What a game it was with Ragsdale over SEG in the Tuesday morning rewind

Posted by Andy Durham on September 30, 2008 at 10:43 am under High School | 19 Comments to Read

The games with Ragsdale and Southeast Guilford are some of the best around and the best-ever in football and baseball and last night’s battle at Southeast was no exception. Lee has the run-down and I also want to include some of the report on the game from the News and Record.

With last night’s game and with the new conference set-ups coming next season with conference realignment, will this be the LAST Southeast-Ragsdale football game that we will see for awhile? Ragsdale/SEG in football and in baseball has become one of the best rivalries in the state of North Carolina. SEG is going 4-A next year and so is Ragsdale but they look to be heading into different conferences…..SEG with Grimsley, Page, Dudley, Smith and Southern Alamance and Ragsdale with SWG, HPC, Glenn and others.

Maybe a non-conference game?????

Here’s Lee’s report and then the N&R update and what do you think was there holding on the 4th and goal pass play from the SEG 11-yard line that tied the game at 6-6?

Lee said:
The hype leading up to this game met expectations as Ragsdale won a tight game over SE Guilford, 7-6.

I missed part of the 1st half but it was a defensive struggle. Ragsdale struggled to move the ball as Romer did not have his best half plus he spent a good part of it on his back as he did not have a lot of time back there. SE Guilford could not move the ball either but what they could do was block punts. SEG blocked 2 punts in the first half. The 1st led to no points as the Ragsdale D stiffened however the 2nd block was recovered in the end zone and led to a 6-0 lead for SEG at the half. I’m not positive but I think Brian Webb blocked both punts. Ragsdale was just not able to get the punt off. The timing may have been a little off as Redfern had to be at a soccer game, so DeSean Anderson returned to action as a punter.

Ragsdale kicked off in the 2nd half and held SEG after a 1st down or 2. However that was not before back up kicker Ryan Wall made a tackle on the SEG return man just over mid-field. Big play by Wall as he was the last man and prevented a possible TD by SEG. Ragsdale took over on their 20 and drove right down the field but the drive stalled around the SEG 20. Strong running combined with 2 completions and two 5 yard penalties helped Ragsdale. On 3rd down and 7 near the SEG 20 Romer had a wide open Nick Mearite on an out and up however a SEG made a good play and hit Romer’s arm. On 4th down Romer and Mearite were unable to hook up and Ragsdale turned the ball over on downs.

SEG took over and moved the ball for a couple of 1st downs but more than anything they ran the clock. After an exchange of punts and following a wide right field goal attempt by Topps from 35 yards out Ragsdale took over 80 yards from pay dirt with 5:02 remaining. Romer started with 2 completions to TE Jenkins. Sonricker caught 2 passes as well as Mearite. Ragsdale moved the ball down to the SEG 9 yard line for a 1st and goal with just over 2 minutes. A running play netted 2 yards but burned some clock. Romer was sacked on 2nd for a loss of 4 yards due to excellent coverage by the SEG D. On 3rd down Romer over threw Anderson in the back of the end zone. After a TO Romer took the snap and rolled right and found Mearite for the TD. PAT was good.

Ragsdale kicked off and Redfern was able to get away from the soccer game just in time for 1 significant play. He kicked the ball on the kickoff out of the end zone to put SEG on the 20 yard line. Topps ran a couple of times for 8 yards as everyone was covered. With 34 seconds Topps was able to pick up a 1st down to the SEG 36. However from there SEG had 2 incompletions. On 3rd down Ragsdale had a big sack by Ashworth and an intentional grounding on Topps. On 4th and about 30 Topps was sacked again, this time by Dan McNeill and Neal Jones. However Topps came up frustrated and several SEG players left the bench. 2 SEG boys were disqualified as well as 1 Ragsdale player. The players were separated and the ball was turned over with 8 seconds and Ragsdale let the clock run out.

Keys to the game. SEG made good use of two blocked punts. SEG blocked well getting a good push all night. Ragsdale O struggled in the 1st half however the O-line gave Romer time and created a few lanes in the 2nd half. Topps was as quick as advertised but was contained all night. Ragsdale D played very well but the DT’s played very well and the EE’s were able to get pressure all night on Topps, especially late and that was with rushing only 3. Ragsdale played 4 LB’s a lot to utilize speed and it paid off containing Topps.

