TSUNAMI OF TURNOVERS DROWN ROADRUNNERS
4 ints, 2 Lost Fumbles, 1 muffed punt too much to overcome!
Ridgeway falls 42-21 in 3rd rd, ends season with 7-6 record
Story, photos and video below by LC Nov 24, 2013
The season came to a close tonight in Henry Co as the Roadrunners, for the 2nd time this season was defeated by the Henry County Patriots. It was a mirror image of the first meeting between these two team in which the Patriots defeated Ridgeway 32-22. Only this time the Patriots beat them 42-21 in front of a racious crowd of more than 4,000.
Simply put...the Roadrunners you might as well say...beat themselves. Don't get me wrong, Henry Co is a great high school team. They are an impressive 13-0 and every team says the same thing....they don't look that great. But here's how they win.....they are disciplined, well coached and do not turn the ball over, which brings me to the Roadrunners. If Ridgeway is to take the next step and become a perrenial state contender....the number one thing that must be addressed is ...you guess it...TURNOVERS!. The Roadrunners committed an astonishing 7 turnovers (that's not a misprint) seven turnovers (4 interceptions, 2 lost fumbles, 1 muffed punt) in this game. You won't win many football games like that.
The game was tied 14-14 at halftime. The Patriots outscored Ridgeway 28-7 in the second half, getting a meaningless window dressing score with 1:00 remaining in the 4th. Ridgeway's defense played inspired football in the 1st half....but how can anyone expect them to hold up when the offense continues to turn the ball over time and time again. Coach Sutton said to me after the game "LC, we have guys who want to blame anyone but themselves for mistakes that are made....when that happens, players lose confidence and begin to drop their heads. There was a lot of frustration out there tonight. Our kids didn't fight as hard when things went wrong as we would have hoped. I'm proud of the effort we gave this season, but we will certainly be looking to improve our play at several positions next season".
Ridgeway got 1 rushing TD from Earl Harrison and a reception TD from Toreano Barnes. Ridgeway did not get a defensive turnover this game.So the season ends in a frustrating manner...but i salute the players for giving it their all. Each player who will return next season can find ways to improve themselves....hopefully, that includes cutting down on turnovers. The Roadrunners can take pride in being District 15AAA champs this season, and advancing to the 3rd round.
Ridgeway Crush Melrose 54-20, advance to 3rd rd of state playoffs
Battle Tested Roadrunners too much for Melrose
Walker 215 yards rushing 4TD, Conard 2 TD Passes, Defense 4 turnovers
So RB Lilotis Walker rushed for 215 yards and 4 TD tonight! Sr DE Leroy Spells contributed 5 tackles and 1 sack in the win tonight. The Roadrunners were the more physical team tonight!
Story, Photos and video below by LC Nov 15, 2013
For the first time this 2013 season the Ridgeway Roadrunners have won back to back games convincingly, showing marked improvement at the best possible time....the state playoffs just like Coach Duron Sutton envisioned when he put together one of the toughest schedules in the state of TN this season. The Roadrunners 7-5 are peaking...and are battle tested. Coach Sutton would be the first to admit that it hasn't being an easy ride this season...but like he told me in a recent conversation "LC I feel the guys will play better and better as we prepare for the playoffs" He has been right so far.
Jr CB Terrell Houston had 4 tackles, 1 int (90 yd TD) and 5 pass defended tonight...awesome!
Ridgeway powered over, around and through the Golden Wildcats with a punishing ground attack and timely passing, coasting to a 54-20 victory on tonight.
The Roadrunners grounded and pounded a Melrose team that put 60 points on the board last week but could only muster 20 against an improving Roadrunners defense that again came away with 4 turnovers. So RB Lilotis Walker, replacing Earl Harrison in the 1st qtr who was injured and did not return, rushed for 215 yards and 4 TD. Said Walker after the game "I knew I had to pick up the slack for a fallen brother tonight". Walker was spectacular braking tackles and gashing Melrose tiring defense. In fact, Ridgeway's offense (the Memphis area's #1 ranked offense) showed great balance tonight. Jr QB Braxton Conard was 9-16 for 181 yards and tossed 2 TD passes, including a beautifully thrown 65 yard wheel route to RB Earl Harrison for the first TD. He later connected on a 30 yard TD with Jr TE Marquette Murdock for another scoring pass. The Roadrunners also got a 1 yard TD run from the fullback Davis.
Jr QB Braxton Conard is happy as he leaves the stadium after guiding his Roadrunners to a 54-20 victory. Conard passed for 175 yards and 2 TD tonight.
