Ridder, a senior quarterback, and running back Sam Taylor provided a powerful combination that the Crimsons (6-1,1-1 Class 6-A, District 3) couldn’t counter. Ridder ran 14 times for 82 yards and three scores, while also completing 6 of 16 passes for 75 yards and another TD.
Taylor added 88 yards on 16 carries for St. Xavier (5-2, 2-0), which has not lost to Manual since 1993.
“Desmond’s a beast,” Tigers coach Will Wolford said. “So is Sam. They have more heart than you can imagine.”
GALLERY | St. X-Manual football
Manual would jump out first, capping a 50-yard drive with a 5-yard run from Marcis Floyd with 3:21 left in the opening quarter. The key play on the drive was a 34-yard catch by Jaelin Carter from Will Britt that put the Crimsons on the St. X 16. The point after attempt failed, giving Manual a 6-0 lead.
But the Tigers answered with authority, mounting a 10-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with a Ridder 18-yard pass to Cameron Garrett on the first play of the second quarter to give the Tigers a 7-6 lead. The Tigers never trailed the rest of the way.
St. X took over from there, not allowing Manual much of anything until midway through the fourth quarter. The Tigers held one of the state’s top rushing teams to just 56 yards on 26 carries.
Ridder would cap the Tigers scoring late in the third quarter with a 40-yard sweep run, where he beat an oncoming defender to the endzone pylon. He and Taylor would give way to backups in the fourth quarter as the Tigers led by 22.
Manual also hurt its cause with penalties, including three offsides calls on third-and-short situations for St. X. Two of those penalties, among the 12 Manual received, allowed the Tigers to maintain scoring drives.
Manual coach Scott Carmony said those self-inflicted wounds hurt.
“The bottom line is, if you want to be champions of your district, you got to make plays when they’re available to you,” he said. “You have to learn discipline.”