from Mike Ellis at the Jamestown News with Ogi Overman editor and Charles Wommack publisher and you can get The News from Jamestown, when you CLICK HERE…….
Ragsdale launches conference season by crushing Parkland 56-7
by Mike Ellis
Ragsdale went on the road to Winston-Salem Friday night as they opened Piedmont Triad Conference play by taking on the Parkland Mustangs. After suffering their first loss of the season the previous week, the Tigers were looking not only to bounce back from that setback, but also to begin their pursuit of their fifth consecutive conference crown by picking up a win against a league opponent. Both objectives were accomplished as Ragsdale put 28 points on the board in the second quarter and cruised to a 56-7 win.
Ragsdale got their first score of the night late in the first quarter. After punter Brad Davis pinned the Mustangs deep in their own territory with a kick that rolled dead at the 3 yard line, the Tiger defense limited Parkland to three plays and a punt. Brandon Walker fielded the punt at the Parkland 44 and returned it 24 yards, giving the offense a first and 10 at the Mustang 20 yard line. It took Marquez Eleazer two plays to cover that distance, going up the middle for three yards then taking the handoff off left tackle and bouncing outside for the 17-yard touchdown. Davis came on to kick the extra point and Ragsdale had a 7-0 lead after seven minutes of play.
Five plays later, the Tiger offense was back on the field as the defense came up with a turnover. Brandon Swinton stepped in front of a pass and returned the interception 21 yards to once again give the offense the ball in Parkland territory. Eleazer again did most of the work on the six-play drive, as he carried the ball four consecutive times for 31 yards. The last carry on the first play of the second quarter produced the touchdown from 14 yards out.
Up 14-0, the Ragsdale special teams struck again, this time getting a rush on the Parkland punter after a high snap as Trey Grimes, Jarrett Holland, Winston Craig and Joerell London smothered the kicker and turned the ball over to their offense on the Parkland 21 yard line. After two consecutive holding penalties moved the ball back to the 32 yard line, Ragsdale resorted to a little trickery to score their third touchdown. Quarter-back Garrison Herndon threw the ball to his brother, Colson Herndon who was split out as a wide receiver. The pass was a lateral and Colson then threw a perfect forward pass to Anthony Stewart who pulled it in at the 15 yard line and scampered down the left sideline for a touchdown. Davis converted his third extra point of the night to make the score 21-0.
The offense was back in business a minute and a half later after the defense again held Parkland to three plays and a punt. Starting at their 46 yard line, QB Herndon went to the air and completed five for five passes on the eight-play touchdown drive. He found Stewart on the right side for a first down, then hit Brandon Walker who made an outstanding run after the catch for 36 yards, setting up a first and goal at the 6. Facing a fourth down from the three yard line, Herndon delivered a strike to Erik Romer on a slant on the left side for the touchdown.
With the Tigers now up by 28-0 and just over three minutes left in the half, the defense struck again. Trey Grimes picked off a pass at the Ragsdale 45 yard line and returned it to the Parkland 49 to give the offense excellent field position. Herndon connected with Walker for 12 yards and a first down, and then threw a perfect screen pass to Eleazer. The speedy runningback followed great downfield blocking by Austin Green who cleared a path into the end zone as Ragsdale took a 35-0 lead into the halftime break.
If there were any doubt about the outcome going into the second half, Ragsdale eliminated it quickly as they went on a 10-play, five-minute drive. Eleazer was involved in the first seven plays of the drive, carrying the ball six times for 36 yards and catching a pass for another six yards. Xavier Jones came on in relief and covered the last 26 yards in three carries, the touchdown gallop coming from the 6 yard line to expand the lead to 42-0.
Parkland finally was able to generate some offense on their next possession as they marched 65 yards in 11 plays for their first and only score of the night. Antonio Thompson picked up the initial first down on the drive with a 13-yard run and quarterback Carlos Gregory picked up 9 and 15 yards on consecutive scrambles to set up a Brandon Ford two-yard touchdown run to make the score 42-7.