Defensively it was a special night. Jr DE Terry Fultz, who has been playing great of late had 7 tackles (4 for loss), another 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery and was consistently pressuring the Melrose QB. The Roadrunners Jr CB tandem of Terrell Houston and Brian Thomas did an outstanding job covering Melrose dangerous duo of Johnathon Johnson and Cornelius Sturghill. Each Houston, Thomas and FS Deharrius Smedley picked off the Melrose QB with interceptions. Houston closed the scoring on the final play of the game with a 95 yard TD return off his interception. So LB Darron Johnson led Ridgeway with 9 tackles, Josh Lyons 6, Elontae Batemon 5, Leroy Spells 5 tackles, 1 sack. Of course other defenders made plays too. PK Jonah Roberts converted 7 of 8 PATs and did an excellent job with kick-offs. It was a great team win and improved the Roadrunners to 7-5 overall. Ridgeway moves on the 3rd rd of the state playoffs for the 4th straight season under coach Sutton. Way to go Roadrunners!
Defense Shines as Roadrunners Crush Dyer Co 42-19
Jr DE Terry Fultz played the best game of his career with 9 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 4 tackles for loss in leading the Roadrunners defense tonight.
Nick Gordon int returned for TD, DE Fultz Dominates
Roadrunners advance to 2nd Rd
Story and Video (Below) by LC Nov 10, 2013
The Roadrunners put it all together tonight with a bruising rushing attack and opportunistic defense in defeating Dyer Co 42-19. It was by far the Roadrunners most impressive game of the season on defense. Led by Jr DE Terry Fultz, who played his most dominant game of the season, it was the kind of defensive performance the coaching staff has been looking for all season long. Ridgeway forced 4 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, 5 sacks and made several bone-crushing hits tonight. The offense was led once again by the tough running of Earl Harrison (3TD) and Lilotis Walker (1TD), FB Davis also had a rushing TD. The Roadrunners rushed for more than 300 yards collectively. Coach Sutton told me earlier in the week that he felt the team was just now peaking and he felt was ready to put it all together for the playoffs. Said Coach Sutton "Our goals are all within reach".
CB Nick Gordon returned an interception 22 yards for a TD in the win tonight
But the night belonged to the defense who repeatedly set the offense up in good field position. Fultz had 9 tackles, 4 for loss, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble.....what a game for Terry. CB Brian Thomas had 4 tackles, 1 interception, 2 pass defended, CB Terrell Houston had 4 tackles, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble and 3 pass defended, SS Josh Lyons had 6 tackles, 1 interception. LB Darron Johnson had 5 tackles. DT Elontae Bateman had 5 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss and CB Nick Gordon had an interception returned for a TD, 3 tackles and 2 pass defended. Of course other defenders played great...but these performances stood out. It was a great win for the Roadrunners who improve to 6-5 on the season and advance to the 2nd rd of the TSSAA state playoffs.
Roadrunners do what's Expected, Beat Cardinals 41-0
Walker 3 TD, Smedley 2 INT, So LB Darron Johnson 10 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 4 Tackles for Loss. Roadrunners finish regular season at 5-5
So RB Lilotis Walker (3) rushed for 3TD and So LB Darron Johnson (59) had 10 tackles, 4 for loss and 1 forced fumble. Each was outstanding tonight in helping Ridgeway defeat Wooddale.
Story, photos and video below by LC Oct 31, 2013
In a game where everyone already knew the outcome would be lopsided, Ridgeway did what it needed to do, get the win by blowing away the Cardinals. Ridgeway scored on it's first 5 possesions of the game in completely manhandling Wooddale...who honestly was completely overmatched in size and talent. Ridgeway got the scoring started when Jr RB Earl Harrison scampered 8 yards for a TD on the opening drive. Harrison rushed for 112 yards on 14 carries and 1 TD. He left the game with a slight knee injury. The Roadrunners then turned to So RB Lilotis Walker, who has been excellent this season as the featured back also. Walker rushed for 98 yards on 10 carries and 3TD in the contest. Jr QB Braxton Conard completed on 3 of 7 pass attempts but found TE Marquette Murdock on a nicely thrown 14 yard TD across the middle. Jr FB D'Angelous Davis also ran hard and rushed for 27 yards on 5 carries and scored his 3rd TD of the season. Jr RB Corey Morris contributed 52 yards rushing on 9 carries.
Jr FS Deharrious Smedley had 2 interceptions tonight, giving him 6 ints on the season.
Defensively, the Roadrunners shutout Wooddale who could only produce 30 yards of total offense for the game. The defense was led tonight by So LB Darron Johnson who was spectacular. I counted 10 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 forced fumble on a hard hit. Jr FS Deharrious Smedley picked off 2 passes, giving him 6 interceptions on the season. Jr DT Antonio Boyd added 4 tackles, 1 for loss and Jr DE Terry Fultz had 3 tackles, 1 for loss. So LB Wayne had a fumble recovery and 3 tackles. It was a much needed win for Ridgeway as we prepare for the playoffs.
