KANE – Ridgway and Kane were submerged in a muddy defensive stalemate in the first half.
The Elkers used a timely long run and a long drive to emerge with the win.
Ridgway used 14 second-half points which were the only points of the game as the Elkers won 14-0 over Kane Friday night at Paul R. Miller Stadium.
"I'm proud of the kids," Ridgway coach Mark Heindl said. "Our offensive and defensive lines came to play."
Muddy conditions hampered the offense throughout the game but the Elkers were able to break the game's biggest play from scrimmage early in the third quarter. With the teams playing a game of field position, the Wolves had the Elkers pinned at its own 13-yard line after a punt. Ridgway had originally returned the punt to the 25 but the Elkers were called with a personal foul penalty to move the team back inside its own 20. On the second play of the drive, Ridgway running back Eric Matheson took the ball to his right and sprinted 88 yards for the game's first points and a 7-0 lead with 8:37 left in the third quarter. Heindl said at halftime that he and the Ridgway coaching staff had a feeling any offense would come down to one play in the second half.
"At the end of the game, Eric went over and thanked the members of the offensive line for that performance," Heindl said. "That's the type of kid he is."
Kane had to punt on its next series before Ridgway took the ball over near midfield and started a long drive down the field which ate up most of the third quarter. Near the end of the quarter, Ridgway started to eat up yardage on the ground. Sam Delhunty ran for six yards and Matheson then ran for 15 and a first down. A Delhunty 8-yard run continued the march. Ridgway had a 4th-and-goal at the 1-yard line but a fumbled snap negated any chance of Ridgway extending the lead.
Kane was still pinned against its own goal line and could not get a first down, forcing a punt.
Kane looked to have Ridgway stopped on a 4th-down play as Ridgway quarterback Jordan Lundin found Aaron Sorge for a 6-yard completion which would have been short of the first down. However, Kane committed a face mask penalty on the play which gave Ridgway the first down. Lundin then ran the ball seven yards for a touchdown which put the Elkers ahead 14-0 and essentially sealed the game with around four minutes left.
"Our kids fought to the end," Kane coach Jason Barner said. "Both teams came ready to play. Considering the very poor conditions I thought both teams played very well with a limited number of turnovers."
Ridgway opened the game with the ball and got a first down into Kane territory as Lundin scrambled for a 17-yard gain. Ridgway's offense would bog down and the Elkers would have to punt.
Kane appeared to go three-and-out on its opening possession but on 4th-and-6, Kane got the Elkers to jump offsides. On 4th-and-1, the Wolves went for it and got it as quarterback Sean Jordan took a quarterback sneak six yards up the middle for a first down. The Ridgway defense recovered and forced a punt from Kane.
Ridgway and Kane exchanged three-and-outs before the Elkers fumbled the ball. It appeared Josh Kibbie recovered it for the Wolves to set up Kane at the Ridgway 31-yard line. Kane's best scoring chance of the game went by the wayside as the Wolves could not convert a first down.
Kane outgained Ridgway 89-42 in total yards in the first half.
Ridgway moves to 5-3 overall and 2-2 in AML South play and is still alive for a potential playoff berth.
"We're 5-3 and we're in control of our own fate," Heindl said.
Kane drops to 4-4 and 1-3 in the AML South.
The Elkers face Elk County Catholic next Friday at 7 p.m. at Dutch Country Stadium in St. Marys in what now looks like a critical matchup for playoff seeding. ECC lost to Curwensville 38-6 and is also 5-3 overall with a 2-2 mark in the AML South.
Ridgway 0 0 7 7 - 14
Kane 0 0 0 0 - 0
R - Eric Matheson 88 run (Matheson kick), 8:27
R - Jordan Lundin 7 run (Matheson kick)
Team stats Ridgway Kane
First downs 5 6
Rushes-yards 35-218 32-82
Passing yards 38 20
Total yards 256 102
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-0
Penalties-yards 4-32 3-15
Passing: Ridgway: Jordan Lundin 4-4-38-0-0. Kane: Sean Jordan 3-12-20-0-1.
Rushing: Ridgway: Eric Matheson 10-139, Sam Delhunty 8-32, Jordan Lundin 7-32, Mike Cappiello 10-15. Kane: Jonah Smith 13-39, Tyler Burdick 5-23, Sean Jordan 12-19, Sean Rolick 2-1.
Receiving: Ridgway: Aaron Sorge 2-30, Mike Cappiello 2-8. Kane: Tyler Burdick 1-6, Sean Rolick 2-4.