JACKSONVILLE – The Ridgeview Panthers saw their opening regular season opponent as a “win-able” game. Quite frankly it was over almost as quick as it started as the Panthers would score 46 …
JACKSONVILLE – The Ridgeview Panthers saw their opening regular season opponent as a “win-able” game. Quite frankly it was over almost as quick as it started as the Panthers would score 46 first half points en route to a 53-0 victory that could have been much worse except for some untimely penalties that cost the Panthers as much as 21 additional points.
With the win, Ridgeview High second year coach Cameron Porch gets his first regular season win after an 0-10 first year in 2016. Ridgeview continues on Friday with a match against 7A-Creekside, who overturned an 0-22 regular season record with their own win last Friday, a 48-21 win over Winter Springs High School. Jackson was 0-8 last year.
“We both are much improved from last season and it should be a great atmosphere at the stadium,” said Porch. “Our goal was 1-0 this week and our goal for next week is to go 2-0.”
One of the main area of strength for the Panthers have been their running backs. The position group continue to impress especially while rotating five players consistently in and out of the game; .
“We are a team and that’s how they approach it,” said Porch.
The Ridgeview offense took less than two minutes to score on a 25 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tyler Huff to wide receiver Brian Jackson. The Panthers special teams then forced a fumble on the kick-off when four Panthers would level the returner and Jacolbi Sampson would recover the football at the 10 yard line. Running back Caleb Plyler would score on the next play to give Ridgeview a lightning quick 14-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
Once the Jackson offense was on the field, it was apparent that the new look Panthers had a decisive speed and strength advantage. Jackson quarterback Artis Maddox had no time to throw and scrambled all evening trying to escape the Ridgeview defensive linemen and linebackers. The Tigers from Jackson would punt which would lead to a 42 yard field goal by placekicker Charlie Barrett to give Ridgeview a 17 point lead.
The Panthers next possession started at midfield. Plyler would run for a 20 yard gain during the possession to set up a first down at the 15 yard line. Unfortunately, Sampson would fumble the ball back to Jackson for one of the few mistakes the Panthers offense would have in the first half. However, on the next play Ridgeview’s Jaiden Turner would pick off the Maddox pass and return it to the 12 yard line. He would then score himself as one of five rotating running backs for the Panthers from nine yards away to increase the lead to 23-0 one minute into the second quarter. The extra point would be mishandled by Huff but he was able to recover the ball, scramble and somehow find a teammate in the corner of the endzone on a perfectly placed throw to get the two point conversion.
The Panthers defense was again all over quarterback Artis Maddox and forced a throw that was picked off by junior Joseph Chellino and returned to the Jackson 12 yard line for yet another short field for the Panther offense to work from. After a penalty, Huff would find Kiaran Turner on a 30 yard touchdown pass to up the lead to 32-0 less than three minutes into the second quarter.
On the next Jackson possession Sampson would make up for his earlier turnover with a strip sack on Maddox and give the Panthers yet another short field at the Tigers 19 yard line. Senior Trent Coleman would score later on a six yard run with five minutes left in the first half to push the lead to 39-0.
The Panthers would add one more touchdown on another pinpoint pass from Huff in the corner of the endzone to Damien Toney with five seconds left until halftime.
“He (Quarterback Tyler Huff) struggled a little bit at the beginning but he’s a great leader and really turned it on for us. He’s a heck of a quarterback and he had a great overall game” said Porch.
The second half was a running clock based on Florida High School Athletic Association rules. The Panthers kept their foot on the gas pedal but with a large number of second and third string players getting playing time. The combination of two teams who both went winless last season (One team who will continue their streak and one who is not accustomed to being up over 40 points) did not produce the best display of sportsmanship as the two teams combined for several late hits, illegal hits, and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. The issues were immediately address in the game (Porch immediately removed players from the game) and in the post game speech to the players it was the first item to be communicated.
“We got a bit undisciplined in the second half and we as coaches addressed it,” said Porch. “We have good kids and good leaders and it won’t happen again.”
The Panthers were able to add one more score an 84 yard run by Trent in the fourth quarter to give the Panthers a 53-0 win. The Panthers had three touchdowns called back for penalites in the second half.