Ridgeway Defeated by East 33-20
Up and Down Season Continues, Record now below 500 at 4-5
Story and video by LC Oct 25, 2013
Even Coach Sutton would have to admit, this has been an up and down season. The Roadrunners have yet to win 2 games in a row this season for the 1st time in the Coach Sutton era since I have been covering the team during his 4 years. The team will get an easy opponent in Wooddale to try and get back to 5-5 next week.
Ridgeway took a 7-0 lead in the first qtr off the opening drive behind the running of Liotis Walker who scored on a 16 yard TD run. But East came right back returning the kick off 66 yards deep into Roadrunner territory. They would score 2 plays later to tie it 7-7. Both teams defense was stout in the first half until the East fullback ripped a 56 yard TD run to take a 14-7 lead. The Roadrunners fought back when QB Braxton Conard found TE Marquis Murdock across the middle for a pass TD to pull within 13-14 (PAT blocked). But East scored on a 80 yard 8:00 min drive to open the 2nd half and take a 20-13 lead. Again the Roadrunners battled back when Conard hit WR Katavious Taylor for a 50 bomb pass TD to tie it 20-20. But that would be all the scoring for Ridgeway tonight. East got good position when they picked off Conard and returned the interception 65 yards deep into Ridgeway territory and later scored a 10 yard rush TD. They added another 20 yard TD run to close the scoring at 33-20, then intercepted Conard for a 2nd time to seal the deal.
Roadrunners Shape Up, Down Houston 38-14
Team Plays Well on Both Sides of the Ball, Barnes Return with 2 TD
So RB Liotis Walker rushes for 222 tough yards
Story, Photos and video (BELOW) by LC Oct 19, 2013
The Roadrunners played perhaps their best game of the season in getting a much needed win tonight 38-14 over district rival Houston. The Roadrunners got a spectacular ground game once again. This time it was led by So RB Liotis Walker who according to my count rushed for 222 yards on 29 carries. He was running tough tonight, while slashing and dashing the Houston defense. Walker was inserted into the game when starting RB Earl Harrison was shaken up early in the contest after he rushed for 96 yards on 10 carries. Harrison rushed for a 36 yard TD to make the score 14-0 in the 1st quarter. But it was Walker who was the star tonight. Walker steadied the ship while the Roadrunners passing game was hitting and missing. Starting QB Braxton Conard completed 8-17 passes for 125 yards 1TD, and ran for 2TD, but Conard tossed 2 more interceptions and was replaced in the game by So QB Marcus Mitchell, who tossed his 1st TD of the season, a beautifully thrown 26 yard TD pass to Sr WR Toreano Barnes who was playing in his first game after missing the last 5 games with an injury. Barnes caught 2 TD passes on the night of 20 and 26 yards.
CB Brian Thomas (1 int) and WR Toreano Barnes (2 TD rec) were very instrumental in the win tonight
You can see the difference in Ridgeway's offense when Barnes is in the line-up. His deep speed was sorely missing. The Roadrunners got contributions from Jr TE Marquette Murdock 3 rec for 70 yards, and Caymon Gordon 3 rec for 28 yards. The offensive line did a great job of run blocking tonight. Placekicker Jonah Roberts converted all 5 PATs and added a 40 yard FG to cap the scoring at 38-14. Roberts even made a tackle on a kick-off. He has done an excellent job as the place kicker this season.
Ridgeway DBs Lyons, Houston, Thomas and Smedley celebrate big win tonight over Houston after the game
Ridgeway played great tonight on defense. So CB Brian Thomas continues to come up with big plays. He got another interception tonight, which led to a Roadrunner TD. Sr LB/SS Joseph Whirl led Ridgeway with 6 tackles and 1 pass defended. Jr FS Deharrius Smedley had 5 tackles, Sr SS Josh Lyons 5 tackles, So LB Darron Johnson 5 tackles, 1 sack, Jr DE Terry Fultz 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, Sr DE Leroy Spells 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss and the DTs of Antonio Boyd and Elontae Bateman 3 tackles each. It was a all around good game for the Roadrunners who bounced back and got this much needed win tonight to improve to 4-4 on the year. Way to go Roadrunners, who are looking to run the table on the rest of the season.