It should be noted that the gifted Tivon Clark did not dress for SEG. He was on the sidelines but not in uniform. That’s a tough dimension to lose. Ragsdale continued to struggle with depth as fullback Ed (Rat) Ross came in to play DE for the 1st time ever. He promptly batted down a pass on 3rd down on the final drive by SEG. Back up kicker Ryan Wall made a big play for Ragsdale as was the last man back to make a tackle on a KO return. Same old story for Ragsdale. No superstars, no heros, just a bunch of kids playing hard together to defeat a talented SEG.

from Tom Keller at the N&R:
As Ragsdale celebrated, Southeast head coach Fritz Hessenthaler and his staff erupted from the sideline in search of a holding call after a Falcons lineman finished the play on the turf. After the game, Hessenthaler chased after the officiating crew as it ran off the field.

“I saw their quarterback, for some reason – and I’ve got a good defensive line – he had all day to throw the ball. Very questionable,” said Hessenthaler, whose team fell to 3-2. “It’s hard to take, especially when (the official) was standing right there.”

“It’s hard when you play so well for so long,” Hessenthaler said, “and you have it taken away from you.”

*****Toughest week of the season for our picks. Went (4-4) with four teams(Grimsley, Page, Northern, SWG) having open dates. The overall record now stands at (43-12) for the year.*****

In other action from last night:
Dudley 55, Rockingham County 6
Eastern Guilford 34, Cedar Ridge 21
Mount Tabor 29, Northwest Guilford 22(Paul Lambeth has the write-up)
Northeast Guilford 28, Western Guilford 14
West Montgomery 19, Southern Guilford 13
Burlington Williams 14, Burlington Cummings 11(Ogi Overman City Championship)
High Point Central 27, North Davidson 16

+++++The numbers coming out of the Southeast Guilford press box on the players that got ejected were #5 Alex Harrison and #51 Patrick Grimm for the Southeast Guilford Falcons and #21 Darius McQueen for Ragsdale. Normally with this type of Ejection the players will have to sit out their next ball games but the suspensions can be appealed. I can identify with this situation to some extent. I(Andy Durham) was kicked out of the Southeast Guilford-Western Guilford game my senior in HS. I was playing defense for WG and the SEG players were using a double-team blocking technique and I threw them both to the ground and they didn’t like it, so I just started kicking them both in the head. The ref threw all three of us out of the game, but it was late in the game. Needless to say the WG coach at the time, Doug Henderson, wasn’t too happy and it was our homecoming game but we did win it 17-14 over those SEG Falcons. I just told the coach it was a good move on my part, I took out two of their guys and we only lost one. Back in those days you didn’t receive a two-game suspension you received another tomahawk sticker for your helmet and were given defensive player-of-the-week honors. Boy the times have changed. Next thing you know they’ll be putting skirts on those quarterbacks(an old saying from the glory daze).+++++


  • SportsFan said,

    Coach Fritz maybe if your team had completed a pass last night the game would not have been taken away from you, one call does not win or lose a ballgame, how about gaining more than 128 yards next time and you might come out on the winning side.

  • Damon said,

    Big Jim,

    I agree with you on alot of what you said. I know the game was poorly officiated, especially on that last drive. The lineman definitely tackled 88, but SEG should have never been in position to lose that ball game, Period. SEG scrapped the Spread due to injuries, but that doesn’t excuse some of the play calling. It just seemed like the attitude was let’s not do anything on offense to lose this ball game. There was nothing aggressive about the play calling. I applaud the SEG offensive line. They blocked well all night long even though everyone in county knew where the ball going.

    Point 2. Topps was not there for the extra point because he was getting his knee worked on due to a play that should have never happened. Topps slipped while planting to punt the football. The rekick was the result of an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on an SEG player. I thought that penalty was a bigger factor than the officiating because it didn’t have to happen. That’s at least two ball games in a row where the same kid has been flagged witha 15 yarder on special teams. This time it almost cost the Falcons their starting QB and it lost the team an extra point.

