Odds & Ends from Ridley-Garnet Valley game

  • Other than falling behind 3-0 to Conestoga, Ridley hadn’t trailed in a game all season before tonight . Pretty impressive considering the Green Raiders erased a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit like it was no big deal. Last year’s Ridley squad folded under such pressure… but not this year.
  • I heard the players attribute senior leadership for their success. A cliche of all cliche in high school sports? You betcha. But it makes sense, I suppose. Ridley is “playing like a team” (another cliche!) and certainly showed me a lot.
  • For two teams known for their offensive prowess, collectively they managed only 456 yards.
  • Collin Wright stepped in at quarterback for Ridley and was hardly noticeable … which is a good thing. He showed a strong arm and good accuracy, though did throw an interception on a busted RB screen. Still, Wright did a fine job managing the offense and I expect he’ll start going forward.
  • Ridley is so strong up the middle on defense. Garnet put its speed to use and ran a lot of counters and QB options with Ryan Corkery and that kind of stuff, but Ridley bottled up everything else
  • I can say this … Ridley and Garnet Valley were two boxers exchanging blows for the first half. Pretty evenly matched. Garnet took advantage of good field position in the third quarter and scored 10 points. Ridley forced two fumbles in the fourth quarter and outscored Garnet, 20-0. I expected a close game (and it was), but was a little surprised there weren’t more big plays.

I’ll have another blog post or two on this game over the weekend.

This entry was posted in Central League and tagged , by mattsmith. Bookmark the permalink.

About mattsmith

Matt Smith is an award-winning local sports writer for the Delaware County Times. A Delco native, Matt's covered local, pro and college sports at the Delco Times since 2006. In 2013, he won a Pennsylvania Keystone Press Award for Best Sports Coverage. Follow him on Twitter @DTMattSmith

6 thoughts on “Odds & Ends from Ridley-Garnet Valley game

  1. I thought it was a great game.

    I think these were two evenly matched teams.

    Not knocking Ridley, but GV lost this game more than Ridley won it with turnovers in the 4th. I think there were 3, not 2, but I could be wrong (that could be for the second half, not the 4th). A GV turnover also lead to Ridley’s 1st half touchdown on a short field.

    To their credit, Ridley took advantage of the turnovers. I think they scored off every turnover – which was the difference in the game,

    The two teams seemed very even in the first half. It was smashed-mouth defensive football. The defenses had the other team well scouted and the offenses could not do much as it was 7-7 at halftime.

    Then in the for 3rd GV took over and went up 17-7 on two longer drives using its speed on the option and wide receiver screens.

    At this point, I did not see Ridley coming back given how well GV’s D had played for 3 quarters.

    The pivotal play as a pass interference on a 40 yard pass in the end zone against GV while they were up 17-7.

    I personally saw no pass interference and neither did those sitting near me – and a few were rooting for neither team.

    This gave Ridley a first down and then touchdown.

    This to me was the momentum changing moment for the game. After that GV seemed to lose confidence while Ridley gained momentum and GV self-destructed with turnovers.

    To Ridley’s credit, when they were down 17-7 going into the 4th, I did not sense worry or concern in the body language of the players. They still seemed confident would be the senior leadership mentioned above.

    Ridley deserved the win, but had GV not turned the ball over so many times, I believe the outcome would have been different.

    Now, I stated I would make a comparison to EA now that I have seen the teams play.

    In the trenches, I’d give Ridley and GV the edge over EA in a power football game – which is Ridley’s style.

    Even though EA has a very good defense where the D line is great at freeing the linebackers and EA has a fast secondary to the ball, Ridley would gain running yards up the middle and off tackle on EA.

    I think Ridley would struggle running outside against EA and I think they would have trouble consistently passing against a strong EA secondary.

    However, I think Ridley could consume the clock and have some long drives on power running plays against EA and put the points on the board that way and then perhaps get them on play action.

    On the other side of the ball, I thought EA’s spread would do well against both Ridley and GV. Where GV did well against Ridley was on speed plays – options and wide receiver screens.

    EA’s spread puts a lot of speedy athletes all over the field. EA has passed the ball (albeit against weak competition) very well and QB Strouss can also run it – and I note the GV QB had some nice runs on options against Ridley.

    Both Ridley and GV played 4-3 defenses with some big, physical players.

    A well run spread really neutralizes a big, physical front 7 as they get spread out and have to play open space where they get beat on quickness and speed.

    Thus, while Ridley has a very good traditional defense, unless they could adjust well to a 3-3-5 or a 4-2-5 I see EA putting some points up on Ridley.

    For one game, it is tough to make that adjustment. If Ridley and EA played every year, it would be easier for Ridley.

    My assessment is Matt and Matt from Delco Times are right. Ridley and EA are pretty evenly matched with different offensive styles.

    It’s impossible to say who would win a game. EA has senior leadership in spades too.

    Even though I feel they are pretty evenly matched, I also think Matt has it right with Ridley #1 and EA #2.

    • Andy it very apparent you know your Delco football and that was a very good assessment of the game. BUT, I disagree a little with your comment about GV losing it more than Ridley won it. Yes, GV turned the ball over 3 times and Ridley capitalized on it. But Ridley also gave GV a gift with their own turnover right before half, which GV capitalized on too. In my opinion that swung the momentum to GV’s side and they carried it into the 3rd quarter. But you didn’t mention the 2 big drops by Ridley receivers that would have made the game 14-0 and would have changed the whole complexion of the game. I do agree with you on the pass interference against GV at the end of the 3rd quarter. But I also think that was make up call for the one they called against Ridley earlier. Anyway, it’s great football and we’re lucky to have so many great programs in our own backyard!

      • Good points that I won’t disagree with, however both first half touchdowns for each team came off turnovers so that is a wash in my view.

        Miscues occurred. Ridley dropped some catchable passes while the GV QB overthrew some open receivers.

        Score was tied going into the third. GV dominated the third until the self-destruction I described above. GV was in a very strong position to win the game at the end of the third up 17-7 with momentum. Turnovers in the 4th were the major difference in the end.

        As I posted above, to Ridley’s credit they did not cave in and showed the fight it took to come back and they took advantage of the opportunities that came their way.

        I also posted, Ridley deserved the win, these were two pretty evenly matched teams and it was a great game.

        Ridley is now in prime position to go undefeated and be well positioned for the playoffs.

        Springfield will be a test. Durham at QB can run the ball well and the GV QB had some good runs against Ridley, but I give Ridley the edge in the trenches and expect them to win.


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