RHS VS HOUSTON HIGHLIGHTS
Roadrunners Gift Wrap Victory for Collierville, Lose 29-28
Pick 6 Dooms Roadrunners Late in 4th, Record now 3-4
Commentary Story by LC Highlights below GAME HIGHLIGHTS
The losses are mounting, and the different ways of losing are mounting too! I saw something after the game that was puzzling to me. As the team was leaving Dragon Stadium field tonight, several parents and fans were congratulating some of the Ridgeway players as if they had won the game. What was puzzling to me was that it seemed no one was upset, not the players, the Ridgeway fans, who I assume were certain players family members that were high fiving players saying "you played great, you did great, we'll get'em next time", and I saw players smiling and laughing.
Whoa.....we just lost a game that was seemingly in the bag and NO ONE is upset! Next, let me say this......if you are a parent of a player, please don't come to me after the game complaining about the game or strategy....why, because I am a diehard Ridgeway Coach Sutton supporter, and i support the coaching staff 100%. I'm not the right person to tell your side of the story to. NOW...the game.
The Roadrunners don't need to point the fingers at no player in particular...there's enough blame to go around the entire team for this loss. Ridgeway jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the 1st half behind a spectacular blocked FG attempt by Jr CB Brian Thomas, who returned it 75 yards for the TD to make the score 7-0. Let's just say the Roadrunners defense did a decent job for most of the 1st half, although they allowed Collierville to pulled to 14-13 by halftime. They did get 2 interceptions (Smedley and Gordon) in the 1st half.
Then in the 2nd half...Collierville begin to move the ball effectively against Ridgeway's defense. Collierville took the lead in the third scoring 23 straight points by the time Ridgeway would score again. Now that brings me to Ridgeway offense tonight. Basically the passing game was totally non existent. Ridgeway completed a meager 4 passes on the night...THAT'S IT...4 out of 31 attempts....OUCH! The running game was great tonight. Earl Harrison continued his great play tonight with 2 more TD and rushing for 279 yards on 28 carries. The Roadrunners also got great production from So RB Liotis Walker who also had a 18 yard TD run. Jr QB Braxton Conard added a long 57 yard scamper in the game.....but his passing was not good tonight at all.
Then came the bizarre end to this game. Ridgeway had driven and taken a 28-23 lead late in the 4th qtr. The defense held Collierville to 3 and out with 4 min remaining. The Roadrunners ground game drove the ball deep into Dragon territory with 2:30 remaining down to the 12 yard line. It seemed Ridgeway would run the clock out. At least kick a FG to maybe take a 8 pt lead. Then it happened....on 3rd and 7 Ridgeway attempted a pass and Braxton Conard was intercepted and the pick was returned 90 yards for a Dragon TD...unbelievable! Just like that...with 2:10 sec remaing the Roadrunners had gift wrapped this game to Collierville. Ridgeway attempted to rally with a little over a minute remaining but the passing game was not able to get it done. So there you have it.....a very heartbreaking loss that left everyone scratching their heads as to what just happened. As one Collierville fan said to me as i was leaving...."thanks man, yall gave us that one".
Defense Steps up with 5 Turnovers in 40-21 win
Story and video by LC Oct 5 2013
Ridgeway got a much needed win tonight by defeating Germantown 40-21. The best thing to come out of this game to me was the play of the Roadrunners much maligned defense. The Roadrunners caused 5 Germantown turnovers (3 interceptions and 2 fumbles) to go along with 5 sacks to sealed the win.
2012 District 15AAA Defensive Player of the year DB Josh Lyons played his best game of the season. Said Coach Sutton "I had a serious conversation with Lyons this past week", "we needed more than what he had been giving this year", "he played great in the game tonight".
Offensively the Roadrunners controlled the game on the ground with Jr RB Earl Harrison (2TD) and Jr TE Marquette Murdock added another TD rec. But most of the credit for this win goes to the defense. Jr FS Deharius Smedley had another interception and CB Brian Thomas had 2 int. Lyons had a pick six, 9 tackles, 2 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery. Jr DE Terry Fultz had 3 sacks in the game. It was a great win for the Roadrunners who improve to 3-3 on the season.
Roadrunners Fall To #1 Whitehaven 47-40
47 points allowed tells the story as Ridgeway scores 40...and it's still not enough!
Serious Lack of Defense Hurting Ridgeway, Gives up 34 pts in 2nd half!
Story and video by LC Sep 29 2013
This game is hard to understand how the Roadrunners lost. Ridgeway's offense controlled this game for 3 quarters. The Roadrunners even built a seemingly commanding 34 - 19 lead going late into the 3rd qtr. Then it seemed the bottom fell out of Ridgeway's defense. Whitehaven somehow came up with big play after big play in the 4th qtr to overtake a tiring Ridgeway defense who offered little resistance in the 4th qtr. It seemed everything the Tigers did worked. Whitehaven RB and receivers easily beat Ridgeway defenders, often being wide open for TDs as the Roadrunner defenders fell to the ground grasping at air. It was stunning how easy Whitehaven was able to score in the 2nd half. Ridgeway's defense gave up 2 TD leads twice in the game. Ridgeway led 27-13 at halftime. Whitehaven scored 34 points in the second half.
