Ashley Ridge nips Wando, 26-23, in overtime
With the opportunity for a first-round home playoff game on the line, Wando and Ashley Ridge battled for third place in Region 7-AAAAA on Friday night.
And four quarters were not enough to decide the outcome.
Tied at 20 after regulation, the teams went to overtime. With the first possession, Wando settled for a 21-yard field goal from Andrew Weil, his third of the game.
Ashley Ridge’s possession opened with a sack but on third-and-15, sophomore quarterback Matthew Duncan drilled a pass into the chest of Josh Linton for a touchdown, sending Ashley Ridge to a 26-23 win.
With the win, Ashley Ridge improved to 6-3 overall and 4-2 in Region 7 play, clinching third place. Wando dropped to 4-5 overall and 3-3 in region play.
Duncan finished the game with 168 yards passing on a night when Ashley Ridge struggled to run the ball.
“People forget the kid (Duncan) is still a sophomore,” Ashley Ridge head coach Kenny Walker said of his quarterback. “He’s a competitive kid, really competitive. He continues to grow into a team leader everyday and that was a huge throw he made.”
Trailing 13-3 at the half, Wando scored quickly in the third after Andrew Brown intercepted a Duncan pass to set up Justin Pelic’s five-yard run with 10:31 left in the period.
The Swamp Foxes answered later in the quarter when Duncan found Linton for a 31-yard scoring pass, upping the lead to 20-10.
But the Warriors continued to battle. Quarterback Cale Lewis, who threw for 177 yards, hit Kellen Noonan on a 20-yard touchdown pass with 2:02 left in the third, cutting the margin to 20-17.
With 8:24 left in the game, Weil drilled a 34-yard field goal to knot the score at 20-20.
Ashley Ridge placekicker Alex Lazik hit field goals of 38 and 32 yards in the first half, and Rodney Oldham returned an interception 58 yards to give the Swamp Foxes the early halftime advantage.
“Rodney is a ball hawk back there,” Walker said. “He’s one of the most under-rated players in the area. All he does is make big play after big play, all year. That was obviously a huge play for us.”
Though comfortable with a 13-3 lead, Walker says his team has yet to be able to finish off opponents this season.
“All year, we just haven’t had the killer instinct to put people away,” Walker said. “Of course, Wando is a solid, well-coached football team. We knew they wouldn’t just stop playing. We just need to continue to work on executing and finishing people off.
“We’re a young team. I think we had three seniors on offense tonight and we got a bunch hurt. That’s why this is a huge win for us. We fought as hard as we could.”
AR – Alex Lazik 38 field goal
AR – Rodney Oldham 58 interception return (Lazik kick)
AR – Lazik 32 field goal
W – Andrew Weil 46 field goal
W – Justin Pelic 5 run (Weil kick)
AR – Josh Linton 31 pass from Matthew Duncan (Lazik kick)
W – Kellen Noonan 20 pass from Cale Lewis (Weil kick)
W – Weil 34 field goal
W – Wei 21 field goal
AR – Linton 15 pass from Duncan (no kick)