Ragsdale’s defense did the rest of the damage. With Parkland driving again early in the final quarter, linebacker Duncan Sparks stepped in front of a Gregory pass at the Parkland 15 yard line. Sparks returned the interception 75 yards before finally being dragged down at the 10 yard line. The Tiger offense only needed one play, a Xavier Jones sweep around the right side, to produce their seventh touchdown of the night. The next Parkland possession ended the same way as this time linebacker Darren Primes intercepted and returned it 68 yards for the final touchdown of the night that made the score 56-7.
All facets of the Tigers game were clicking Friday night. Special teams set up the first two scores as Brandon Walker had a key punt return to give the offense possession deep in Parkland territory and the punt return team swarmed on the punter late in the first quarter to set up another touchdown. Placekicker Brad Davis had a perfect night, converting on 8-of-8 extra points as snapper Austin Green and holder Garrison Herndon helped him with perfect execution. Davis’s only punt of the night helped get the Tigers off to a good start as it pinned the Mustangs at their 3-yard line which ultimately led to the first score.
The offense had a balanced attack, rushing the ball for 153 yards on 32 carries and picking up 171 yards through the air. Marquez Eleazer led the ground assault carrying the ball 18 times and picking up 98 yards and two rushing TD’s. Eleazer also had a score on a 30-yard screen pass. Xavier Jones, who is the starting cornerback on defense, saw some offensive action, getting eight carries and picking up 45 yards and he scored two touchdowns.
Garrison Herndon passed for 139 yards on 10 for 12 passing with two touchdowns. He was sharp all night and did an outstanding job of running the offense. Colson Herndon completed his first pass of the season on a “double pass” play that went for 32 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Walker was the leading receiver with three catches for 52 yards. Erik Romer and Anthony Stewart both had two catches and a touchdown.
The Tigers defense kept the Mustangs offense bottled up all night. Parkland had 12 offensive possessions during the game and on seven of them the Ragsdale defense limited them to three plays or fewer. Getting the Mustangs off the field and turning the ball back over to their offense was one of the keys that led to the lopsided victory. Parkland only averaged two yards per carry on 35 carries in the running game and the Tigers intercepted four passes as the Mustangs went 5 for 17 for 79 yards in the passing game. Brandon Swinton, Trey Grimes, Duncan Sparks and Darren Primes came up with the picks with Primes taking his “to the house” for a touchdown. Will Sams, Larry Ogunjobi, Brian Nwokolo and Trey Grimes were all credited with sacks.
Next week the East Forsyth Eagles come to Jamestown for another Piedmont Triad Conference matchup. The Eagles are 3-1 after defeating High Point Central in their conference opener last week by a 21-20 score. This will be a key early-season matchup in determining the frontrunners for the PT 4A title.
Ragsdale 7 28 7 14 56
Parkland 0 0 7 0 7
First Downs 11-R 12-P
Rushing Yardage 153-R 71-P
Rushes 32-R 35-P
Passing Yardage 171-R 79-P
Pass Comp – Att – Int. 11-13-0-R 5-17-4-P
Punts – Avg Yds 1-31.0-R 4-29.0-P
Fumbles – Lost 1-1-R 1-0-P
Penalties – Yds 7-65-R 5-35-P
Time of Possession 19:29-R 28:31-P
R – Marquez Eleazer 17 yard run (Brad Davis kick) (4:49)
R – Eleazer 14 yard run (Davis kick) (11:53)
R – Anthony Stewart 32 yard pass from Colson Herndon (Davis kick) (8:27)
R – Erik Romer 3 yard pass from Garrison Herndon (Davis kick) (3:01)
R – Eleazer 30 yard pass from G. Herndon (Davis kick) (1:03)
R – Xavier Jones 6 yard run (Davis kick) (7:11)
P – Brandon Ford 2 yard run (Daniel Mendoza kick) (1:38)
R – Jones 10 yard run (Davis kick) (9:57)
R – Darren Primes 68 yard interception return (Davis kick) (6:28)