-0) has posted a 30-3 record over the past three sea­sons while win­ning back-to-back undis­puted 13-6A ti­tles. But the Raiders, who started play­ing var­sity foot­ball in 2012, have never reached the third round of the play­offs, a goal they as­pire to reach — and sur­pass — this sea­son.

Next week, Cedar Ridge will face Akins in a bi-district play­off, and Raiders coach Sam Robinson said his team couldn’t have had a bet­ter tuneup than its matchup against West­wood (5-5, 3-3).

“The No. 1 deal was to stay healthy, and we did that. We wanted to give ev­ery­one some play­ing time, and we did that, and we ex­e­cuted pretty well,” Robinson said.

As for the War­riors, they will open the Class 6A, Divi- sion II play­offs at San Mar­cos on Fri­day night. West­wood coach An­thony Wood rested most of his reg­u­lars — in­clud- ing Will Jen­nings, one of the area’s pre­mier quar­ter­backs — in the sec­ond half against Cedar Ridge.

The Raiders dom­i­nated the 13-6A fi­nale, fin­ish­ing with 427 yards of of­fense while yield­ing 141 yards.

Raiders quar­ter­back Ezekiel Coss, who played for just one half, com­pleted 8 of 10 passes for 167 yards and two touch­downs. The big­gest play for Cedar Ridge was his 68-yard touch­down pass to Jaylen El­lis in the first half.

“This game gets us ready for the play­offs,” Coss said. “I know we haven’t been past the sec­ond round of the play­offs be­fore, but we’re more con­cerned about what’s hap­pen­ing right now.”

A year ago, Cedar Ridge won its first 11 games­be­fore fall­ing to Klein Collins in an area-round play­off. The Tigers pre­vailed 40-34 in over­time.

Has Cedar Ridge been over­looked in Cen­tral Texas foot­ball cir­cles?

“Af­ter this year, I think they’ll know who we are,” Coss said.

Deuce Vaughn and RJ Robinson scored rush­ing touch­downs for the Raiders in the fourth quar­ter. Cedar Ridge led 35-3 at half­time af­ter scor­ing touch­downs on each of its five pos­ses­sions.

The Raiders wasted lit­tle time, scor­ing on a six­play, 48-yard drive on their first pos­ses­sion, capped bya 10-yard scor­ing run by Trey Wil­liams.

Cedar Ridge’s Simi Bakare was the game’s most im­pres­sive player, rush­ing for 101 yards and two touch­downs on only 11 car­ries — all in the first half.

West­wood’s lone score of the half was a 36-yard field goal by Kae­den Roberts.

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