Whitehaven's QB Jordan Williams put on a show passing for 5 TDs and 2TD rushing while racking up 426 yards of total offense. WOW....that's 7TD from the QB. Ridgeway got 232 yards rushing and 2TD from Jr RB Earl Harrison. But Whitehaven offense gained 564 yards. Simply put, the Roadrunners made way too many mistakes. Costly penalties, pass interference calls, muffed kick offs, lack of tackling and other mishaps did them in tonight.
Jr RB Earl Harrison churned out 232 yards rushing and 2TD in the loss
Ridgeway's offense proved once again that it can move the ball on anybody and score with the best....but if you can't stop the other team from scoring, it puts way too much pressure on the Roadrunner's offense to have to outscore the opponent. The coaches can only do so much.....the Roadrunners need some defensive leadership on the field.
After the game Coach Sutton said to me "LC, we made way too many mistakes on defense. Our tackling was a lot of arm grabbing and our secondary did not play well at all. It seemed they got a little tired too". Then he said...."we'll be OK though".
If the Roadrunners are to make any serious noise this season...it's going to have to get better play from the defense. In Ridgeway's 3 losses...the opposition is averaging 39 points...not good....that's gotta change, and fast! The Roadrunners fall to 2-3 on the season and face a physical running team at Germantown next week.
Roadrunners Trounce Kirby 56-18
Emerging Sophomores Lead the Way! Conard 3TD passes
So DB Josh Malone had a team high 14 tackles in win over Kirby
Story and photos by LC Sep 19, 2013
The Roadrunners got exactly what they needed tonight....a WIN! It was an emotional night as many of the team's players were playing with heavy hearts for a fallen Ridgeway student. A special candle light vigil was held after the game
Ridgeway fans, students, players and coaches take time to pay respects to a fallen Roadrunner basketball player after the game. Jr QB Braxton Conard and his friend's face says it all.
The Roadrunners came out gunning tonight. Executing the offense and moving the ball behind the running and passing of a balanced attack. Coach Sutton mixed it up brilliantly and kept Kirby off balance all night long. Star Jr QB Braxton Conard was back to his steady play tonight passing for 3TD without an interception. Jr RB Earl Harrison ran hard for the 3 quarters he played and rushed for 131 yards and 2TD. Ridgeway also got a 1 yard TD run from FB Larry Ward. Jr WR Katavious Taylor added 1TD reception, and Jr WR Caymon Gordon had 2TD.
L-R Jrs RB Earl Harrison (2TD), PK Jonah Roberts (8 of 8 Pats) and WR Caymon Gordon (2TD) all were instrumental in Ridgeway putting up 56 points tonight.
But it was the play of Sophomores that stood out to me tonight. So RB Liotis Walker (#3) rushed for 133 yards and 2TD. He was slashing and dashing the Kirby defense and was an impressive rotating 1-2 punch with Harrison all night long. Then it was the play of So SS Josh Malone who was all over the field making tackles on defense. Malone tallied a game high 14 tackles, and even had die-hard Ridgeway fans in the stands saying "man that #9 is making all the tackles". Malone made 2 special team tackles too. He was outstanding tonight. The Roadrunners defense as a whole played solid after yeilding a TD on Kirby's first possesion....but settled down and shut the door on Kirby the rest of the night.
Ridgeway also got a late TD from Fr RB Quinton Jamison. It was a much needed win for the Roadrunners. Defensive standouts were Malone (14 tackles), Nick Gordon 2 tackles, 3 pass defended and 1 interception.
Jr DT Elontae Bateman (6 tackles), Denarious Reed (5 tackles) and Antonio Boyd (6 tackles) was stout tonight stopping the running game of Kirby.
DT Denarious Reed 5 tackles, Elontae Bateman 6 tackles, DB Josh Lyons 5 tackles, So LB Anthony Wayne 4 tackles (1 for loss), and DT Antonio Boyd who was great in the middle with 6 tackles tonight. There were many others who contributed to the big win also, including PK Jonah Roberts who converted 8 of 8 PATs and consistently kick the ball deep on kick offs. Great win tonight!
Roadrunners serve up "Buffet" of turnovers, lose 32-22
Roadrunners leave the field as Henry County celebrate their 32-22 win!
