Ridgeley Rams D2 Super Bowl Champs, D1 finishes second
RIDGELEY – It was a double dose of black and blue against red and white at Greenway Avenue stadium in Cumberland last Sunday. In a clash between two of the Cumberland Area Youth Football League’s longest and most famous programs, the Ridgeley Rams and Hartley’s Pizza / Personal Best / Ledo’s Pizza Patriots fought in the Super Bowls Division 2 and Division 1.
The final result ? A shared decision. The Rams beat the Patriots 14-6 to win the D2 Super Bowl Championship, but fell to the Patriots 30-0 in the D1 title game.
After a bit of back and forth throughout the first and second quarters of the D2 game, it was in fact the Patriots who drew the first blood. With 6:34 left in the second period, the Patriots’ Jake Rice crossed the middle of the line for the game’s first touchdown. With the extra kick not being good, the Patriots held a 6-0 lead.
Both teams would head to the locker room at halftime, with the Patriots holding a touchdown advantage. The second half, however, at least on the scoreboard, would be all Ridgeley.
In the second game of the scrimmage after the break, Ridgeley’s Cole Shanholtz took over midway on the outward left rebound and passed Patriots defensemen to the end zone. The extra point try was not good and the game was tied 6-6 less than a minute into the second half.
The pivotal play of the match occurred at 1:48 of the third quarter. As the Patriots faced a third and six off the Rams eight-yard line, Ridgeley’s Peyton Brittingham intercepted a Patriots pass at the goal line and sent the ball over to the 15-yard line. Not only did Brittingham’s play put an end to scoring potential for his opponent, but he also served as a huge shifter.
The decisive score came with 8:17 remaining in the game. Gunnar Bradshaw took the direct snap, cut inside, rebounded outside to the right and, with the help of a few key blocks, took the ball 55 yards to the end zone for Ridgeley. Cole Shanholtz converted a two-point conversion kick to give Ridgeley the 14-6 advantage for good.
“We knew we could do it if we stayed focused on the task at hand. Brittingham’s interception really was the turn of the game. From there we just controlled the clock, moved the ball down the field, stayed with our blocks and tried to hit one, and that’s what happened, ”said Rams D2 coach John Crock.
According to Crock, “These kids were very easy to coach, very respectful, probably among the 15 best kids I ever had. Normally if you want to win something like this you need 20-25 kids. These 15 kids really stepped up this year and played a great ball. “
Unfortunately for Ridgeley, the Division 1 contest belonged to the Patriots by a final tally of 30-0. The Patriots took the 16-0 advantage with two touchdowns from Noah House. The Red and Whites then scored two more touchdowns in the second half, one from Chase Lamb and the other from Carson Bender. Patriots kicker Bobby Brauer converted three of four two-run kicks to bring the final score to 30-0 in favor of the Patriots.
Bender and Lamb rushed over 100 yards in the game for the Patriots, also scoring one touchdown each. Noah House scored two touchdowns for the Red & Whites.
The Patriots finished the season with a perfect 9-0 record.
“It was a tough and physical game. They played well and executed their game plan and we didn’t, ”said Rams D1 head coach Duke Lantz. “We couldn’t do anything early and fell behind, and playing from behind is not where we want to be. We had a great season, but in the end we failed.
Despite the loss in the title game, the Rams D1 team had much to be proud of. First and foremost, they never stopped fighting even when the chips were down. Second, the season overall has been a great success as, outside of the Patriots, the Rams have dominated their competition this season.