New play right call for Stratton, Ridley pays off against Interboro

RIDLEY TWP. >> The Ridley offense had run more than five minutes off the clock during the second quarter of the Green Raiders’ Thanksgiving Day football matchup with Interboro at Phil Marion Memorial Field Thursday morning.

With less than one minute until halftime, Ridley was five yards from the end zone and called a timeout to decide which play could give the host Green Raiders the game’s first touchdown.

Head coach Dennis Decker said credit should go to junior quarterback Cade Stratton for calling the pass play to senior tight end Connor Beaumont that resulted in the only touchdown of the Green Raiders’ 12-0 victory.

Ridley's Connor Beaumont, left, marches into the end zone ahead of Interboro's Matt DiSands for the only touchdown of Ridley's 12-0 win Thursday. (Times Staff/Robert J. Gurecki)
Ridley’s Connor Beaumont, left, marches into the end zone ahead of Interboro’s Matt DiSands for the only touchdown of Ridley’s 12-0 win Thursday. (Times Staff/Robert J. Gurecki)

“My first year (as head coach), North Penn ran that play on us in a playoff game at Coatesville,” Decker said. “Coach (Joe) Stratton put the play in at practice this week. I was down at the other end of the field, and I saw them working on the play.

“It was fourth down, so we knew we could wind up being heroes or zeroes.”

Stratton took the snap, made it look like he might be running, then jumped up as he released the ball. Beaumont pulled it in across the goal line 50 seconds before the break, and Jamie Fisher, who had opened the scoring with a 43-yard field goal almost eight minutes earlier, added the conversion that allowed Ridley (7-5) to walk off the field with a 10-0 halftime lead.

“We had that play run against us,” said Cade Stratton, a special teams player when the Green Raiders and Bucs faced off in their Thanksgiving rivalry a year ago. “It looks like I’m going to run the quarterback sneak. They come up and I throw the ball.”

In the first two quarters, Interboro ran three plays and punted on two of its first three possessions. The other possession lasted four plays because of a penalty.

Coach Jeff Hamson’s Ridley defense surrendered only 41 yards before halftime, and 28 of those yards came on a Chris Hummel run on the first play after the Green Raiders kicked off following their touchdown. One play later, the half came to an end.

On the other side of the ball, Ridley junior Malik Young (28 carries, 118 yards) picked up 88 yards on 18 rushes as the Green Raiders ran 36 plays to the Bucs’ 15 in the first and second quarters.

“Before the game all we talked about was playing four quarters,” Decker said. “We had games where we did things well for two or three quarters, but that one bad quarter hurt us.

Interboro's Chase Pattinson, left, breaks up a pass intended for Ridley's Sean Bingnear during Ridley's 12-0 win Thursday. (Times Staff/Robert J. Gurecki)
Interboro’s Chase Pattinson, left, breaks up a pass intended for Ridley’s Sean Bingnear during Ridley’s 12-0 win Thursday. (Times Staff/Robert J. Gurecki)

“The last two weeks, they’ve worked very hard, and today we said we had seniors who might be playing football for the last time, and we wanted to give them a game to remember. We played smart, and we executed offensively, defensively and on special teams.”

Interboro came out after halftime and drove from its 37 to the Ridley 25 before running out of downs. Danny Mea, who completed 10 of his 14 passes as the Bucs quarterback, stuffed a couple of Ridley runs from his linebacker position before Fisher’s 40-yard punt was downed at the Interboro 7. On first down, Mea retreated into the end zone and was pulled down by Mitch Cardow, Sam Ferkler and Saleem Lockett for a safety.

“It was just tackle anything that looked like it had the ball,” Green Raiders senior linebacker Christian Dunn said. “There’s so much tradition with this game, and it’s been an honor to be part of this program in the last few years.”

After Ridley forced Interboro to punt with nine minutes to play, the Green Raiders used 14 running plays to use up more than six minutes. Young got the call on half of those carries before Steve Royer stopped Stratton on a fourth-down play six yards short of the goal line.

“The coaches said we had to establish the run,” Young said. “I got great help from the line with their blocking. There was no way we weren’t going to let the seniors leave without getting another win.”

The Ridley offensive line included Eric Frassoni, Dom Pinto, Matt Cipolloni, Denis Kennedy, John Sheldon and Leo Cassidy.

“There’s nothing like getting a (win) in the Thanksgiving game,” Young said.

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