special to Greensborosports.com by Mark Teer
Great game with a great crowd on a hot night as Southwest Guilford came to Jamestown to renew their rivalry with Ragsdale. Ragsdale was able to turn three Southwest Guilford interceptions into three touchdowns as Ragsdale pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 29-15 win.
First quarter was all Ragsdale although the score was 0-0 after 12 minutes. Southwest got off to a bad start with penalties and a fumbled punt (only punt of the night by Ragsdale). The Cowboys only ran three plays in the 1st quarter for -8 yards as Ragsdale controlled the clock but missed scoring opportunities.
Ragsdale got on the board first in the second quarter as Antonio Gilyardâ€™s second interception of the season gave Ragsdale a short field leading to a 14 yard TD pass from Matt Heavner to FB Edward Ross. After a SWG penalty Ragsdale went for two for an 8-0 lead. Sean Cathey began to find running room and a big fourth down conversion completion from Heavner to Keith Matthews at the two led to 2 yard TD run by Cathey for a 15-0 Tiger lead with 4:34 left in the second quarter. This left Southwest enough time to get their offense on track as they marched down the field scoring on a 1 yard TD plunge by Yolandus Platt to cut the lead to 15-7 before half.
Platt again found running room as Southwest took the second half kick off and drove 80 yards in a little over six minutes scoring again on a one yard Platt run. SWG went for two, tying the score at 15. Ragsdale appeared to be driving to take the lead back as Cathey had two nice runs into SWG territory but SWG ended the threat as Brandon Mercer picked off a third down pass from Heavner. Momentum was all in the Cowboys favor as they drove to the Ragsdale 10 early in the fourth only to have Ragsdaleâ€™s Carvel Alston intercept Cory Brownâ€™s pass returning the pick all the way to the Southwest Guilford 10 yard line.
Ragsdale couldnâ€™t move the ball and Casey Redfern came in for a 25 yard field goal attempt for the lead, but a great special teams call by Ragsdale on a fake had holder Tim Romer throwing to a wide open Ian Jenkins for a 9 yard TD. Redfern tacked on the PAT and Ragsdale led by 7 with over 8 minutes to play. Southwest had one last shot to tie the game after Ragsdale turned the ball over on downs with 5:41 left, driving inside the Tiger 30 as the clock went under two minutes. Two penalties pushed them back, then Gilyard sealed the game for Ragsdale with his second interception of the night. Sean Cathey broke lose for 44 yards to the 3 then scored the TD from the 3 for the final margin of 29-15.
Cathey led the Tiger offense with 23 carries for 131 yards and two TDs. QB Matt Heavner was 7-10 for 104 yards and a TD. Keith Matthews was the leading Tiger receiver with 2 catches for 41 yards while Edward Ross had 2 catches for 27 yards and a TD. Ragsdale defense was led by Antonio Gilyardâ€™s two interceptions.
Hats off to the Cowboys of Southwest who gave Ragsdale everything they had for four quarters.