A 23-yard pass in overtime by senior quarterback Connor Hughes to Ryan Bell won the game for Ridge High School, as the Red Devils edged Linden 20-14 on Friday night.
“We didn’t have as much energy as last week,” Hughes said, “They (Linden) were fast and well-coached, so we just had to hang in there and make plays on offense.”
Hughes finished the game with two passing touchdowns and one rushing, but none was more important then the last play. Bell ended the game with a fantastic catch in the back of the end zone.
On the last play, Hughes rolled to his left, throwing across his body to a well-covered Bell, who caught the ball off one foot and was able to drag his toe for the game-winner.
“Our player went in motion to draw the defense off,” Bell said, “I just ran a fade down the field and Connor threw me a great pass and I was able to make the play.”
The play was one of many for Hughes and Bell, who seemed to have great chemistry all game long. Bell led Ridge in receiving, finishing the game with 5 receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
The Ridge defense was able to stop a very productive Linden offense on four straight downs in overtime, giving their offense a chance to win the game. After two quick plays, a pass play on third down would find success.
“We wanted to take a shot,” Ridge head coach Bill Tracy said, “we wanted to take one shot and it was a good play, they executed it and made it work.”
Linden played well in a game that didn’t go their way. Their rushing duo of junior Juwan Dolbrice and junior Kyle Phipps were productive.
Linden’s first touchdown came on a 25-yard strike early in the first quarter. Senior quarterback Dazzmen Johnson hit junior wide receiver Donte Waldron down the sidelines for the 6-0 lead.
Linden took the lead with nine minutes to go in the fourth quarter on a 30-yard run by Phipps, but Ridge answered on its next drive, going 59 yards, capped by a Hughes 8-yard TD run.
L — Waldron 25 pass from Johnson (Ampey kick)
R — Bell 37 pass from Hughes (Hughes kick)
L — Phipps 30 run (Ampey kick)
R — Hughes 8 run (Hughes kick)
R — Bell 23 pass from Hughes (no kick)
RUSHING: L – Dolbrice 17-70, Phipps 8-58, Johnson 6-27, Guillaume 1-(-4); R – Soulas 14-40, Hughes 2-10, Franzese 2-7, Vogt 2-0.
PASSING: L – Johnson 10-21-1-94; R – Hughes 10-24-2-144
RECEIVING:L – Waldron 3-41, West 3-25, Dolbrice 2-16, Guillaume 2-16, Burns 1-4; R – Bell 5-104, Franzese 4-82.