    Point 4. Offensive penalties in crucial situations. The Falcons were in Field Goal range on at least two occassions last night only to be pushed back by penalties. That has to be fixed. The Falcons had the ball on the Tiger’s 8 yard line and had to settle for a 35 FG attempt to put the game away after being pushed back by penalties. I know that a 35 yarder is makeable, especially for a kid that was All Conference last year, but 25 is definitely closer than 35. You don’t need a degree in Physics to figure that out.

    Point 3. The Ragsdale kids stepped up when they needed to. They didn’t quit. They came to play. I would hate to see this series end like this. I hope we have round 2 in the playoffs.

  • Damon said,

    I do want to address a huge inaccuracy in Lee’s summary. At no point did Terrance Topps come up swinging. If you doubt my words, I can loan you video tape. Topps was not flagged for unsportsman like conduct. He was not thrown out of the game. If you are going to throw negative comments around and use the kid’s name; do the responsible thing and get your facts straight. Your comments make the kid look like a hot head, and he’s definitely not.

  • Triad Football said,

    2 things should be looked at in this story. One, everyone is right about the fact that SEG should not have been in that situation, if they finish the job, then the refs have no say in the outcome. Second point, I know all of the Ragsdale fans and the Noorwood ring kissers will hate this comment, but Ragsdale wins at least one ballgame each season because the officals give them every damn call on earth. Ragsdale allready escaped a game vs. NW Guilford that without several questionable calls against the Vikings, Ragsdale probably loses. Last night the officiating was awful, and every Ragsdale fan, player, and coach knows it. But take your W Ragsdale, and you might as well take advantage of the fact that every Zebra in NC is going to give the allmighty lord and god of high school football Tommy Norwood every call they can while the SEG’s and NWG’s lose out on games that they deserved to win.

  • Lee said,

    Damon, I never said Topps was disqualified. I knew he wasn’t. In fact, I didn’t mention any of the kids that were tossed because I don’t think we should. I don’t think it puts Topps in any light. I don’t see him in any light. He is a competitor and he has passion for the game. Personally I like that. He was frustrated at the end as any player that cares would be. Playing with emotion is good. All these boys on BOTH teams need to learn to not let emotion control you. I’ve seen the replays and will watch film tonight.

    As to the officiating, Ragsdale felt it was weak also but in your favor. Look at film of the SEG / SG game where a SEG O-lineman and another lineman consistantly High/low block a player while he is engaged and take out the kids knees. Why do you do this and who coached them to do it? No other way to describe this other than dirty. If any questions, look at the film on that game. 1st play from scrimmage and 3 more times in the 1st quarter alone. Some of the same last night. I guess grabbing kids by the facemask in the pile and twisting their head is perfectly acceptable. Look at the unsportsmanlike penalty that Jim mentions. SEG jumped offsides on the drive where SEG missed a field goal. What’s the official to do, not call it?

    Let’s face it, both teams struggled last night. It wasn’t pretty. Both defenses played well. Although SEG could not move the ball effectively and the DEG was unable to score. Brian Webb made a great play on the blocked punt. You can make a case that either team could have or should have won that game. The bottom line is with the game on the line Ragsdale drove 80 yards and converted two 4th downs. If SEG should have won then they should have made the stops. Personally I would not take anything away from their efforts. I thought SEG played hard and without Tivon Clark. Maybe the teams will play again. And if they do, and SEG wins, I’ll offer congratulations. When the game is over life goes on.

    As to coaches, we are proud that our boys get to play for Coach Norwood and his whole staff. They are all good, christian men and good mentors for our boys. They are not perfect. And I really can’t tell you how well they coach. What I can tell you is they work hard, they get a lot out of a little in some cases and they are great mentors to these boys. It is not about the W’s and the L’s. Our boys will be better men for playing for these coaches. You can poke fun at Norwood and his following all you want. We’ll take those guys all day, every day and twice on Sunday.