Roadrunners need QB Conard to cut down turnovers! 5 picks in last 2 games
Sep 15 2013 story and video by LC
The Ridgeway Roadrunners hopefully learned a valued lesson tonight, if you turn the ball over....more than likely you will lose. At times it seemed the Roadrunners were the better team, even though Henry County is the #1 ranked team in 5A in the state. The Roadrunners took a early 8-0 lead when QB Braxton Conard connected with Jr WR Katavious Taylor for an 18 yard TD pass, then they added the 2pt conversion to Murdock. But as quickly as they took the lead, Henry County answer with a 2 play 77 yard drive. Just 2 plays! The Roadrunners took the lead again when Conard found Jr WR Caymon Gordon on 4th and goal from the 22 yard line. Gordon made a great catch over his defender and Ridgeway had a 14-8 lead. But that's when all the problems started to rear up. And even though Jr QB Braxton Conard threw 3 TD passes, he also tossed 3 critical interceptions, one which was returned for a TD to give Henry County a 22-14 lead at halftime. The Roadrunners shot themselves in the foot all night long with turnovers and penalties at crucial moments. On one occasion the defense had forced a three and out...only to see pass interference keep a Henry County drive alive and then they scored another TD. Ridgeway had the ball at the Henry County 16 yard line when Conard tossed his 3rd int. It was one of those nights.
Jr WR Katavious Taylor was a bright spot tonight with 5 receptions for 156 yards and 2TD
One bright spot was Jr WR Katavious Taylor who had 2TD reception. taylor finished the game with 5 receptions for 156 yard and 2TD. The Roadrunners must bounce back and prepare for Kirby next week. Said Coach Sutton after the game "we'll be back, turnovers did us in tonight ".
Players of the week
Congrats to our star RB Earl Harrison for being selected as Player of the Week
Shea Chism, Southaven and Earl Harrison, Ridgeway: Chism, a senior, completed 30 of 46 passes for 401 yards and five touchdowns to
Roadrunners Ground and Pound 49-22 Win
Harrison rushes for 306 yards 2 TD, Conard 3 TD passes, Offense racks up 575 yards!
Defense Forces 4 Turnovers in the win, 3 Interceptions
Story video and photos by LC Sep 7 2013
The Ridgeway Roadrunners got back on track tonight with a convincing 49-22 win over Southwind behind the running of Jr RB Earl Harrison who rushed for a career high 306 yards on 22 carries and 2 TD. Harrison had TD runs of 20 and 80 yards. The Roadrunners also got 2 more TDs from Jr TE Marquette Murdock. FB Larry Ward opened the scoring with a 1 yard TD run on the opening drive after Harrison had pounded the Roadrunners in position. The Roadrunners took a 14-0 lead after Harrison's 20 yard TD run it's next possession. They added the Murdock TDs to make the score 28-0 in the first qtr and it appeared the rout was on. Southwind scored it's first TD on a 98 yard kick off return.
Jr TE Marquette Murdock (2TD rec) and RB Earl Harrison (22 rush 306 yards, 2TD) powered Ridgeway's offense tonight. For Harrison it was a career night! Photo by LC
But basically Ridgeway controlled the rest of the game. Jr QB Braxton Conard completed 16-25 for 191 yards for 3TDs with 2 ints. Murdock had 3 receptions for 70 yards and 2 TD. Jr WR Katavious Taylor added 4 receptions for 72 yards and 1TD. Jr WR Caymon Gordon had 3 catches for 63 yards. Ridgeway also got a 10 yard TD run from Fr RB Quinton Jameson. The Roadrunners offensive line blasted running holes and did not allow a sack as the offense racked up 575 yards tonight while scoring 7 TDs. PK Jonah Roberts converted all 7 of 7 PATs.
DB Terrell Houston played an outstanding game with 4 tackles, 1 int, and 3 pass break-ups
The defense was led by So LB Darron Johnson who had 6 tackles (2 for loss), LB Monteris Boyd had 4 tackles and 1 int, Jr CB Terrell Houston had 4 tackles, 1 int, and 3 pass break-ups. The defensive front was great tonight too. DT Antonio Boyd had 4 tackles (1 for loss), DT Elontae Batemon had 4 tackles, 1 sack, DEs Terry Fultz and Leroy Spells each had 4 tackles and 1 sack. The Roadrunners forced 4 Southwind turnovers (3 interceptions and a fumble recovery by So LB Anthony Wayne). Jr FS Deharrius Smedley played an outstanding game with 6 tackles, 1 int and 3 pass defended. All in all everyone contributed to the win. Great game Roadrunners who travel to Paris TN next week to face state power Henry County.
