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Dominant defense earns payback win for Ridley

TREDYFFRIN >> Coming into Friday night’s game at Conestoga, Ridley boasted a defense that allowed fewer than 10 points per game. A 36-0 win over Conestoga will only improve that number.

The Ridley defense once again stepped up to allow Conestoga to gain only 22 total yards and five first downs the entire night. Linebackers Sean Crowley and Ryan Gricco forced a safety in the third quarter.

Conestoga’s Milton Robinson is tackled by Ridley’s Ryan Gricco and Jagger Sheridan in the first quarter Friday night. (Digital First Media/Pete Bannan)

Conestoga’s Milton Robinson is tackled by Ridley’s Ryan Gricco and Jagger Sheridan in the first quarter Friday night. (Digital First Media/Pete Bannan)

“Defensively it’s what we’ve gotten all year from Gricco, to Crowley to Spilman, to the effort in the secondary, it’s unbelievable what we’ve done on that side,” Ridley head coach Dave Wood said. “It makes it easier for the offense. We are a gambling defense and we are going to pressure and give it over to our offense.”

On the other side of the ball, the Raiders’ offense took some time to warm up.

It wasn’t until early in the second quarter that Ridley scored its first points, on a 20-yard field goal by Kyran Baker. He fought off some wind and rain to make another field goal from 24 yards, and all four of his extra-point attempts.

“I think tonight our kicker did a tremendous job,” Wood said. “We were a little bit slow to start and he nails the first field goal. With the wind and rain he made all the extra points. I give all the credit to Baker. He did an unbelievable job.”

Ridley quarterback Cade Stratton delivered the Raiders their first touchdown on a 64-yard pass to receiver Malik Young, who streaked down the middle untouched. Stratton threw for 130 yards on 6-of-9 passing for 130 yards.

“Last year they blew us out and came into our home field,” Stratton said. “Embarrassed us. We never wanted to feel like that again and we came out knowing it’s going to be the last time playing on this field. We wanted to make a statement before we went into playoffs.”

Ridley quarterback Cade Stratton dashes down the sideline early in the Raiders’ victory over host Conestoga Friday. (Digital First Media/Pete Bannan)

Ridley quarterback Cade Stratton dashes down the sideline early in the Raiders’ victory over host Conestoga Friday. (Digital First Media/Pete Bannan)

The Ridley rushing attack gained 254 yards with three touchdowns on 38 attempts. Three Raiders rushed for 60 yards or more and three different players scored touchdowns on the ground: Brock Anderson, Taj McCafferty and Jamai Bean.

Wood not only enjoyed his team’s win, but Garnet Valley’s win over Springfield as well.

“They lost and my son had the key interception,” Wood said. “That’s awesome. It’s an awesome play and it’s just awesome he did that. Our kids were cheering on the sideline.”

In what has been a down year for Conestoga. The Pioneers fall to 1-7 overall and 1-6 in the Central League.

“I always tell my team with every negative there is a positive,” Conestoga head coach Marquis Weeks said. “It’s been a tough season but I’m an upbeat person and I see positives in everything. I feel like the future is bright for Conestoga football.”

The Raiders will send off their seniors Friday night against Upper Darby.

“Last time playing on the field at night,” said McCafferty, a senior fullback. “We’ve got to make a statement.”

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