Ragsdale over Western Guilford from last Friday night and the Page Pirates due up this week

Posted by Andy Durham on September 6, 2011 at 7:09 pm under High School | 2 Comments to Read

Ragsdale routs Western Guilford, turns to ‘game of the year’ vs. Page

by Mike Ellis
Special to the Jamestown News and reprinted at Greensborosports.com due to popular demand for Mike’s work and you can see more at CLICK HERE……

Ragsdale scored early and often on Friday night, going up by 28 points before Western Guilford could get on the board. The Tigers used an outstanding balance of offense and defense to record a decisive 49-21 victory.

To get an idea of just how well things went for Ragsdale, one only need look at the punting duties of Karson Redfern. The senior tight end/punter for the Tigers dropped back into punt formation for the first time in the game with just over nine minutes left in the fourth quarter and his team leading by 49-14. By that point, the offense had had six previous possessions and had scored touchdowns on four of them, had missed a long field goal attempt and turned the ball over on downs deep in Western Guilford territory. The defense had also scored three touchdowns before Redfern had to punt the ball away.

The Tigers improved their record to 3-0 and can now look ahead to a huge match-up with Page this Friday night.

Ragsdale got things started quickly against the Hornets, taking the opening kickoff and driving 66 yards for the game’s first score. It was the third consecutive week that the Tigers have converted the opening drive into a touchdown. This drive took eight plays as quarterback Garrison Herndon started things off by hitting Brandon Walker with a pass for 16 yards on the game’s first play. Marquez Eleazer picked up 25 yards on two carries and Herndon rolled out right and found Redfern for 19 yards and a first and goal. Two plays later, Herndon sent wide receiver Erik Romer in motion and hit him in stride for a seven-yard touchdown pass. Brad Davis came in to boot the point-after and Ragsdale had used only three minutes to go up by a 7-0 score.

The Tiger defense came up big to give the ball right back to the offense. Linebacker Brandon Swinton made a nice move to cut in front of the Hornet receiver and picked off a pass to set up the offense on their 45 yard line. Four plays later, Herndon ran the quarterback sneak behind center Chris Whitesell from one yard out for the game’s second score. The big play of the drive was a 37-yard sweep by Brandon Walker who got a great block from Anthony Stewart on the corner to set him loose up the sideline. He was driven out of bounds just short of the goal line. Davis was again successful on the conversion and Ragsdale had taken a 14-0 lead.

On the first possession of the second quarter, the Ragsdale offense got excellent field position, taking over at the Western 41 yard line after a short punt. After Stewart picked up 10 yards on a sweep play, Eleazer carried on six consecutive plays to cover the remaining 31 yards. He went into the end zone off the left side from the 1 for the TD.

Western was desperate to get something going and picked up their initial first down of the night on their next possession. Having been unable to move the ball on the ground against the Ragsdale defense, quarterback Josh Thompson went to the air and picked up a couple of first downs to move the ball to the Hornet 46 yard line. Facing a third and 10, Thompson tried to force a pass in over the middle and Ragsdale’s senior linebacker Trey Grimes stepped in front of the receiver and picked it off. Heading up the left sideline, Grimes went 57 yards untouched for the score as the lead grew to 28-0 with the conversion.

Western finally got on the board, using a 10-play 80-yard drive late in the second quarter. Thompson went 4 for 6 passing on the drive and got the touchdown on a 27-yard pass down the middle to Juan Wall. The extra point from Matt Siegmund cut the Ragsdale lead to 28-7 and with only 1:55 left in the half, the Hornets hoped to get into the locker room to adjust their game plan. The Tigers had other ideas.

Xavier Jones got his first carries of the game in relief of Eleazer and made the most of them, picking up a total of 29 yards on three runs and two first downs. With a first and 10 from the Tiger 41 and under a minute in the half, Herndon went to the air and found Stewart behind the secondary. Stewart made a great adjustment on the ball, turning to catch it over the opposite shoulder and went into the end zone for the 59-yard TD pass play.

Western took over on their 27 yard line with 35 seconds left in the half and already behind by 35-7. Instead of just running out the clock and trying to regroup, the Hornets tried to make something happen, and it did Š only for the wrong team. Thompson threw a pass to the left side that Ragsdale’s senior cornerback Sharif Diaz played perfectly, picking it off at the 45 and converting the interception into another defensive touchdown. Davis was perfect once again and the outcome was pretty much decided as the halftime score became 42-7.

The second half gave the Tigers the chance for players off the bench to see action. The defense came up with the only Ragsdale score of the second half as reserve linebacker Jarrett Holland stripped the Western ball carrier as he was running a sweep and took the ball the other way for a 30-yard touchdown late in the third quarter. Western got a couple of fourth quarter touchdowns one on a Thompson to Dorion Anderson 48-yard pass play and the other on Jamal Bovian seven-yard run to make the final score 49-21.