    As to the officiating, you have 2 different coaching styles. The Greensboro paper says some SEG coaches chased after the officials after the game (I did not see this). The head coach is quoted in the paper complaining about the officials. Go back 1 year. Last year Parkland beat Ragsdale in the playoffs and late in the game Parkland was driving and Ragsdale intercepted the ball. But an official called interference on Ragsdale on a player that wasn’t in the play. This nullified the interception. 2 plays later Parkland scored with under a minute and Ragsdale lost. After watching the film the next few days the player called for the foul never came within 3 yards of the receiver. In fact NOBODY touched the receiver. However nobody from Ragsdale complained. Nobody chased the offcials off the field. No coach cried to the paper. The call was the call and that’s the way the cards are dealt. Norwood told the boys it should never come down to an officials call. Quite a contrast in leadership wouldn’t you say?

    It was a hard fought game. SEG is very talented. Great O-line and D-line. Ultra quick QB. Ragsdale played poorly but fought to the end. It was a good game. I’ll let it go at that.

  • Damon said,

    I responded before as an avid reader and frequent poster to this blog. My brother’s name and reputation are more important to me than this blog. It’s no secret that Terrance Topps is my “Big” little brother. Lee, you owe my brother an apology. At no point did he get up swinging. You insuate that his actions of “getting up swinging” led to that crap on the field.

    “On 4th and about 30 Topps was sacked again, this time by Dan McNeill and Neal Jones. However Topps came up swinging and several SEG players left the bench. 2 SEG boys were disqualified as well as 1 Ragsdale player. The players were separated and the ball was turned over with 8 seconds and Ragsdale let the clock run out.”

    I mentioned that Terrance wasn’t flagged or disqualified because had he got up “Swinging” like you stated, he would have been at least flagged. All that crap started because an offensive lineman over aggressively finished off a block. That’s what happened last night and that’s what I have on film. Your comment made my brother out to be hot head and a thug. He’s neither. Getting up swinging would not be something I would describe as playing with passion. Had he got up swinging, he wouldn’t be playing next week. In the house I live in, we would bench him. We care more about his character than how many touchdowns he scores on Friday/Monday night. My mother and step dad are about raising young men and that’s exactly what Terrance is. You owe him an apology.

  • hs sports fan said,

    Congratulations Ragsdale. Great game last night and good effort by both teams. Ragsdale came up with the plays when they needed it. But yes, the officials missed a major holding penalty. Actually, it wasnt just a hold it was an all out tackle. Watch the highlights on myfoxwghp.com . At the 00:20 mark in the video its there for all to see. Heart breaking loss for SE. There are bad calls in all games, unfortunately in a game where both teams struggled to move the ball this one really did effect the outcome.

    Not trying to look past anyone, but most likely last night’s game determined the conference champion.

  • Lee said,

    Just watched some film. A few comments. There was a holding penalty on the play in question. True. However a few minutes before on a Ragsdale punt #42 for Ragsdale was blocking #92 for SEG. SEG player must have gotten frustrated because he threw a roundhouse right and hit 42. Then grabbed him and threw him to the ground. There were a lot of flagrant penaties that were missed. After watching film Ragsdale was prepared for some of this (see Big Jim’s comment above). Topps wasn’t throwing, he was kicking at a player when he was on the ground. I guess he was just trying to get the guy off of him. You could easily make that case. Then 51 for SEG speared McNeill in the back while on Topps. When Topps got up he flung the ball down across the field all the way up against the fence. Not at any person but at the fence in the end zone on the Ragsdale side. I don’t think he was throwing it at anyone even though he just missed someone. He was just frustrated. Understandable. The Ragsdale players on the ground did defend themselves when they were on the ground. Neither of those were disqualified. The Ragsdale player that was disqualified never touched anyone but was in teh wrong place at teh wrong time. Ragsdale may have had a player that could have been disqualified but it wasn’t the kid that was flagged. So Damon, after watching the replay Topps was not disqualified but easily could have been. Since we’re shedding light on it, as you say. Care to revise your statement?

    I still say the kids were just fired up and passionate. i don’t have an issue with Topps reaction or the reaction of the Ragsdale players (even though all 3 could have been thrown out). As to the spearing, punches thrown during the game and at the end I feel differently. Doesn’t matter. Time to move on.

