Folsom, Pa., The Garnet Valley Jaguars (D1, AAAA, Central League) withstood a furious Ridley (D1, AAAA, Central League) rally sealing it with Joe Taulane’s late interception off of Matt Davis to insure a tightly fought 21-19 victory over the Green Raiders and a 5-0 conference start at Phil Marion field. Ridley failed on a two point conversion try with 1:46 left to tie the game prior to Taulane’s pick.
Garnet Valley scored after Sam Gilbert recovered a surprise onside kick at the Raider 48 to open the game. They went on a ten play drive and junior quarterback Ryan Corkery took it in from four yards and a 7-0 lead. Ridley could not provide much offense in the first half and were limited to only three first downs by intermission.
The Raiders started to show some life when junior Shane Dougherty recovered a Jaguar fumble in the end zone on the second play of the second half for a touchdown and a 7-7 tie. On their next series, quarterback Davis started to warm up by hitting three completions for 40 yards and junior Mike Crowley gave the Raiders their first lead at 13-7 with his four yard touchdown run.
Most teams that lose leads at Marion usually get steamrolled by the momentum Ridley brings at their home field. However this day was different and Garnet went right back to work scoring seven plays later for the lead with Corkery’s 19 yard scamper followed by his 34 yard touchdown pass to Rockne Oleary. The first play seemed to set up the second when Corkery directed a quick no huddle play that caught Ridley off guard after his run.
At the six minute mark of the fourth quarter a Ridley defensive back bit on a fake and Corkery found Jules Raucci all alone deep down the middle of the field. Raucci hauled in the pass and glided into the end zone 74 yards later in what appeared to break the Green Raiders backs and an eight point lead. Ridley bounced right back when Davis and company marched 68 yards in four plus minutes with Davis connecting on passes of 20,27,8 and finally a 16 yard touchdown strike to Crowley. Down 21-19, Ridley went for two but the snap to Davis in the shotgun was high causing him to lose his balance and fall on the ball. Finally with 1:46 left, the Raiders recovered an onside kick but Taulane’s pick down by the end zone closed out the affair.
Jaguar head coach Mike Ricci seemed pleased after winning their last two games here at Marion over Ridley. “We still have a lot of work to do. The thing that impresses me is that we’re winning games without playing our best football”.
Garnet Valley ran a high tempo offense the entire night and exclusively ran the no huddle in the fourth quarter which at times threw Ridley off. Corkery rushed for 97 yards on 23 carries and operated the wing T and weak back, strong back scheme to perfection. Justin Pyle added 88 yards on 24 carries. For Ridley, Davis was 12 for 22 for 183 yards one touchdown and one interception for the Green Raiders. The passing attack for Ridley will be one to contend with as they have a couple of very adequate receivers (Crowley and Mike Smoluk) and a power runner in Jalen Randolph. The Jags held Randolph to 25 yards in 12 carries. James Brown had a ton of tackles and an interception in a losing effort.
Garnet Valley rises to 5-1 and will host Penncrest next week. Ridley falls to 4-2 and will be home again against Strath Haven.
Scoring by Quarters
Garnet Valley- Justin Pyle- 4 yard run- PAT- Brandon Dowd- 8:20
Ridley- Shane Dougherty- fumble recovery in End Zone- PAT- Kelton Heverly- 1: 14
Ridley- Mike Crowley- 4 yard run- Kick no good- 8:12
Garnet Valley- Rockne Oleary- 34 pass from Ryan Corkery- PAT- Brandon Dowd- 5:54
Garnet Valley-Jules Raucci- 74 pass from Ryan Corkery- PAT- Brandon Dowd- 6:32
Ridley- Mike Crowley- 16 pass from Matt Davis- 2 PT CON- Failed- 1:46