from Mike Ellis at the Jamestown News with their editor Ogi Overman….CLICK HERE for more of the Jamestown News….
It was a rainy night in Jamestown as the Cowboys and Tigers took the field Friday night. The rain continued to fall off and on during the entire first half, yet despite the sloppy conditions Ragsdale got the job done. Relying on their defense, which came up with four turnovers and shut down the Southwest Guilford offense, the Ragsdale offense got a couple of second-quarter touchdowns then put the game away early in the fourth quarter to record a 30-0 win.
Ragsdale came into the game looking to rebound from their first defeat of the season at the hands of East Forsyth, while Southwest was looking for only their second win of the season.
Ragsdale ran the ball 41 times for 189 yards with senior tailback Marquez Eleazer accounting for 20 of those carries for 106 yards and three touchdowns. The Tigers mixed in the pass well, as quarterback Colson Herndon completed nine of 17 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown. With one of Herndon’s favorite receivers, Joe Pantuso, out for the year with a knee injury, sophomore T.J. Parker saw his first varsity action and made the most of the opportunity with four receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown. Senior Brandon Walker also contributed to the offense with four receptions for 80 yards, two rushes for 23 yards and he also handled the kickoff and punt returns. In his “spare” time, Walker also punted the ball four times with just under a 33-yard average.
Southwest, on the other hand, never got its offense on track against the tough Ragsdale defense. The Tiger defense was in the Cowboy backfield all night, recording seven quarterback sacks and holding the Southwest running game to minus 14 yards rushing. The Ragsdale defense forced four turnovers as Nick Elliott and Fred Davis recovered fumbles, while Aaron Washington and Darien Payne came up with interceptions. The Cowboys did have a little success moving the ball through the air, as junior quarterback Jason Caldwell completed 16 of 28 passes for 100 yards, although he did have two passes picked off. Marquis King was the leading receiver with 10 catches for 54 yards.
Ragsdale got their first score of the night on the first play of the second quarter. Having started a drive on their 37 yard line, the Tigers used nine plays to get the touchdown. The big play on the drive was a 27-yard pass from Herndon to Parker. Lofting a pass down the right sideline, the 6’ 2” Parker outjumped the defender at the 5 yard line to come down with the catch. On the next play, Eleazer went over the goal line behind linemen Austin Huber and Mike Radford for the touchdown. Lucas Hicks was perfect on the point-after and Ragsdale was up 7-0.
The defense set up the second Tiger touchdown on a fumble recovery by tackle Nick Elliott. Southwest was in Ragsdale territory after they had recovered a Tiger fumble, but Elliott turned things around when he picked up the ball at the 47 yard line and rumbled down the field before being caught from behind at the 5 yard line. After losing yardage back to the 9 yard line, Herndon threw a strike to Parker on a slant route in the end zone for a touchdown. Hicks converted the extra point and the Tigers took a 14-0 lead into the halftime break.
Neither team could move the ball in the third quarter as they exchanged punts on five consecutive possessions. Ragsdale got a gift on the Cowboys’ last possession of the quarter. With their offense backed up to the Tiger 10 yard line and facing fourth and 14, Southwest went into punt formation for the third time in the quarter. When the ball was snapped low, the punter had to go down to his knee in the end zone to pick it up and the referee blew the play dead and signaled a safety to give the Tigers two points and up their lead to 16-0.
Ragsdale scored two more times early in the fourth quarter with both of the touchdowns coming from Marquez Eleazer. The first was on a 24-yard run on a counter play off left guard. Herndon faked the ball to Walker off the right side then handed off to Eleazer, who broke through contact at the line of scrimmage and outraced the defenders to the goal line. The second score was set up by a Darien Payne interception. Payne picked off the Cowboy pass at the Ragsdale 45 yard line and returned it to the Southwest 26. Given a short field, the Tigers were able to overcome a holding penalty and used a 29-yard run from Walker to set up a first and goal at the 2 yard line. Eleazer powered into the end zone from there for the score and Hicks wrapped up the scoring for the night with the point-after to make the final 30-0.
With the win, Ragsdale improved to 2-1 in the Piedmont Triad Conference and into a tie with Northwest Guilford for second place behind the 3-0 East Forsyth Eagles. This Friday, Northwest and Ragsdale will meet in a key PTC game at Northwest. The winner will keep alive their hopes for the top spot in the conference should the Eagles stumble, but more than likely the winner will improve their chances for second place.
Northwest was knocked off 20-14 by High Point Central last week. Central and Glenn also have only one defeat in conference play but have only played two games in-conference. Both of those teams still lie ahead on the Tigers’ schedule. After the Northwest contest, Ragsdale has a bye week, before going on the road to Glenn and ending the regular season at home with the Bison. Winning the three remaining games would ensure at least second in the conference and a home game in the playoffs.
Southwest Guilford 0 0 0 0 0
Ragsdale 0 14 2 14 30
R-Marquez Eleazer 4 yard run (Lucas Hicks kick) (11:56)
R-TJ Parker 9 yard pass from Colson Herndon (Hicks kick) (7:09)
R-Safety-SWG punter down in end zone (0:43)
R-Eleazer 24 yard run (Hicks kick) (10:46)
R-Eleazer 2 yard run (Hicks kick) (6:45)
First Downs 14R 7SWG
Rushing Yardage 189R -14SWG
Rushes 41R 24SWG
Passing Yardage 133R 100SWG
Pass Comp/Attempts/Int. 9/17/0R 16/28/2SWG
Punts/Avg. Yards 4/32.8R 5/26.4SWG
Fumbles/Lost 2/2R 3/2SWG
Penalties/Yards 9/90R 5/35SWG
Time of Possession 22:43R 25:17SWG
Piedmont Triad 4A Standings
(Conference – Overall)
East Forsyth 3-0 1.000 7-0
Ragsdale 2-1 .667 6-1
NW Guilford 2-1 .667 5-2
HP Central 1 -1 500 5-2
Glenn 1-1 500 2-4
SW Guilford 0-2 .000 1-6
Parkland 0-3 .000 0-7