Ragsdale poised as Page stumbles upon loss

What started off to look like a surefire Page win, turns into a defensive battle that Ragsdale took control of.

Will Newman and the Pirate offense didn’t think so when at the beginning of the game, when Newman took a fake handoff keeper 72 yards for a early touchdown. But, on the next Page drive a interception deflated the momentum as the return took the Tigers into the red zone. On the next play, touchdown Ragsdale.

The Page defense played tough on the next Ragsdale possession, sending the Tigers off the field with a 3-and-out. Page looked to run away with the game, when sophomore Thuc Phan took the punt return back 93 yards for a quick touchdown.

Ragsdale would never say die in this one, as QB Tim Romer hooks up with a receiver on a long pass play, setting up a touchdown late in the 2nd quarter. Page would jump the PAT snap, giving Ragsdale a easy 2 point conversion attempt and they got it. Half time 15-14 Ragsdale.

Mid way through the 3rd quarter Romer tosses about a 40 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver #11. PAT no good. Ragsdale 21-14 at this point in the game.

After Ragsdale raises the lead to 7, each team goes 3-and-out. Page would drive down the field and get caught in a 4th and 1 situation, Newman converts with a QB sneak up the middle. The Pirates then try 2 passes that fall incomplete on 2nd and 3rd down and goal. On 4th and goal Newman would not be denied the end zone, but wait.. a flag on the play. This backs up Page to the 10 yard line, on 4th and goal. The Ragsdale defense would sack Newman in the backfield, taking the wind out of the Pirates sails.

But, the Pirates defense holds and makes Tommy Norwood send out his punt team. Giving Page one final chance. Back up QB Bruce McKoy comes in for Will Newman (looks to have a slight concussion) and tried to move down the field to tie the game up. Two big plays by WR Brad Workinger moved the Pirates closer to the end zone. But, on the next play Jr. McKoy throws an interception to end the ball game.

**Ragsdale player goes down late in the 4th quarter. The Guilford County EMS was on call and the word on his injury is a broken leg.**

Overall, a great game by both teams.
Ragsdale prevails to (4-0) and Page falls to (3-1).

Ragsdale 21
Page 14

7 thoughts on “Ragsdale poised as Page stumbles upon loss

  1. Big win by Ragsdale tonight over Page as Ragsdale played near flawless to beat a very talented Page team. Joe gave us the Page view of the game. From the Ragsdale sidelines Page started quickly as Newman took a QB counter about 60 yards for the first score.

    Ragsdale was unable to move the ball after a big kick by Milisor. Ragsdale punted and Page started down the field again. However the Ragsdale D forced a 4th and short and Page went for it as they were just outside of Milisor’s range. LBer Walt Sparks had coverage over the middle and stepped in front of a Newman pass and intercepted the ball while taking it out of the receivers hands and ran it back 65 yards to the Page 6 yard line. Charles Thomasson scored on the next play and it was 7-7 and we had ourselves a ball game. Up until that point Page looked unstoppable as they were bigger and had excellent team speed. As a testament to Newman’s poise and talent this was Newman’s 1st interception of the year.

    After an exchange of punts Thuc Phan of Page electrified the crowd with a 93 yard punt return for a TD to put Page up 14-7. Then with just over 3 minutes to go Ragsdale took the ball down the field with pinpoint passing by Romer. Ragsdale had a 4th and 1 at the Page 16 and Ragsdale went for it and Page jumped offsides to give Ragsdale a 1st down. After an incompletion Romer found Sonnricker for the TD 6 seconds before the half. Sonnricker was open most of the night. He lined up mostly in the slot and the LBer assigned to him had his eyes in the backfield and Sonnricker was able to get behind him. Page jumped off sides again and Coach Norwood went for two and Romer found Jenkins for the 2 point conversion to put Ragsdale up 15-14 at the half.

    Another turning point in the game came early in the 2nd half as the Ragsdale offense was stopped on their 1st possessions and had to punt. Page took over however the Ragsdale D sent them backwards. You could see the confusion with Page and everyone could see the momentum shift. From then on Page begin to play right into ragsdale game plan. Everyone knows how dangerous Page QB Will Newman can be. However after watching him on film all week around our house (and the houses of the whole defense)it was apparent Newman could beat you with his feet. The 1st Page TD was evidence of that. The Ragsdale strategy was to contain Newman and force him to throw the football. This turned out to be wise as they held Newman to 63 yards passing on 7-26 attempts.

    Ragsdale got the ball back after an exchange of punts and after a short drive just past midfield, Romer again found Sonnricker all alone as he got behind the Page LBer for a 41 yard strike. Ragsdale was unsuccessful on teh 2 point try and the score was 21-14. You could see the bigger and faster Page D beginning to tire as they were spending more time on the field and struggling to cover the Ragsdale receivers. Both teams exchanged punts until Page took over and drove down to the Ragsdale 18 yard line. However the Ragsdale D stiffened again and harrassed Newman into 2 misses and a big sack on 4th down. newman was hurt on the 3rd down play and after playing on 4th down he would not return as he was knocked out of the game.

