Ridgway/Johnsonburg Clobbers Coudersport to Make D-9 Final
Written by: Phil Myers on Sunday, November 12th, 2017
The Ridgway Elkers advanced to the District 9 Class A title game by clobbering the Coudersport Falcons 47-6 on a sunny, but chilly Saturday afternoon at Mansell Stadium in DuBois. The Elkers got off to a slow start, but an interception and a muffed kickoff changed the complexion of the game in the latter part of the first quarter. In addition to their defense playing lights out, Ridgway got big games from their dynamic duo on offense, Johnny Mitchell and Neil MacDonald.
The Falcons had some momentum at the beginning, forcing two three and outs on Ridgway’s first couple of possessions. They also moved the ball a little when they had the pigskin the first time. But the momentum of the game changed for good on Coudy’s next possession when Elker Andy Breier stepped in front of a Hayden Keck pass and returned it for an apparent 25-yard touchdown. A penalty for sideline interference, after the pick, moved the ball back to the Falcon 35.
Six plays later MacDonald scored his first of three TDs on the day from two yards out and Aaron Hinton’s PAT made it 7-0 Ridgway late in the opening quarter. A subsequent high, short kickoff was not handled cleanly by the Falcons and Bryce Barclay was there to pounce on the loose ball for the Elkers at Coudy’s 24. Again, it took six plays for MacDonald to score his second two-yard TD run and put Ridgway up 14-0 four seconds into the second quarter.
Ridgway scored on its next possession when Mitchell raced 70-yards to pay dirt on a quarterback draw. Hinton’s PAT made it 21-0 with 9:21 left in the second quarter. Two and a half minutes later MacDonald picked up a Coudersport bad pitch and sprinted 24 yards for his third touchdown of the half. The point after was blocked by Falcon David Burd and the score stayed at 27-0 throughout the rest of the first half.
MacDonald returned a punt 25 yards to the Falcon 49 early in the third quarter to set the Elkers up with good field position on their initial possession of the half. On the fifth play of the drive Mitchell scored his second touchdown on a twelve-yard run moving the Elker lead to 33-0 half way through the quarter. A two-point conversion was successful on a tackle eligibility play, but a penalty nullified it.
Practically a minute into the fourth quarter Mitchell hit Josh Thorwart for a 21-yard TD toss to put Ridgway up 40-0 and invoke the Mercy Rule. Hayden Yeager rounded out Ridgway’s scoring with a three-yard run at the 6:17 mark. Paul Grecco nailed the PAT to give the maroon-clad Elkers a 47-0 lead. The Falcons’ Jacob Pitcher finally put Coudy on the board with a six-yard score with a little over three minutes left in the contest.
Game Notes and Quotes: “I’m proud of these guys. They improved all season long, but Ridgway has improved as well and that’s why they’re where they’re at,” averred Coudersport head coach, Tom Storey. Ridgway held the Falcons to two first downs and 24 yards in the first half, and six first downs and 124 yards for the game. Steve Kelly led the purple and white with 34 yards rushing. Coudersport finishes the season with a 6-5 record.
Johnny Mitchell was the top Elker ground gainer with 131 yards. “Johnny’s a great kid and plays well on turf, but he’ll be the first to tell you he’ll give credit to his o-line for opening some of those holes. But, it wasn’t one guy, it was a team effort and everyone of our kids contributed, which is pretty awesome,” stated Mark Heindl, Ridgway’s head coach. MacDonald contributed 73 yards toting the pigskin. The Elkers had 322 yards of total offense with 299 of it on the ground. Ridgway is now 8-3 and tries to repeat as District 9 Single A champs next Friday night in DuBois against Curwensville, a 47-13 winner over Redbank Valley.
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