Panthers pounce on Knights

35-3 at half

Randy Lefko
Posted 9/7/17

ORANGE PARK – With a barrage of fast-hitting runs, the Ridgeview High football offense, led by quarterback Tyler Huff and tailback Caleb Plyler, struck fast and furious to a 35-3 half time lead on …

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Panthers pounce on Knights

35-3 at half

Posted

ORANGE PARK – With a barrage of fast-hitting runs, the Ridgeview High football offense, led by quarterback Tyler Huff and tailback Caleb Plyler, struck fast and furious to a 35-3 half time lead on their way to a 49-17 non-district win over 7A-Creekside Sept. 1 at Ridgeview High School. Plyler finished with 103 rushing yards including a 50 yard scoring play while Huff, off 97 yards rushing, scored off three runs and threw for two touchdowns.

“Tyler is a good quarterback, he always has four or five options out there and he makes great decisions,” said Ridgeview High coach Cameron Porch, now 2-0. “We have a bunch of skill players that play unselfishly. We have running backs with great vision that hit the line of scrimmage quickly.”

Ridgeview continues its ventures as an unbeaten team with winless Westside High coming to Ridgeview High on Friday. Ridgeview’s wins, though impressive with scores of 53-0 over Andrew Jackson, now 0-3, and 49-17 over Creekside, now 1-1, have been delivered to teams with less than stellar history. Westside, a 5A region playoff qualifier in 2014, sits at 0-2 with losses to 6A-Ed White (31-2) and top-ranked 7A Robert E. Lee High (49-7).

“We are going to let this one settle in for a day then get back to work on Monday,” said Porch.Ridgeview has a recent history of region playoff berths from 2010 through 2012 under former coach Tom Macpherson, now Orange Park High head coach. Creekside is now 1-2.

Leading the Panthers’ offensive thrusts was Huff, who scored the first two touchdowns; one a 23 yard rolling option behind an outstanding downfield block from wide receiver Denali Lindo; the second a one yard quick-snap plunge over center Tyler Duggan and guard Josh Kuseck.

“We go at defenses with plenty of options,” said Huff. “They may stop one of us, but there are five guys that can get the ball downfield. I’m just having fun with it right now.”

In the first drive, Huff advanced his own drive with a nifty 22 yard run to the Creekside 43 before Lindo led him downfield for a 21 yard scamper to the 23 yard line and the score.

“We don’t need a big hole with our quickness,” said tailback Jaidan Turner. “Our line is good at getting us space enough to get through and get downfield.”

In the second score, Huff found a third ballcarrier, tailback Jacolbi Sampson for a 31 yard swing pass play to the one yard line. Huff recognized the Creekside defense relaxed prior to the snap and got behind Duggan for the audible and go-to score.

“Tyler sees the whole field out there and he has the ability to make decisions like that on the fly,” said Porch. “The rest of the team trusts him and respond to that.”

Creekside was having little luck in moving the ball against a feisty, opportunistic defense that was led up front by linebacker Dominic Stanfield and, in the secondary, by cornerback Brandon Thomas, who nearly picked off the second pass of the night for the Knights.

Stanfield, who harassed the Creekside backfield all night, got the first of a handful of sacks and hurries on the Knights’ second possession with the score at 14-0.

“We just execute, that’s all,” said Stanfield. “My team helps me and I stay humble and just do my job.”

Starting at the their own 30 after a Creekside punt, Lindo and Huff moved the ball to midfield with short stints off the corner of the Panther offensive line before Plyler blasted up the middle and down the Panther sideline to paydirt and a 21-0 Ridgeview score with 1:36 still in the first quarter. Kicker Charlie Barrett was perfect on his PAT kicks.

On the ensuing kickoff, Ridgeview nearly snagged a fumbled kickoff with Brian Jackson finding a pooch kick near the 35 yard line, but the officials ruled the ball out of bounds with no team in possession.

Creekside would generate just three yards of offense with downfield coverage from David Osborn and Dorian Duchene.

A holding flag slowed down the Ridgeview offense for a play, but Huff used Plyler and fullback Trent Coleman to set up a 26 yard scoring pass to Jackson who made a spectacular leaping catch over a well-positioned Creekside defender.

After the ensuing kickoff, Creekside earned their first first down of the half, but stalled on incomplete passes before punting for a Ridgeview start at the Panther 25.

Wideout Wayman Eady made short work of the situation with Huff finding him downfield for a 55 yard pass play to the Creekside 20 where handoffs to Coleman and Turner got to the Creekside seven where the Knights’ defense stiffened to force a field goal attempt.

“I don’t think they were ready for a fake kick,” said Huff, who took the snap and jetted to the left side of the Panther line for a touchdown and a 35-0 lead with 5:19 still left in the half.

Creekside benefited from three penalty flags against Ridgeview on their next series to get a 17 yard field goal with 2:46 left in the half which ended at 35-3.

Creekside opened the second half with an onsides kick that coverman Rolando Grey scooped up at the Ridgeview 35 yard line. A pass to Lindo got 15 yards to midfield before Huff scampered 20 to the 30 to set up a 22 yard juggling scoring pass play to Lindo that pushed the score to 42-3.

Creekside looked unready to throw in the towel on the next kickoff and moved the ball from their own 33 to the Ridgeview 36 in four plays to force Porch to call a time out and unleash a wake-up call to his defensive troops.

“He was just motivating us to not get complacent,”said Jaiden Turner. “We looked a lot better in the first half. That’s something we have to fix.”

Two sacks from Stanfield were negated by a pass interference call on Thomas that put Creekside in the end zone with a 42-10 score.

Ridgeview’s offense sputtered after the kickoff and Creekside tookover at the Knight 38 on a misfired fourth down pass from Huff to Kiaran Turner.

Again, Stanfield blasted through for a sack to halt Creekside’s drive and force an incomplete pass on fourth down as the fourth quarter started.

Grey would take an 18 yard run to paydirt for a Ridgeview 49-10 lead with 4:31. Creekside would answer one more time with an 11 yard pass to end the game.

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