Ridley gets ’er Dunn against Glen Mills

RIDLEY TWP. >> For 23 minutes and 50 seconds Friday night, the meeting between Ridley and Glen Mills bore all the trappings of a Week 1 game. Then Christian Dunn got to work.

Dunn’s 55-yard pitch-and-catch from quarterback Cade Stratton as the first half clock expired permanently tipped the scales in the Green Raiders’ favor in a 30-0 win. It also exemplified the potential and the feeling-out process that Ridley’s offense dealt with in the first half.

The play was the best bit of execution Ridley mustered on the night, a crossing pattern where Stratton hit Dunn in stride at midfield, then Dunn used a stellar block from Brock Anderson and steamrolled a would-be tackler inside the 10.

“I heard the call, and just everyone did what they were supposed to do,” Dunn said. “Everything just fell into place.”

Coach Dennis Decker hoped for that at some point, with all the options he threw out there for an offense that turned the ball over on downs three times in the first half. Stratton and Jon Buckmaster split time under center, with Buckmaster tossing an interception hauled in by DaQuan Dantzler at the goal line and neither finding much success downfield until Dunn and Stratton hooked up.

They were two of the eight Green Raiders to carry the ball in the first half, Decker dialing up all manner of laterals, jet sweeps and inside handoffs to get his versatile corps of athletes the ball.

With the breathing room provided by Dunn’s touchdown, the Green Raiders could revert to Plan A: Putting the ball in the hands of Malik Young. The tailback pounded out 22 carries — including each of the first seven plays that Ridley ran — for 159 yards and two scores. He broke off a 35-yard touchdown off left tackle in the second quarter for Ridley’s first trip to the end zone, then pounded in from four yards out in the third to cap the scoring.

The second tally, where he stalked behind massive offensive lineman Matt Cipolloni as he picked his way into the end zone, gave an indication of how Young’s post-game praise would be directed.

“I love my line,” Young said. “I give all credit to them, always. After every play, I’m giving them high fives, telling them to keep going and keep going. I just can’t thank them enough, because without them, I wouldn’t be getting touchdowns or anything.”

Those points were more than enough for a Ridley defense that limited Glen Mills to just 70 yards of total offense and four first downs. Javon Thomas’ first completion of the game came on the final play of the third quarter, with a Gene Gibbons interception mixed in. Ryan Gricco sacked Thomas in the end zone for a safety in the second quarter, which supplemented one of two Jamie Fisher field goals in the early scoring.

“The main problem that we need to work on is our timing,” Dantzler said. “Everything went down because of our timing. We couldn’t get in the huddle correctly, we couldn’t get on the all correctly. We couldn’t run the play in time. We’ve really got to go hard on Monday and really got to put in work. We have to get better on our timing.”

The Ridley front seven was in the backfield early and often, making it impossible for Glen Mills to develop any offensive continuity.

“That sets the tone,” defensive tackle Antonio Petril said. “That sets the tone for the rest of the season.”

The most pertinent bit of timing’s was Dunn, which put Ridley on a path to the win.

“After Dunn scored, it was a great run, and all of us walked up into the locker room believing in ourselves,” Stratton said. “We thought we had the game, but we just had to close it out.”


Date Time
June 8, 2015 4:35 am
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