Congrats to our offensive and defensive "Players of the Week", a new feature on the site for the 2014 season.
OFFENSE - Sr RB Earl Harrison DEFENSE - Jr LB Darren Johnson
Harrison was named Commercial Appeal offensive player of the week. Johnson was named Ridgewayfootball.net Defensive Player of the week.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE Ridgeway: Harrison picked up 233 yards on 26 carries and scored on runs of 9, 57 and 20 yards in a 49-34 victory over Olive Branch.
DEFENSE Ridgeway: Johnson was spectacular as he collected 10 tackles, 1 sack, and 3 tackles for loss. He also had 2 pass breakups in the win over Olive Branch.
DANDY DOZEN RANKINGS
1. Whitehaven 1-0
2. Ridgeway 1-0
3. Trezevant 1-0
4. East 1-0
5. MUS 0-1
6. Central 1-0
7. Olive Branch 0-1
8. Arlington 1-0
9. White Station 0-1
10. St. George’s 1-0
11. Craigmont 1-0
12. DeSoto Central 0-1
(tie) Southwind 0-1
Roadrunners Dropping Bombs in 49-34 Air and Ground Attack
Sr QB Braxton Conard passed for 283 yards, 3TDs and was poised and confident leading Ridgeway to victory over Olive Branch 49-34 in the season opener. Sr WR Katavious Taylor (15) had 147 yards 2TD, both long bombs from Braxton Conard!
Offense Too Much for Olive Branch
QB Braxton Conard 3 TD passes, RB Earl Harrison 3TD Rushes and 233 yards
Story by LC
Aug 23, 2014 (Highlights below)
The Ridgeway Roadrunners opened the 2014 season against #5 ranked Olive Branch in front of an estimated 4,000 fans, a tough road opponent to be sure. But as Coach Sutton told me at the Jamboree, we have a good team and we have our eyes on the big prize this season. The way the Roadrunners played tonight is a good indication that Coach Sutton knows this team has the potential to go all the way. Olive Branch jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead after an interception return for TD on the opening drive. But the Roadrunners kept their composure, executed its offensive game plan and went to work pounding the ball on the ground with Earl Harrison behind their massive offensive line.
Offensive Guard Larry Palm (78) help open holes and pass protected all night in helping the Roadrunners gain more than 600 yards on offense tonight. Jr LB Darron Johnson who led Ridgeway defense tonight with 10 tackles, 1 sack, and 3 tackles for loss, shares a moment with his mother after the game!
Harrison tied the game on a 12 yard TD run. Then on Ridgeway started dropping bombs when Sr QB Braxton Conard lofted a beautifully thrown 78 yard TD bomb to Sr WR Katavious Taylor who got behind the Olive Branch defense to give Ridgeway a 14-7 lead. Olive Branch would tie the game at 14-14 by halftime. But it was obvious that Ridgeway's offense would be hard to stop as they amassed 274 yards total offense in the 1st half alone.
Sr RB Earl Harrison who rushed for 233 yards and 3 TD in the win celebrates with family after the game.
The Roadrunners came out firing in the 2nd half when once again Conard threw a perfectly thrown 55 yard bomb to Katavious Taylor to give RHS a 21-14 lead. The Roadrunners defense played hard, but to Olive Branch credit they kept fighting back to tie the game again at 21-21. That's when Coach Sutton started alternating RB Harrison and RB Lilotis Walker who kept the rushing attack fresh. Time and again the Roadrunners kept getting 1st downs on the ground. Harrison broke free around the left side to go 58 yards for another TD to give Ridgeway a 28-21 lead. OB would tie it again at 28. Then Conard tossed his 3rd long bomb of the game, this time to Sr TE Marquette Murdock for a 70 yard TD.
Sr TE Marquette Murdock is all smiles after helping Ridgeway defeat Olive Branch. Murdock had 4 rec, including a 70 yard TD. Coach Sutton is proud of the way his team played tonight!
The defense step up its game and SS Josh Malone picked off the Olive Branch QB to set Ridgeway up with a short field. The Roadrunners got another TD from Harrison on a 20 yard TD scamper around the right side, his 3rd TD of the game. Sr FB D' Angelous Davis, who ran hard all night would add another TD run and the game was out of reach for Olive Branch.
Sr FB D'Angelous Davis (35) ran hard all night and scored on a 17 yard TD run in the 4th to seal the victory. So CB Joseph Newberry (17) was solid at CB with 5 tackles, 3 pass defended and 1 interception.
