from Mike Ellis with the Jamestown News at www.jamestownnews.com:
Ragsdale knocks off Southwest in rivalry game
Two old rivals met on the gridiron on Oct. 18 as Ragsdale travelled to Southwest Guilford. Both teams are having a “down” year this year, but when the Tigers and Cowboys face each other, records mean very little. In spite of both teams having identical 2-5 records coming into the game, there was a big crowd and outstanding student sections from each school rooted their teams on all night.
Ragsdale has dominated the series in recent years, with Southwest Guilford unable to secure a victory in the past 15 meetings between the two schools. The Cowboys were looking to end that streak and the Tigers wanted nothing more than to come up with a win to keep the streak alive. The game also had significance in the Piedmont Triad Conference, as a win would keep both teams’ slim playoff hopes alive as both were looking for some momentum heading into the heart of the conference schedule.
Ragsdale took advantage of three big plays in the first half, which led to a 21-7 halftime lead, then held on in the second half. Southwest controlled the ball for most of the second half, marching up and down the field, but the Ragsdale defense came up big when they had to and prevented any Cowboy points. After three consecutive second half three-and-outs for the Tiger offense, they got a big play from running back Jerry Gaither late in the fourth which led to the game’s final touchdown as Ragsdale wrapped up the 28-7 win.
Ragsdale started the game on offense and used over five minutes to move from their 8-yard line to the Southwest 28 before the drive stalled. A fourth-down incomplete pass turned the ball over to the Cowboys. A holding penalty moved Southwest back and they eventually faced a fourth-and-14 from their 24-yard line which brought on the punt team. That set up the game’s first big play as the Cowboy punter fumbled the snap and was swarmed on by the Tiger defense, giving Ragsdale the ball at the 7-yard line. One play later, Gaither went around left end for the touchdown and the Tigers took a 6-0 lead after the extra point was blocked.
Early in the second quarter, after Ragsdale punter Xan Swaim had backed the Cowboys up inside their 1-yard line, Southwest was forced to punt from their end zone. The Tigers’ Brian Flaskrud fielded the punt at the 32 and returned it into the end zone for an apparent touchdown, but Ragsdale was flagged for a block in the back that nullified the score and moved the ball back to the 25. Three plays later, quarterback Alec Cobb dropped back and – after an outstanding pump fake – delivered a strike to Tevin Quick in the left corner of the end zone from 11 yards out for the score. Cobb then hit wide receiver Daequan Allen on a slant route for the two-point conversion and the Tigers had taken a 14-0 lead.
Southwest got on the board late in the second quarter, taking advantage of a big play from senior Rick Mack. Quarterback Eric Cunningham threw a swing pass from the 28-yard line as Mack drifted out of the backfield. The pass was a little high and Mack tipped the ball with one hand, pulled it in and then used his outstanding speed to turn upfield. He was finally dragged down 67 yards later at the Ragsdale 5. Cunningham ran up the middle on the next play for the touchdown. Landon Cheviron converted the point after to make the score 14-7.
Ragsdale wasted little time in answering the score and quieting the home crowd. Senior Flaskrud fielded the ensuing kickoff at his 10-yard line, ran up the middle through the first wave of tacklers and then cut to the right sideline. At about the 50-yard line he picked up an escort in teammate Aaron Washington. Washington threw blocks on three different defenders to clear a path for Flaskrud who went on untouched for the 90-yard kickoff return for the touchdown. Lucas Hicks kicked the extra points and only 13 seconds after the Cowboys score, Ragsdale had responded and went into the half with a 21-7 lead.
The first two Southwest possessions in the second half saw the Cowboys move the ball on long drives, but fail to get the ball in the end zone. They took the second half kickoff and used a 13-play drive to move the ball to the Ragsdale 12-yard line. Facing a fourth-and-two from the 12, Ragsdale’s Dequante Goggins pressured the quarterback into an incomplete pass to stop the drive. After a Ragsdale three-and-out, Southwest drove the ball again, using 11 plays to move to the Ragsdale 6 where they faced a fourth-and-two. Once again, the Tiger defense had an answer as they blitzed and tackled Mack for an 8-yard loss to give the ball back to the offense.
After three consecutive three and outs, Ragsdale’s offense got untracked and got a big play from Gaither. Gaither went off left tackle and broke to the left and went 53 yards to move the ball into Southwest territory. Three more Gaither carries got the ball to the Southwest 21 before Cobb executed a perfect ball fake and dropped back to throw a pass to a wide-open tight end Bradley Blizzard in the end zone for the game’s final score.