Marquette Murdock, Ridgeway's Go To Man
Jr Tight End Emerges as Roadrunner's Top Offensive Weapon
Sep 5, 2013 Story and photo by LC
Marquette Murdock's father is proud of him. This I know after working with Marquette after the 2012 season in doing his highlight reel. His father told me that "I'm proud of my son, the way he goes about his business. He's a hard worker and I told him anything in life worth having...you gotta work for it". That's excellent advise and obviously Marquette has done a good job of working hard on the football field. The 6'2 200 lb raising Jr TE is without question Ridgeway's go to man. Really, he gained that honor last season as a sophomore when he emerged as the Roadrunner's most consistent receiver. Murdock earned 1st team All District 15AAA TE last season after posting 35 catches for 605 yards and 6TD. Look for him to better those numbers this season. He had 6 catches for 116 yards and 1TD in the first game against Olive Branch, and even had 1TD called back. Murdock was recently featured by The Commercial Appeal as one of the Shelby metro area top Tight Ends. Look for Coach Sutton to find more creative ways to get the ball in his hands as teams begin to key in on stopping him. SEE COMMERCIAL APPEAL ARTICLE
Olive Branch 38 -22 Over Roadrunners
Roadrunners Quickly Fall Behind in Contest, Bounce back, But Can't Stop Olive Branch
Story and video by LC Aug 24, 2013
It was a tough opener for the Roadrunners who fell tonight 38-22 to #3 Dandy Dozen ranked Olive Branch. The Roadrunners did some good work tonight, particularly Jr QB Braxton Conard who passed for 228 yards and 2TD and Jr TE Marquette Murdock who had 6 rec 116 yds 1TD. Conard had no interceptions and guided the Roadrunners back from early deficits to make the game close on two occasions. But in the end, the Roadrunners fell behind 14-0 early and was never able to get over the hump. Olive Branch used a spread offense that seemingly confused Roadrunner defenders time and again in racking up 490 yards of total offense against Ridgeway's defense. The defense somewhat found it's footing late in the game, but every time the Roadrunners got the score close, Olive Branch would sustain another long drive for scores that extended the lead out of reach. The Roadrunners have next week off as they prepare to travel to Henry County, a perrenial state power. Go Roadrunners, let's bounce back.
It was a 2013 season opener that pitted two teams ranked in The Commercial Appeal’s Dandy Dozen. At the end, it was the squad that had the small edge in the poll that achieved the desired edge on the scoreboard.
No. 3 Olive Branch scored 24 first-half points — three touchdowns on 1-yard plunges — to upend visiting Ridgeway, ranked No. 4, 38-22.
“With as many new faces as we have on the offensive side of the ball, I was really pleased with what we did tonight,” Olive Branch coach Scott Samsel said. “I think we’ve got a lot of weapons there.”
The crowd at Pool Field witnessed the arrival of Conquistador junior quarterback Ross Trail, who threw for 113 yards and no interceptions in the opening half.
His counterpart — the Roadrunners’ Braxton Conard — accounted for 142 yards through the air in the first two quarters, including 43-yard scoring strike to Marquette Murdock in the second.
Star turn: Trail, the Wynne (Ark.) transfer, was close to making about as good of a debut as possible, when he hooked up with Lorenzen Burton on a 63-yard TD on his second play from scrimmage, yet the yardage was nullified following an Olive Branch block-in-the-back penalty. Four plays later, though, aided by a 25-yard reception by Dontavis Bruce, the Conquistadors grabbed the early advantage on Trail’s QB sneak at the 7:36 mark of the first quarter. He also scored late in the second quarter to stake the home team to a 24-15 advantage.
Conard, meanwhile, proved he was up to the road challenge, guiding his club down the field midway through the third quarter. The Roadrunners benefitted from an Olive Branch holding penalty on fourth down and scored on Conard’s TD pass with 5:27 remaining.
Turning point: Conard’s heroics only fired up Olive Branch, which needed less than two minutes to regain the upper hand. Bruce did the honors at 3:36 and the Conquistadors jumped back on top, 31-22.
Bruce was not finished. On the first play of the fourth quarter, the junior ran it in again from 15 yards out.
Talking point: Said Ridgeway coach Duron Sutton: "We had some opportunities pass us by because we didn't do the right things here and there. Olive Branch made plays when they had to make plays to win the game."
Extra points: It was a little bit sloppy in the penalty department, as the teams combined for 15 in the first half alone. Like Olive Branch, Ridgeway had a touchdown called back early in the second quarter. thanks to an infraction. It would have given Murdock his second score on the evening, but the 46-yard reception from Conard didn’t count. ... Olive Branch’s Marcus Leflore and Ridgeway’s Earl Harrison traded first-quarter touchdowns. ... Conquistador kicker Zach Baddour made a 27-yard field goal. ... The Roadrunners accounted for their other first-half points on a safety. Stuck at its own goal line, Olive Branch snapped the ball out of the endzone.