The Roadrunners got another interception from So CB Joseph Newberry, who played an outstanding ball game at CB with 5 tackles, 3 pass breakups. It was a spectacular night for the Roadrunners, who thrilled their fans with big play after big play. The defense was led by Jr LB Darron Johnson who had 10 tackles, 1 sack, and 3 tackles for loss. Sr LB Monteris Boyd also played an outstanding ball game with 5 tackles, 1 sack and 1 tackle for loss. Sr. DE Terry Fultz had 2 tackles, 2 for loss. Much credit goes to the coaching staff who had the team ready to play mistake free football as the Roadrunners only had 3 penalties against them and only 1 turnover.
The offense racked up more than 600 yards of offense and scored 7TDs. PK Jonah Roberts made all 7 PATs
Great game Roadrunners!
Sr. QB Braxton Conard will be expected to lead a powerful Roadrunners offense this season. The Roadrunners open the season on the road at Olive Branch Aug 22nd.
Sr QB Braxton Conard has thrown for more than 40 TD in his career. The Sr QB looks to lead Ridgeway to the state championship this season. Conard told me "LC, I'm ready this year"!
ROADRUNNERS READY TO RUMBLE
WR Caymon Gordon (11) and Katavious Taylor (15) will be counted on to produce TDs this season!
The 2014 Ridgeway Roadrunners have a quiet confidence about their approach to this season. Supporters of the program understand why too. This team is poised to try and win it all this year. They have the talent and experience to do it. Infact, head coach Duron Sutton, who is usually very reserved in his comments to me, told me point blank "LC we will be good this season, I expect to compete for the state Championship".
As I watched other teams in this year's Jamboree at Whitehaven, one of the Whitehaven assistant coaches approached me and said "LC, man Ridgeway is loaded". He didn't have to tell me, I already knew it.
As I start my 7th season as the teams Media and Video Director, I too am very excited about the upcoming season. The Roadrunners are returning starters at virtually every position on the field, starting at QB where 3 year starter Braxton Conard enters his Sr year poised to have the best year of his fine career. Conard burst on the scene as a Sophomore and made the Best of Preps by throwing 27 TD and only 3 interceptions in 2012. Last season he had some tough moments, but gained valuable experience while tossing another 15 TD, but he had some tough games in the process.
Coach Sutton has been pleased with the way Braxton has bounced back and prepared himself for the season. Says coach Sutton "Braxton has worked hard. I think he was humbled a little last season, but I am pleased with the way he has bounced back and looks good. He is ready to go".
He will have plenty of help on offense with the return of the Memphis areas most potent rushing attack from 2013 with Earl Harrison (18TD) and Lilotis Walker (14TD), both who eclisped 1,000 yards last season. Harrison rushed for more than 1,700 yards. At WR the Roadrunners return both starters in Caymon Gordon (5TD) and Katavious Taylor (5TD) from last season. Look for the Roadrunners to use the explosive abilities of So WR Vincent Taylor, whom Coach Sutton says "he is a player".
Sr TE Marquette Murdock, who has now added muscle and bulked up to 225lb will be counted on to produced big time this season.
The Roadrunners return All District TE Marquette Murdock. The 3 yr starter has been a star every since his first game as a 10th grader and I feel he will have his best year. Murdock has bulked up to 6'2 225. Murdock has caught 10 TD in his career. The offensive line will be anchored by returning standout starters Sr OT Cameron Jones and Sr OG Larry Palm.
Sr OG Larry Palm 6'3 315 is a versatile big man and should get some looks from colleges
Sr. DE Terry Fultz, now 6'5 260 will lead the Ridgeway defense
The defense returns plenty of starters also. Sr DE Terry Fultz is a 3 year starter and should have an outstanding Sr season. Look for Fultz to dominate. Sr DE Elontae Bateman has been a good player and starter for 3 years as well. Jr DT Anthony Wayne will man up in the trenches with the best. At LB Jr Darron Johnson returns after having a surprisingly spectacular So season. He may be Ridgeway's best defender. Look for solid play from Sr LB Darion Jennings, Sr LB Monteris Boyd, and contribution from Jr LB Taurus Henderson. The secondary returns two starters from last season in Sr CB Nick Gordon, and Jr SS Josh Gordon. Place kicking will be handled by returning Sr K Jonah Roberts, who converted 95 percent of all PATS last season. It should be an exciting season. The Roadrunners play another tough schedule, but for some reason this season it appears the Roadrunners are ready to prove that they are indeed title contenders. Let's go Roadrunners....it's time for some football!
Aug. 22 at Olive Branch, 7 p.m.
Sept. 5 at Southwind, 7 p.m.
Sept. 12 at Henry Co., 7 p.m.
Sept. 19 at Kirby, 7 p.m.
Sept. 26 Whitehaven at Halle, 7 p.m.
Oct. 3 Germantown at Halle, 7 p.m.
Oct. 9 Collierville at Halle, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 at Houston, 7 p.m.
Oct. 23 East at Fairgrounds, 7 p.m.
Oct. 31 Wooddale at Halle, 7 p.m.