The Ragsdale defense kept the Cowboy’s offense out of the end zone except for the second quarter score. In the first half, Southwest was held to minus 17 yards rushing offense and had 90 yards passing with 67 of those yards coming on the one play that set up the lone Southwest score. They limited the Cowboys to one first-half first down. Southwest’s offense seemed to get on track in the second half, sustaining drives and picking up eight first downs, but they were unable to get the ball in the end zone as the Tiger defense repeatedly came up with big plays. Twice in the second half they stopped a fourth-down play and on a third possession, the Tigers’ Flaskrud came up with an interception.
Darreon Milner was the leading tackler for Ragsdale as he was credited with eight tackles while Xan Swaim, Deondre Woods and Sidney Thompson each were credited with six. Flaskrud also had the interception and Thompson had two sacks and Nick Elliott also had a sack. Washington came up with the fumble recovery in the first quarter after the bobbled punt snap.
The offense was led by senior Gaither, who picked up 142 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown. Quarterback Alec Cobb went 7-for-13 passing and managed the offense well. He connected with Quick and Blizzard for touchdowns.
The Ragsdale special teams had an interesting night. The punt team led by Swaim was outstanding. He punted the ball four times and averaged 44.3 yards per punt. His shortest punt of the night was 36 yards but it pinned the Cowboys inside their 1-yard line. Swaim also did a good job of keeping the ball away from Southwest’s outstanding return man as Rick Mack was unable to return any of Swaim’s punts. The punt return team for the Tigers has one of the conference’s outstanding return men in Flaskrud. The problem is too many penalties. Southwest punted the ball five times and on four of the punts, Ragsdale had a blocking in the back penalty including one that wiped out a Flaskrud touchdown return. Flaskrud also returned a kickoff for 90 yards for a score.
Southwest relies on senior Mack for the majority of their offense. They use a variety of formations and schemes to get the ball into his hands. He picked up 52 yards on 12 carries with a long run of 26 yards. Ragsdale’s defense limited him to 3 yards net rushing in the first half. Mack also caught five passes for 87 yards and threw one pass completion for a 7-yard gain. Quarterback Eric Cunningham ran the ball 17 yards for 49 yards as the Southwest offense continued to battle until the final whistle.
Ragsdale improves to 3-5 and 1-1 in the Piedmont Triad Conference.
Next up for the Tigers is a home game this coming Friday against High Point Central. Central is also 1-1 in the Conference and is 5-3 overall. They are coming in off a heartbreaking loss to Northwest Guilford by a 28-25 score as the Bison fumbled the ball into the end zone in the final seconds as they were driving for the winning score. It will be Senior Night and all of the seniors participating in fall sports will be introduced prior to the game.
Southwest falls to 2-6 and 0-2 in the PTC. Southwest will be at home Friday night to face East Forsyth.
Ragsdale 6 15 0 7 28
Southwest Guilford 0 7 0 0 7
First Quarter, R – Jerry Gaither 7-yard run (Kick blocked) (4:00)
Second Quarter. R – Tevin Quick 11-yard pass from Alec Cobb (2 pt conv. Dequan Allen 3-yard pass from Cobb) (9:43); SWG – Eric Cunningham 5-yard run (Landon Cheviron kick) (3:34); R – Brian Flaskrud 90-yard kickoff return (Lucas Hicks kick) (3:34)
Fourth Quarter R – Bradley Blizzard 21-yard pass from Cobb (Hicks kick) (3:04)
First Downs 12R 9SWG
Rushing Yardage 190R 87SWG
Rushes 39R 36SWG
Passing Yardage 74R 97SWG
Pass Comp/Attempts/Int. 9/15/0R 7/17/1SWG
Punts/Avg. Yards 4/44.3R 5/34.4SWG
Fumbles/Lost 0/0R 1/1SWG
Penalties/Yards 9/82R 6/56SWG
Time of Possession 22:28R 25:32SWG
Parking Announcement For All Ragsdale High School Athletic Events:
·There is to be no parking for Athletic events in the lot on the High Point Road side of the school. This is what use to be the front of the old Ragsdale campus. There is no entrance into the stadium from the High Point Road lot. All entrances into the stadium are located on Millis Rd. and Vickery Chapel Rd. We look forward to your attendance at all Ragsdale High School Athletic events.