  • Damon said,

    Lee,

    You need help. You checked the film and discovered that you were wrong. Instead of admitting that, you do the cowardly thing and try to pile more dirt on my brother and other SEG players. This doesn’t make your post legitimate. It’s just a diversion from the truth. The truth is that you were wrong. Be a man; admit it and apologize.

    Terrance’s ankle got pinned and he fell backward. He was not kicking a player off of him or at a player. He was trying to get up. The only accurate thing you have is Terrance threw the ball out of frustration at the fence. You say move on, but you have yet to apologize. You praise Coach Norwood and his staff for all being good christian men and mentors…. Why don’t you exercise some of those same virtues here and apologize.

  • fan of football period said,

    Damon,

    Shut the hello up!..Stop whining…You aren’t getting the friggin apology…Nobody owes you and your family a darn thing, so you can stop demanding it like your brother is God or something…Whether or not Lee is accurate in his statements, my suggestion to you would be to shut up and stop making you and your family look worse…I didn’t see any comments suggesting your brother was a thug; however, your actions simply dictate that you are trying to be a bully…Lee made a comment stating what he saw, whether its right or wrong, it is still his opinion and his view…This is a blog where people write many different opinions and different views…If you can’t handle it or handle what you are viewing as negativity towards your brother, then stop coming to the site and reading the blogs…Heaven forbid your brother makes it to college and receives any negative comments, which I feel that your brother can probably handle, since he is not the one posting comments at other posts…I’m sure your brother is a good kid and is competitive as the rest…Keep it that way and smarten up….

  • Damon said,

    Fan of Football period

    No one thanks Terrance is God. If you had kids or were a parent, you would understand what this is about. No one here is whining. He owes the kid an apology. If it were any other kid, he would owe that kid an apology and I would be upset. I’m sure there are other people who read this blog who feel the same way I do. Lee went to game acting as an on site reporter. He got it wrong. All he had to do is admit. He didn’t do that. He tried to pile more dirt on. I would expect more from someone who understands service and community.

    What you don’t get is that coaches, parents, teachers, etc. read what it written here. We are in the information age. I have 4 fraternity brothers who scout for colleges. They read Andy’s blog because this area has some great athletes and because Andy and those who support him do a good job. I watched two college scouts walk away from Monday’s game disappointed with a kid they were looking at. One scratched him off of his list completely. Their disappointment wasn’t based on whether or not the kid could play. They were based on his actions that night.

    My brother has been playing competitive sports all his life. I’ve heard and seen far worse than this done to him on the soccer field. We don’t tolerate there and we won’t tolerate here.

    As far as my family goes, words like honor and integrity mean something in this house. We believe that a man is known by his word, deeds, and reputation (name). We protect our name and reputation. That may be a little too old school for you to handle.

    I don’t answer to you or need your approval for anything I do. In other words, I don’t need your advice. I appreciate though.

  • Damon said,

    I am reposting this and adding a little more to it.

    When I previewed this football game, I gave the edge to Southeast in defense, Special Teams, and intangibles. I gave Ragsdale the edge in coaching and offense. I believe I had it right except for intangibles and the final outcome. However, I did say that if the score was close, Ragsdale would be victorious. Lee made a great point during his preview that Ragsdale doesn’t beat themselves. He was right. Also, you have to take your hat to a kicked who got knocked around for most of the game stepping up and being there for his team. Anyone, who has played football or saw that game, has to know that Romer has heart and that his teammates and coaches believe in him.

    That non call clearly cost the Falcons an opportunity to win the Football game. However, SEG should have never been in position to lose that ball game; PERIOD. The officiating crew didn’t put SEG in position to lose that ball game. That responsibility falls on coaches and players.

    SEG scrapped the Spread due to injuries, but that doesn’t excuse some of the play calling. It just seemed like the attitude was let’s not do anything on offense to lose this ball game. There was nothing aggressive about the play calling. I applaud the SEG offensive line. They blocked well all night long even though everyone in county knew where the ball going.

    Point 2. The SEG kicker was not there for the extra point because he was getting his knee worked on due to a play that should have never happened. Topps slipped while planting to punt the football. The rekick was the result of an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on an SEG player. I thought that penalty was a bigger factor than the officiating because it didn’t have to happen. That’s at least two ball games in a row where the same kid has been flagged with a 15 yarder on special teams. This time it almost cost the Falcons their starting QB and it lost the team an extra point.