Quarterback Garrison Herndon was 6 for 12 for 151 yards and two touchdowns before he went to the bench after one third-quarter possession. After waiting patiently in the wings during his junior year, Herndon has made the most of his playing time in this, his senior year. He has gone 30-46 for 488 yards with four touchdowns in three games this season behind excellent protection from his offensive line. He has also run the ball for two TD’s.

Marquez Eleazer rushed 13 times for 67 yards with all of the yardage coming in the first half. He also scored a touchdown. Xavier Jones picked up 59 yards on five carries, as the Tigers recorded 212 yards on the ground. Karson Redfern was the leading receiver with two catches for 62 yards. Anthony Stewart and Erik Romer made the most of their one catch apiece, converting both of them into touchdowns. Brandon Walker was the multi-purpose offensive player with one reception for 18 yards and three carries for 43 yards, plus fielding punts and kickoffs.

The Tiger defense completely bottled up the Western Guilford offense in the first half. They came up with four turnovers and Trey Grimes, Sharif Diaz and Jarrett Holland scored defensive touchdowns. In the first half the defense held Western to 22 yards rushing on 11 carries, 79 yards on 8 of 19 passing with three interceptions. The front seven continued their outstanding play, but the biggest improvement from game one was the defensive backfield. The corner backs and safeties were aggressive in pass coverage and came up to support the front seven in stopping running plays. The defense will be crucial going forward, especially against the offensive firepower of the next opponent, the Page Pirates.

Brad Davis was a perfect 7 of 7 on point-after conversions.

Next up is one of those “games of the year.” Although this one comes in week four it has the feel of a playoff match-up. Page is ranked No. 4 in the state by Carolina Preps’ Media Poll, while Ragsdale came in at No. 25 in the same poll. Page is considered the top team in the Triad and they have aspirations to make a long run in the playoffs.

Ragsdale has dominated the recent history of this rivalry having gone 4-0 in the last four years including last year’s come-from-behind, 38-35 win. In that game, Ragsdale trailed 35-21 with just over four minutes left on the clock, scoring two touchdowns to tie the game, and then getting an interception from Duncan Sparks and a 35-yard field goal from Brad Davis as time expired to pull out the improbable win. That comeback and defeat will certainly be on Page’s mind as they enter Kenneth T. Miller Stadium on Friday night.

If you are planning on attending the 7:30 p.m. matchup, get there early. Parking is at a premium this year while construction is going on and traffic patterns prevent cars from getting too close to the stadium. Parking is either behind what was the Jamestown Middle School, in the new lot off Vickery Chapel Road, in the “baseball field” parking lot or at Millis Road Elementary. Early arrival is essential if you want to be sitting in your seat for the opening kickoff.

Ragsdale 14 28 7 0 49
W Guilford 0 7 0 14 21
First Downs 13R 17WG
Rushing Yardage 212R 113WG
Rushes 31R 32WG
Passing Yardage 151R 229WG
Pass Comp – Att – Int. 6-12-0R 15-35-3WG
Punts – Avg Yds 2 – 40.5R 2 – 27.5WG
Fumbles – Lost 1-0R 1 1WG
Penalties – Yds 11 for 91R 4 for 16WG
Time of Possession 20:07R 27:53WG

Scoring Summary
First Quarter
R – Erik Romer 7 yard pass from Garrison Herndon (Brad Davis kick) (9:00)
R – Garrison Herndon 1 yard run (Davis kick) (4:32)
Second Quarter
R – Marquez Eleazer 1 yard run (Davis kick) (8:35)
R – Trey Grimes 57 yard interception return (Davis kick) (6:34)
W – Juan Wall 27 yard pass from Josh Thompson (Matt Siegmund kick) (1:55)
R – Anthony Stewart 59 yard pass from Herndon (Davis kick) (0:35)
R – Sharif Diaz 45 yard interception return (Davis kick) (0:17)
Third Quarter
R – Jarrett Holland 30 yard return of fumble (Davis kick) (0:34)
Fourth Quarter
W – Dorion Anderson 48 yard pass from Thompson (Siegmund kick) (11:52)
W – Jamal Bovian 7 yard run (Siegmund kick) (4:03)


  • Yikes...Vikes said,

    Mr. Ellis- Glad you corrected yourself in the content of your article! As of right now, Week 4, I think it is in fat a little premature to call this match up the “game of the year”!? Yes indeed it will be “one of those gameZ of the year! Wish I could be there. However, we got our own little game taking place over at the Nighthawks nest & that takes priority! Good luck Xavier! Look forward to seeing you in Tigerland . . .

  • Yikes. . .Vikes said,

    “fact”