Ridge­land now 4-0 af­ter cruis­ing past Chat­tooga

The Catoosa County News - - COMMENTARY - By Scott Herpst

The Ridge­land Pan­thers jumped out to a quick three-touch­down lead less than eight min­utes into the game and never looked back as they coasted to a 38-7 Home­com­ing win over the Chat­tooga In­di­ans Fri­day night at Painter and Bow­ers Field.

Af­ter forc­ing an In­dian punt on its first pos­ses­sion, Ridge­land (4-0) needed just one play to score as quar­ter­back Tan­ner Hill rolled left and found a wide open Stephon Walker for what turned into a 65-yard scor­ing strike.

The two would con­nect again on the Pan­thers’ sec­ond drive as Hill rolled right and found Walker in stride for a 43-yard TD pass on a third dow­nand-11 play. Af­ter a poor Chat­tooga punt, Ridge­land’s third drive took just three plays as A’za­vier Black­well scored on a 19-yard run to make it 21-0 with 4:16 left in the open­ing quar­ter.

An­other pick set up a 3-yard run by Ja­lyn Shel­ton 1:12 into the sec­ond pe­riod to add to the lead, but Chat­tooga (0-3) was fi­nally able to get a march go­ing as C.J. Martin found Devin Price on a TD pass, cap­ping an 8:20 drive.

But Ridge­land would come right back down­field to get on the board again. Con­ner Mid­dle­ton’s 36-yard field goal on the final play of the half gave the Pan­thers a 31-7 lead at in­ter­mis­sion as they scored on all five firsthalf pos­ses­sions,

The final touch­down came early in the third quar­ter as a third in­ter­cep­tion set up shop at the Chat­tooga 38. Two runs moved the ball in­side the 15 and two plays later, Markeith Mont­gomery would race 11 yards to pay­dirt.

The Ridge­land starters ex­ited the game af­ter that as sev­eral younger play­ers saw ac­tion in the sec­ond half.

Ridge­land fin­ished with 269 yards on 34 rush­ing at­tempts. Shel­ton paced the ground at­tack with 97 yards on 16 car­ries. Mont­gomery had 51 yards on just four at­tempts, while Des­mond John­son went for 39 yards on four car­ries.

Jor­dan Hugh­ley had a pair of in­ter­cep­tions, while Black­well gave the Pan­thers a to­tal of three on the night.

Hill com­pleted 5-of11 passes for 130 yards. Walker had 108 yards on just two catches, while Mid­dle­ton was 5-for-5 on PAT’s, in ad­di­tion to his field goal.

The Pan­thers will have this Fri­day off as they get set to open Re­gion 6-AAAA play with a huge game at North­west Whit­field on Sept. 22.

Jor­dan Hugh­ley avoids a tackle af­ter mak­ing an in­ter­cep­tion dur­ing Fri­day’s game with Chat­tooga. Hugh­ley had two of Ridge­land’s three picks in a 38-7 win. (Photo by Bam­bara Aven/www.bbaven.com)

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