    Point 3. Offensive penalties in crucial situations. The Falcons were in Field Goal range on at least two occassions Monday night only to be pushed back by penalties. That has to be fixed. The Falcons had the ball on the Tiger’s 8 yard line and had to settle for a 35 FG attempt to put the game away after being pushed back by penalties. I know that a 35 yarder is makeable, especially for a kid that was All Conference last year, but 25 is definitely closer than 35. You don’t need a degree in Physics to figure that out.

    Point 4. The Ragsdale kids stepped up when they needed to. They didn’t quit. They came to play to the last whistle. They made the plays necessary down the stretch to win the football game.

    I would hate to see this series end like this. I hope we have round 2 in the playoffs.

  • Lee said,

    SEG fans are correct in that a holding was not called. Ragsdale fans are ciorrect that a roughing the passer was not called on the previous play.

    The officials made some mistakes. So did the players and the coaches. It was a game between 2 evenly matched teams. I can assure you the Ragsdale players respect the football talent of the SEG players. They knew going in it would be a very tough, physical game and it was.

    I’m betting these teams play next year as an OOC game. It would be good for both teams in preparing for the conference schedule and playoffs as well as a big night at the gate which is good for the finances.

  • Damon said,

    It would be ashamed for SEG and Ragsdale not to play next year. I have followed the Falcons since I returned to Greensboro from the Navy in 05′. This game has been one of my favorites to see in Guilford County. They need to continue to play as an out of conference game. Do we need to do a letter writing/email campaign to AD’s of both schools to make sure this happens? Any suggestions?

  • Lee said,

    Most AD’s are aware of the financial side. Then the coaches have to agree.

    Ragsdale always liked playing HP Central and Andrews simply because there was a big gate. Every school has bills to pay.

  • Andy said,

    Maybe we will have to get a protest march going out by the Highway, be it 421 South or on Main Street in Jamestown.

    No matter what, I do agree with Damon that they need to keep this series going in football and in baseball. This is a key series and the two sides go WAY BACK all the way to the old Mid-State 3-A Conference days when you had Bill Slayton coaching at Southeast and Dick Kemp at Ragsdale. SEG had Ernie Woods and Ragsdale had Ricky Adams, two of the best backs to ever play at the same time in the same County in NCHSAA history. The old SEG coach, Slayton, was at the game on Monday night, so you know the blood runs deep. Slayton is probably 78 years old/young now…..

    Keep the series going. If we have to start an On-Line petition at GREENSBOROSports.com to ensure that the Falcon-Tiger clashes continue then so be it, We Can Do It. In fact, We Can All Do It……

    SEG/Ragsdale must continue.

  • mark said,

    Ragsdale has always played mostly Guilford County schools in non-conference games. Not sure if it was Norwood or Raybon driving that. Last two years SWG, NWG, Page & Grimsley. Two before that – Grimsley, HPC, NWG, Western. I know Southern Guilford has been on the schedule before that. Next year NWG, Central and SWG will become conference games.

    I would imagine in the future you’ll still see teams like SEG, Grimsley, Western & Page on the schedule. While I like the idea of playing county schools I’ve always wanted to see Ragsdale venture out and play some other high profile area schools – Western Alamance, Reidsville, Cummings, Carver – etc. Would like to see E Randolph stay on the schedule since that has been a great rivalry. Would also like to see some Ragsdale games with Dudley, Andrews and NE Guilford – there are three county schools we haven’t played in awhile. I would much rather see them play a tough schedule even though next year’s conference schedule will be tough enough.

  • Damon said,

    During Southeast’s unsuccessful run at a state title 3 seasons ago didn’t Coach Fritz run Dion Bratcher 47 times in that 0-7 loss to Asheboro? I may have my games mixed up, but I know that kid ran for about 150 or so on 40 plus carries one game. Anyone else remember reading that stat?

  • hs sports fan said,

    Damon I am not sure, but I do remember one year, I believe it is the year you are referring to, SE loss to Asheboro in the regular season then beat them real bad in the first or second round of the playoffs.