REDMOND — Ridgeview and Redmond put together a memorable chapter in their budding football rivalry.
On a warm, windy Friday night at Ridgeview High School, the Ravens eked out a 42-35 victory in front of a raucous home crowd, scoring with 45.2 seconds remaining on a catch by senior wideout Matthew Prusak. The second half proved redemptive for Prusak, who fumbled the opening kickoff of the third quarter before catching an 87-yard touchdown. His final two catches of the game were the winning touchdown and two-point conversion.
“I was a little bit nervous,” Prusak said, referring to the game-winning drive. “On that last play, I knew it was coming to me, so I was like, ‘I have to catch this.’ I did it, and it felt good.”
Most of the game was not played through the air. Between Redmond’s triple-option attack and Ridgeview’s reliance on speedy running back Kadden Brown, it was a ground-and-pound, back-and-forth contest, featuring myriad turnovers and defensive miscues.
Ridgeview managed just one score in the first quarter on a touchdown run by Brown, but it took a 20-19 lead into halftime thanks to two scoring scampers by Josh Biever. The Ravens could have led by more if not for an interception by Redmond that led to a 23-yard touchdown catch by Jack McKenzie.
Brown returned the favor with an interception that set up Prusak’s 87-yard catch, which extended Ridgeview’s lead to 27-19. The Panthers (1-3) punched back, though, marching down the field and tying the game 27-27 through three quarters.
The fourth quarter was wild. An end-around pass gave Ridgeview a 34-27 lead, but a touchdown and two-point conversion — both on runs by Clayton Elrod — gave Redmond a 35-34 edge with 2:41 to go.
“My guys played their hearts out tonight,” Redmond coach Brent Wasche said. “We were in a position to win the ballgame, and sometimes you come up short.”
Redmond’s gutsy play call was all for naught, as the Ravens (1-3) put together a textbook final drive capped by Prusak’s game-winning grab. Ridgeview coach Patrick Pileggi said he was proud of his team’s effort despite injury issues the Ravens face. He was impressed by the atmosphere of Friday’s game, too.
“This is my first time in this rivalry and it’s as good as any,” Pileggi said. “All week long, you hear stuff from both sides, and it played out just like you’d want it to.”
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