Foxes fall to Warriors
Ashley Ridge had victory in sight Friday but let it slip away.
Wando finished strong in The Swamp to earn a 31-13 victory. However the score is a bit misleading as the Warriors received a few golden opportunities late in the game to cushion their lead.
“We were leading 13-10 going into the fourth quarter and we had opportunities to make some plays but failed to do so,” Ashley Ridge coach Kenny Walker said. “Defensively we had them in third-and-long situations in the second half a few times with the lead and we allowed them to convert. That’s been a problem since I have been here and we need to make those stops if we have any chance for success.”
Ashley Ridge was the first to get on the scoreboard when Cameron Smith hit a 20-yard field goal.
The teams then traded punts and Trequan Jenkins made an Ashley Ridge interception in the red zone to stop a long Wando drive. But the Foxes were unable to capitalize and Wando drove 45 yards to set up a 27-yard field goal to tie the game.
Ashley Ridge answered with a 70-yard drive but with time running out in the first half was unable to punch the ball into the end zone. The Foxes rushed out the field-goal unit, got the snap off with three seconds on the clock and Smith hit a 23-yard field goal for a 6-3 Ashley Ridge lead entering the third quarter.
Once it got warmed up, the Wando offense was impressive. The Warriors came out of the break and drove 71 yards, scoring on a 9-yard pass from Christian Hart to Nathaniel Wright.
Ashley Ridge answered with its biggest play of the game. Swamp Fox QB Jacob Thompson had trouble managing a high snap and was trapped in the backfield. A Wando defender had him in his grasp, but Thompson dumped a pass to running back Romelo Doctor, who then dashed 89 yards for a TD. Smith’s PAT kick gave the Swamp Foxes the 13-10 lead with 5:16 remaining in the third quarter.
Ashley Ridge held Wando to an unsuccessful field goal attempt on the Warriors’ next possession, but then things started to get away from the Foxes.
Thompson hit Doctor for a 10-yard passing gain, but a Wando defender was on top of the play and caused a fumble just after the reception. Wando recovered at the Swamp Fox 30 and needed only three plays to score with a 12-yard run by Kenny Warring for a 17-13 lead with 11:11 remaining in the game.
Halfway through the final quarter, Wando mounted a 61-yard drive capped by a 12-yard TD run by Cameron Rouse.
Ashley Ridge managed a first down on its next possession but was then forced into a fourth-and-long when linebacker Matt Norman sacked Thompson. Walker tried to catch Wando off guard with a fake punt, but the Warriors sniffed it out and took over at the AR 19 with 3:27 remaining.
Shortly after Hart connected with Rudder Brown for an 8-yard TD pass. The Warrior QB completed 11 pass attempts in the second half for more than 100 yards.
“We found some openings in the second half,” Wando coach Jimmy Noonan said. “We pride ourselves on conditioning and I think we wore them down some up front. Also our defense played great in the second half.”
Doctor led the Swamp Fox offense with 17 carries for 90 rushing yards and three catches for 110 yards.
“Our offense is struggling to move the chains and we can’t keep relying on the big play,” Walker said. “We have to be able to sustain some drives late in the game.”