    Ragsdale took over and gained 1 1st down on a nice pass to fullback Ed (Rat) Ross for his 1st catch of the year. However Page forced ragsdale to punt and Page took over with 1:48 left and 2 timeouts. McCoy has now teh QB for Page. He had a nice completion to get a 1st down however a terrible play came next. McCoy was forced out of the pocket by Keith Handford of Ragsdale and he was sacked by Handford and Ashworth. Handford stayed down on the ground and the game was stopped for 35 minutes. For some unknown reason there was not an ambulance at the game. From the time the play was stopped to the time an ambulance got there was 28 minutes. As it turned out Handford had a spiral fracture in his femur and is in surgery tonight getting a rod put in his leg.

    When play resumed with 1:25 Page had a nice gain on a McCoy completion. However on teh next play the pass rush got to Page and Ashworth stepped in front and intercepted the McCoy toss. Ashworth was brought down on a nasty facemask while twisting his head. After the penalty Ragsdale was able to run out the clock.

    The Page fans showed excellent sportsmanship when the Ragsdale player was hurt. What many people were asking was why there was not an ambulance at the game, or at least some EMT’s and why it took the ambulance almost 30 minutes to get on site? Especially after the death of Matt Gfeller from the Page Reynolds contest. Handford was in terrible pain and had to lay there for almost 30 minutes.

    Page is as good as advertised. Page has a very quick defense, and a top quality QB in Will Newman. There were several turning points in the game. Newman set the tone early with his long run for the opening score. Sparks interception and long return which set up the 1st Ragsdale TD changed the momentum and slowed the Page offense down. Phan’s punt return for 93 yards was a thing of beauty. The drive just before half and Sonnricker’s leaping catch and teh succcessful 2 point conversion sent a message to Page that they were in a ball game. Then when Romer and Sonnricker hooked up again to give Ragsdale a 7 point lead it was all the Ragsdale D would need.

    Lots of big plays by the Ragsdale D tonight. Great pass rush by Dan McNeil and Keith Handford (2 sacks). LBers Sparks (1 int, 1 sack, a TFL and 8 more tackles), Stone (1 TFL and 8 tackles) and the Ashworth twins, Jon and Josh ( 1 int, 2 sacks, several tackles and 3 big hits). The DBs came up and were tremendous in run support and made big plays and tons of tackles while shutting down the passing lanes. I agreed with Andy that page would win this game however a near flawless game by Ragsdale provided the upset.

    Going forward Ragsdale takes on their nemisis Grimsley who they haven’t beaten since the Reagan years and Page bounces back for the big showdown with Dudley. While Page came up short tonight, after watching the Dudley/Grimsley game, Page can beat Dudley. Not saying they will but they can. Page has the team speed to play with Dudley.

  2. Out of about 60 NC High School football games I have been to, all over the state. Maybe a handful of those games I have seen EMS on site. Although I agree that they should be at the games. Think about it this way. There are 15 high schools in Guilford County. Taking into account bye weeks, a Guilford county school playing a Guilford County school, and teams playing away in other counties. Say about 5-6 maybe 7 EMS units would be tied up at the Football game for 3 hours or so on Friday nights. Living in one of the biggest counties in the state of NC, I’m not sure if they can afford to have that many not out on patrol waiting for calls. Same deal for Forsyth County and probably Mecklenburg County, Wake and Durham counties as well.

  3. Joe, great job on the write-up. I think some were surprised by the result but it sounds like Ragsdale came to play last night. I hope that the injury to the young man was not too serious. It has been a tough season for Page and bad injuries to their opponents.

  4. Page had a case of butterfingers last night and it cost them big time. They WR dropped a sure TD pass streaking down the sideline and right before the half, Page defender dropped an easy interception that probably would have been returned for a TD. On the next play, Ragsdale scores.

    Ragsdale D played great in the 2nd half and smothered the Page O. In my opinion, Page is asking will Newman to do too much on offense. The way he runs and scrambles on every play, he was bound to get hurt. Page needs some bigger targets for him to throw to.

  5. Good points Jim. You’re right that Page dropped a long ball that would have been 6 along with an INT. Although Ragsdale dropped 3 more easy INT’s themselves. Gilyard had an easy one in his own end zone, and Sparks and Stone both got there hands on balls they should have caught. Keeping Newman in the pocket and forcing him to throw paid off.

    The Ragsdale player had surgery last night. He is expected to be able to be a part of spring practice. Nothing until then. Today is his birthday. Hopefully Will Newman is OK this morning after he left the game with an undisclosed injury.

  6. Great takes on the game bu Lee and Joe. That was such a great game. I’m still surprised Page didn’t run more. I was expecting more designed plays to get Newman running downfield. I guess a QB can only take so many hits though and the Ragsdale D was really bringing it last night. The front line did a great job containing and pursuing Newman (great gameplan on D by Norwood and Boykin), and the linebackers and DBs did great on pass coverage and the DBs really helped on run support.

    Also the Ragsdale O-line which is not that big (Joe Finison aside) did an awesome job keeping the Page D-line from getting to Romer. And when Romer did feel the heat he maintained his poise and made some big throws. I hope Keith keeps his head up after that injury. The Tiger team is very close so I know he’ll get lots of support. I hope Newman bounces back too – he’ll have his hands full with that Dudley D next week.

  7. I think Page would have ran the ball more, but starting RB Lenny Gordon didn’t play last night, and I’m not sure why.

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