Thursday, December 5, 2013
The Ashley Ridge football team took its lumps this season, but also learned some lessons.
“There was progress as the season developed, especially on defense, but there were also a lot of missed opportunities,” Ashley Ridge coach Kenny Walker said. “We had some big plays called back on penalties and too many turnovers but hopefully we learned from it. We were competitive. We just didn’t make enough of the crucial plays you need to make.”
The Swamp Foxes finished the season at 4-8 after falling to Summerville in the opening round of the playoffs. But Ashley Ridge kept half of the games it lost tight.
The Swamp Foxes did have some success moving the ball. Quarterback Chandler Avenel completed more than 100 passes for approximately 1,500 yards and nine touchdowns. Dashaun Santiago led the Swamp Fox receivers with 28 catches for more than 500 yards and five TDs. Sean White and Donavan Thompson both had more than 450 receiving yards and combined for four TDs.
Tyler Garland led the Swamp Fox rushers, surpassing the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season and scoring 10 TDs. White rushed for more than 300 yards and five TDs.
Defensive high points include the six interceptions senior defensive back Kendall Felder made this year.
The Swamp Fox special teams were also solid this season.
“Special teams was a bright spot for us,” Walker said. “We won that battle so hopefully that will carry into next season. We returned several kicks for touchdowns and our punter and kicker did a good job.”
Ashley Ridge has a lot of key players set to return next season, including some from its special teams. Kicker Matt Gable and punter Ashton Hughes will be seniors. The Swamp Foxes have to say goodbye to their most dangerous kick returner, Thompson, but have younger players who should be able to help out in that area.
On offense, eight of 11 starters should return.
“We only lose one offensive lineman; our starting quarterback returns and Tyler Garland returns,” Walker said. “We will have to develop some on the other side of the ball because we will have some younger players there but I’m excited about the group we have coming back and players coming up from our B-team and JV. I think as a program we are learning what it takes to win ball games.”