RIDLEY TWP. — Ridley’s defense cared little that it was facing Southeastern Pennsylvania’s leading rusher. It cared little that it was winless in Central League play and that Marple Newtown was undefeated.
Friday night in their home opener, the Green Raiders put on a clinic. They dominated the Tigers to the tune of a 37-0 victory, giving up minus-four rushing yards and 38 offensive yards in the blowout. Marple Newtown standout Adrian Sapnas, who had 767 yards entering the contest, was held to just 41 yards on 14 carries.
Ridley (2-2 overall, 1-2 league) gave the powerful back no room to operate. The defense swallowed him up, refusing to let go. Marple Newtown (2-2, 2-1) didn’t get a first down until shortly before halftime. It had four for the game. It was that dominating.
“We feel as if teams lost respect for us, we needed a statement game,’ linebacker Ryan Dougherty said. “The last two weeks, we didn’t finish. (Friday), we finished.’
The Green Raiders got the same effort offensively that they got defensively, rushing 51 times for 232 yards. Malik Young led the way with 146 yards and two touchdowns. Dasante Callis had 69 and a score. Even Dougherty got in on the act, carrying twice for a pair 1-yard touchdowns.
Ridley coach Dennis Decker said penalties and turnovers were the reason his team entered this one on a two-game losing streak. Friday, his team fumbled once and had 70 penalty yards. It finished drives. It was a true bounce-back performance.
“We lost two football games, both by seven points,’ Decker said. “I told our guys we’re not a good enough football team to not do the little things.’ Young’s 27-yard touchdown run put Ridley ahead late in the first quarter. Dougherty scored 33 seconds before halftime. With two 2-point conversions (both via Dougherty), it was 16-0 at the break.
In the second half, Ridley drove 80 yards on the opening possession and scored on Young’s 2-yard run. Dougherty finished the next drive late in the third quarter with a 1-yard plunge. Callis capped the scoring midway through the fourth quarter with a 2-yard run.
After that, the backups came in. The clock started to run. The Green Raiders knew the job of stopping Sapnas, and the Tigers, was done.
Decker credited first the game plan, then the effort in the staggering final result. Dougherty took it as a big confidence boost.
“It’s huge. To stop a guy like that, you need to play total team defense,’ Dougherty said. “If we wrapped him up, we knew we could stop him.’
Marple Newtown coach Chris Gicking was confident his team could put this game behind them. They didn’t do much right Friday. They knew it.
“Give all the credit to Ridley, Ridley’s defense,’ Gicking said. “Give all the credit to Ridley.’