Southeast Guilford Battles Adversity, Beats Ragsdale 21-7 to Improve to 5-1 on the Season-Wyatt Smith Reporting
The Southeast Guilford Falcons have yet to play a game at their home stadium this season, but they haven’t let that stop them from battling on the field, and this Monday night match-up against the Ragsdale Tigers was no different.
Things didn’t start well in the first quarter for the Falcons, though, as two of their three turnovers of the night came on their first two drives of the game. On their first drive and fifth play, Emmanuel Heggie fumbled for the Falcons on their own 42-yardline, and David Lundberg of Ragsdale recovered. Ragsdale wasn’t able to capitalize on that turnover, and the Tigers were forced to punt.
Southeast started their second drive of the game from their own 20. After driving downfield, and having a touchdown called back for a chop-block, Falcons quarterback Ryan Douglas tossed up a pass on third and goal that was intercepted by Ragsdale’s Chetney Taylor. The ensuing drive by Ragsdale took up the remainder of the first quarter, and at the end of the first twelve minutes, the score was tied at zero.
To begin the second quarter, Ragsdale was faced with fourth and long just inside of Southeast territory and punted the ball down to the 15-yard line, where the Falcon offense took over.
The Falcons once again had a touchdown called back because of a chop-block penalty. Although that touchdown was brought back, the Falcons kept the drive going, and after 17 plays, Paul Gardin ran the ball three yards into the end-zone for the score. The Sergio Hernandez point-after kick was good, and the Falcons led 7-0.
The Southeast lead lasted only one play, though, as the main offensive producer for Ragsdale on the evening, Jarious Drayton, broke free for a 66-yard touchdown run with three minutes remaining in the first half. Greyson Collins added the point-after kick, and the score was quickly tied again. This time at seven.
Southeast stepped on the throttle, and after getting the ball on their own 36-yard line with 2:53 left in the first half, scored on a 39-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Ryan Douglas to Josiah Bonner. The pass was on the sixth play of the drive, and the score came with 1:21 left in the first half. Hernandez again added the extra point kick, and the score going into halftime was 14-7 Falcons.
The Falcons received the ball after half, and Emmanuel Heggie caught the kickoff at the 20-yard line, broke free, and took it to the house, only for a holding call, way behind the ball, to cancel the score.
Southeast fumbled for their third turnover of the night on that first drive of the second half, but, once again, they got a break when Ragsdale’s Mason Clement threw his only interception 8 plays later. It did not end up hurting the Tigers, however, as the third quarter featured no scoring.
The second play of the fourth quarter was a missed field-goal attempt by Ragsdale’s Greyson Collins. After the missed attempt, the Falcons took over on their own 20. Fourteen plays and five-and-a-half minutes later, CJ McThay ran the ball six yards into the end-zone to cap off the scoring on the night. Hernandez added the extra-point kick, and the Falcons led, and ended up winning by a score of 21-7.
Southeast’s offense featured over 400 yards of rushing on the night, led by three backs, two of whom, Steven Baldwin and CJ McThay rushed for over 100-yards, and Paul Gardin added a rushing touchdown for the Falcons.
Ragsdale’s offense was mostly led by Junior Jarious Drayton who had 18 carries for 157 yards, and tallied the Tigers’ only score on the night.
Southeast’s Coach Hessenthaler said, “We had a big win. We haven’t played a home game yet, we’re 5-1. The little bit of adversity that we’ve faced is something that you want these kids to see; it builds character. That’s why you play the game of football.”
A more somber Ragsdale coach Thomas Norwood added, “I think that we need just a little bit more offensive punch. Jarious (Drayton) is our bell-cow. A lot of people have a running back as their bell-cow, but you need a second guy who is going to help you a little bit. Bryce Craig is making plays for us. We just probably don’t get him the ball enough to make those plays.”
With the victory, the Falcons are now 5-1 on the season, and Ragsdale falls to 1-5 with the loss tonight.
Southeast faces a tough Page team, on the road, to open play in the Metro 4-A conference on Friday night. Ragsdale also has its hands full later this week in its opening conference game as they host the Vikings of Northwest Guilford.