Scoreless Tie

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Ridley 19 - North Penn 10

I plan to link to articles and discuss commentary on this game, but I want to put down my impressions of this game developed over the last 42 hours. First of all, Ridley was ready for North Penn. North Penn was not ready for Ridley. Ralphie getting hurt on the first series of the game seemed to put the Knights out of their rhythm. The execution on the first offensive series was horrible. Would it have been better if Ralph were in? It doesn't matter.

I have to say that Ridley was the most physical team North Penn has faced since Liberty a year ago. Dick Beck was quoted somewhere as saying that North Penn was healthy going into the game. Well, they sure weren't comeing out. In addition to Ralph, Brandon Mercer and Mike Culbreath were both knocked out of the game. Dave Jackson and Craig Needhammer were both nicked and continued to play. If North Penn HAD somehow pulled out a win, I think they would have been severely disadvantaged in the next game.

Now for some second guessing on the game. After scoring before halftime, why didn't Dylan pooch the ball to an up man? Or even kick it out of bounds? On the opening drive of the second half, Ridley stopped the 4th and inches run using an old Dick Beck trick of having the D-lineman angle behind the direction of the O-line blocks. In hindsight, it's darn near predictable. Also, why the double pass to T.J. Gill in the 3rd quarter? You got a score on a trick play already; Ridley had to be looking for that. If you are going to run another trick play at that point, make it something brand new.

Finally, even though I think North Penn COULD have gotten it done, they didn't, and all the credit goes to Ridley. With Easton's loss, I think they can lay claim to the best AAAA high school defense in PA. Good luck to the Raiders against LaSalle.

And congratulations to the Knights on a great season. There were 560 odd other PA high school football teams that were sitting at home Friday night with their seasons over. You gave us some great thrills and excitement with your play this year.

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