West heads northbound, Garnet Valley rolls past Ridley

RIDLEY TWP. >> When Ridley’s Allen Martin took the game’s opening kickoff 78 yards to the end zone Friday night, Garnet Valley teetered back and forth. Sometimes, though, a good slap in the face is all a football team needs to get the blood flowing.

Fourteen seconds into regulation, the Jaguars trailed Ridley in a pivotal Central League showdown at Phil Marion Field.

Garnet Valley’s defense certainly wasn’t a problem, but it would take some time for the Jaguars’ triple-option offense to get going. Once it did, the Jaguars were in control.

Garnet Valley quarterback Matt Hamby, left, gets off a pass under pressure from Ridley’s Antonio Petril Friday night. (Times Staff/Tom Kelly IV)
Garnet Valley quarterback Matt Hamby, left, gets off a pass under pressure from Ridley’s Antonio Petril Friday night. (Times Staff/Tom Kelly IV)

They kept within striking distance after falling behind 10 points and didn’t allow Ridley the chance to run away, limiting the Green Raiders to 18 total yards of offense in the second half. After that first face slap, Garnet Valley was nothing short of dominating in a 28-10 dismantling of Ridley.

The Jaguars were led by senior Tim Bradley’s two sacks and Derrick West’s 136 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Garnet Valley has won six of the last seven meetings against Ridley.

The Jaguars maintained pressure on Ridley quarterback Cade Stratton and limited top running back Malik Young to 43 yards on 14 carries. At times, Ridley’s offense was simply overwhelmed.

“Just get fired up,” Bradley said of the team’s game plan upon exiting the locker room for the third quarter. “We came out sleeping in the first quarter and everybody was at each other’s back. We came out and were ready to play.”

In the second half, Garnet Valley sacked Stratton on three occasions and forced the Green Raiders to botch two punts, which gave the Jaguars (2-1, 1-0 Central League) wonderful field position on both occasions. The Jaguars made the Green Raiders (2-1, 0-1) pay both times.

“We just kept blowing up the inside and kept moving forward,” Bradley said. “It was awesome.”

West put the Jags in front with a two-yard run in the waning seconds of the third quarter. The senior was effective between the tackles on the halfback dive and kept churning out the tough yards while Ridley’s defense ran out of steam.

Garnet Valley dominated time of possession after halftime as Ridley ran just 19 plays on offense.

With 136 yards on the ground, West outgained Ridley (131 yards) by his lonesome. He got a big boost from his linemen, including Justin George and Sergey Piokhov.

“I’ve always been taught that football is a game of inches and I fight for every inch,” West said. “When the big play comes, we take the most of the opportunity.”

With the Jags ahead 21-10 and starting to pull away, West ripped off a 22-yard scamper to move deep into Ridley territory. Eight plays later, West pushed his way across the goal line for his third TD of the night.

Ridley’s run defense had held opposing ball carriers to 1.9 yards per carry entering Friday’s game.

Garnet Valley's Derrick West (1) breaks free for a touchdown in the Jaguars' 28-10 win over Ridley Friday. (Times Staff/Tom Kelly IV)
Garnet Valley’s Derrick West (1) breaks free for a touchdown in the Jaguars’ 28-10 win over Ridley Friday. (Times Staff/Tom Kelly IV)

“We just didn’t execute in all areas,” coach Dennis Decker said. “Garnet Valley is a good team and they deserve a ton of credit. Other than that opening kickoff, I thought we got beat in all three facets of the game.”

Sophomore running back/athlete Danny Guy also impacted the game, rushing for 54 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. His 18-yard dash in the third period put the Jags up by two scores. It was the blow that knocked down the Green Raiders.

While he’s only a sophomore, Guy doesn’t look the least bit out of place on Garnet Valley, which traditionally fields a senior-laden squad.

“It’s a great opportunity and I’m just making the best out of it,” Guy said. “Our offensive line did a great job. They kept pushing up forward and we kept moving the ball.”

It was a recipe for success for the Jaguars.

“This was a big confidence boost,” said defensive end Brandon Granahan, who had a sack. “I think it really speaks to our character by how we bounced back from that Unionville game (in Week 1). It’s just awesome, to get a win like this.”

It was victory No. 19 in Mike Ricci’s decorated coaching career at Garnet Valley.

“We played great defense,” Ricci said. “We were able to get a lot of pressure on the quarterback. (Stratton’s) a good thrower and Ridley has a really good passing game, and our front seven played fantastically. We were able to get pressure throughout the game, but especially in the second half, and we were able to make big play after big play and not give up the big play. In our earlier games, we had given up a couple big plays. Today, other than the kickoff, we didn’t do that.”

GV quarterback Matt Hamby had 39 yards on the ground and managed the offense with aplomb. Ryan Manbeck intercepted Stratton (6-of-13, 98 yards) to seal the win. Meanwhile, Gene Gibbons was the top performer on Ridley’s offense with four catches for 68 yards.

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