Rid / OB
First downs / 21 / 24
Net yards rushing / 116 / 265
Net yards passing / 228 / 217
RUSHING — Ridgeway, Earl Harrison 19-74. Olive Branch, Dontavis Bruce 12-157, Ross Trail 7-50.
PASSING — Ridgeway, Braxton Conrad 20-47-228-0. Olive Branch, Ross Trail 14-24-217-0, Alfred Dickens 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Ridgeway, Marquette Murdock 6-116, Cayman Gordon 6-53, Toreano Barnes 3-27, Katavious Taylor 3-24. Olive Branch, Dontavis Bruce 7-117, Warren DeWalt 3-25.
The Roadrunners open the 2013 season ranked 4th by the Commercial Appeal Dandy Dozen. Read the full article. STORY HERE
RIDGEWAY 7 HAMILTON 0
The Roadrunners look impressive offensively and defensively in defeating Hamilton. The real season kicks off next week against Olive Branch. Go Roadrunners!
IT"S FOOTBALL TIME.....ROADRUNNERS READY FOR 2013
Jr RB Ear lHarrison will lead the ground attack. Look for Harrison to top 1,000 yards this season.
Tough Schedule.....Roadrunners to be tested Early
story by LC August 13, 2013
It's time for the 2013 season of Ridgeway Roadrunner football. As I start my 6th season covering the Roadrunners as website coordinator and team video coordinator, I'm as excited as ever about the 2013 season. Coach Sutton has taken this program and raised the level of expectation every year. The Roadrunners are coming off another successful 9-4 season under coach Duron Sutton. And the good news is that the Roadrunners are returning key performers in most critical areas on this year's team.
Jr QB Braxton Conard will lead the potent Roadrunner offense. And should improve on his 22 TD passes from last year. Conard earned "All Metro Honors" last season as a So.
The Roadrunners led the Shelby metro area in total offense last season and don't expect a drop off this season. The offense returns loaded this season at just about every position. Emerging as the leader will be star Jr QB Braxton Conard. The silky smooth QB accounted for 30 TD (passing and running) as a So and should be more comfortable and confident in his Jr campaign. Conard only had 3 turnovers last season, a remarkable accomplishment considering his 1st season as the starter at QB.
Look for Conard to find his two primary weapons in Sr WR Toreano Barnes (10TD in 2012) and Jr TE Marquette Murdock (6TD), both who emerged as major contributors and stars in their own right. Murcock was especially dangerous across the middle and a matchup nightmare for most prep DBs. Barnes is a legit deep threat and homerum hitter. You can bet Coach Sutton will be calling their numbers often.
Emerging star Jr TE Marquette Murdock is one of the best TE in the Shelby metro area
The rushing attack will be led by Jr RB Earl Harrison who had a breakout So season gaining 832 yards and 9TD in 2012. Harrison will get his chance to be the featured back in 2013, and in Coach Sutton's system....that seems to always mean 1,500 to 2,000 plus yard (Jaylen Walton 2011 and Orlando Johnson 2012). Harrison is a tough durable runner that can bang inside or out.
Sr center Justin Byrd leads the offensive line, while Jr DE Terry Fultz will be counted on to lead the D-line.
The offensive line returns 2 starters and this will be the big question mark in my opinion. How will they do with 3 new starters. Returning Sr center Justin Byrd will lead the o-line. Jr OT Camern Jones should be a leader this year too. Look for contributions from Jr WR Katavious Taylor and Caymon Gordon.
The defense will be led by District 15AAA Defensive Player of the Year Sr DB Josh Lyons who is entering his senior season of a stellar prep football career at Ridgeway. Lyons should be the captain of the team. The Roadrunners return one of the best defensive secondary backfields in the area. Jr CB Brian Thomas, Jr FS Deharrius Smedley, Jr CB Terrell Houston, Jr DE Terry Fultz, Sr LB Leroy Spells, Sr DT Elontae Batemon, Jr LB Darion Jennings are just some who saw extensive action last season.
Smedley led the Shelby metro area with 6 int in 2012. The Roadrunners face a tough schedule this season with road trips to Olive Branch and Henry County mixed into the schedule this season. Coach Sutton has always believed in scheduling tough opponents early in the season to battle harden the team. It's going to be exciting this year......ARE YOU READY FOR SOME ROADRUNNER FOOTBALL. I sure am ready! Let's go Roadrunners.
---------- Ridgeway ----------
Aug. 23 — at Olive Branch, 7 p.m.
Sept. 6 — Southwind at Halle, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 — at Henry County, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 — Kirby at Halle, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 — at Whitehaven, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 — at Germantown, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 — at Collierville, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 — Houston at Halle, 7 p.m.
Oct. 25 — East at Halle, 7 p.m.
Oct. 31 — Wooddale at Halle, 7 p.m.