SPAIDE 34-YARD TD GRAB, FERRERO 44-YARD TD CATCH
What appeared to be a great comeback turned into disaster midway through the fourth quarter for the Westfield Blue Devils when they hosted the No. 18 Ridge football Red Devils at Gary Kehler Stadium in Westfield on October 14. The Blue Devils trailed 14-2 at the half but quickly closed the gap and even took a 15-14 lead early in the fourth quarter but the momentum collapsed and the Red Devils seized the opportunity to earn a 34-15 victory.
“I love the way our kids came out after halftime. We had some opportunities and didn’t take advantage. Some bad coaching in the first half and then we get it going and they came right back on us. We get it to 15-14, whatever, and they come back with two big plays. We just didn’t put the clamps on them. They are a good team and that’s what you got to do on that situation,” Blue Devil Head Coach Jim DeSarno said.
Ridge running back Will Deady proved to be a real threat as he rushed for 183 yards and four touchdowns on 31 carries, which included the three touchdowns after Westfield took the 15-14 lead. Linebacker Jake Giordano accounted for the Red Devils’ other touchdown with a nine-yard interception. Ridge quarterback Ryan Olivo carried eight times for 46 yards and completed three passes for 28 yards. Running back Aidan Stieglitz carried twice for eight yards and had two receptions for nine yards. Ryan Turner had a 19-yard reception and carried five times for 21 yards.
Blue Devil quarterback Max Cho, who attempted only two passes in the first half, including the interception, had to step up his aerial attack drastically in the second half. Cho completed nine of 18 passes for 144 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown strike to Luke Spaide (2 receptions, 38 yards) and a 44-yard touchdown to Enzo Ferrero (3 receptions, 57 yards). Junior Sebastian Magherini had three receptions for 54 yards and Josh Caramango had one for minus five yards. Caramango carried 26 times for 84 yards, and also had a 19-yard touchdown run negated. Cho carried six times for 13 yards.
Ridge took the opening kickoff and used 10 plays to cover 75 yards for a touchdown with 6:59 on the clock when Deady bashed in from the twoyard line. Ryan Silva kicked the point after for a 7-0 lead. Deady had 55 of those yards on that drive.
The Blue Devils appeared they were going to duplicate that score when they returned the kickoff to midfield and took 10 plays to get to the Red Devil five to set up a fourth-and-goal situation. However, Cho’s intended pass to Colin Coyle was off target. The Blue Devils’ defense got tough and forced Ridge into a punt situation early in the second quarter. A bad snap caused the punter to scramble to avoid the pressure from Brendan Scheper and Owen Williams and the ball bounced out of the end zone for a safety with 11:07 left in the half.
The Ridge defense prevented the Westfield offense from capitalizing but the Blue Devils’ defense did the same to the Red Devils on their next possession forcing a punt that gave Westfield possession on the eight. After Caramango’s two-yard run to the 10, Cho attempted a pass over the middle but it landed into the grasp of Giordano who rumbled in for the touchdown with 1:56 for a 14-2 lead.
Westfield received the opening kickoff of the third quarter at the 31yard line. It took 19 plays but Spaide cashed in when he made a spectacular, diving 34-yard touchdown grab with 4:13 left in the quarter. Lukis Nicholas kicked the point after to cut the lead to 14-9.
The Blue Devil defense heated up and forced the Red Devils to punt on their series. Taking the ball on their own 14, it took six plays for the Blue Devils to seize the 15-14 lead when Cho fired a shot to a wide open Ferrero for a 44-yard touchdown with 10:45 left in the game. Magherini had a 36yard reception on that drive.
The Red Devils sharply replied with an 80-yard scoring drive that included a 49-yard breakout run by Deady and his two-yard touchdown run for a 2015 lead with 8:11 left. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
Disaster struck next when a squib kick ended up in Ridge’s possession. Later, the Red Devils set up to attempt a 27-yard field goal but a penalty gave them a first down at the six. Deady carried for two yards then added a four-yard touchdown run. The successful two-point conversion lifted the lead to 28-15.
No choice desperation forced Cho to pass and all four attempts bounced on the turf, giving Ridge possession on the Westfield 19. On the fourth play, Deady dashed in from the four to make the score 34-15. Blue Devil co-captain Luke Jordan blocked the point after attempt.
The Blue Devils travel to Hillsborough this Friday, October 20.
“I’m proud of our kids’ effort and we just got to regroup fast. Hillsborough is another good team. We got to get over this and get back to work,” Coach DeSarno suggested.
Ridge 7 7 0 20 34 Westfield 0 2 7 6 15