Knights close with respect, lopsided win
by Thomas Duggins
Tribune Sports Correspondent
November 09, 2013 02:50 AM | 1191 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
E.J. Ellis, one of River Ridge’s departing seniors, ended his high school career in impressive fashion, getting his typically strong rushing game, but also returning an interception 100 yards for a touchdown.
<Br>File photo by Ted Mayer
E.J. Ellis, one of River Ridge’s departing seniors, ended his high school career in impressive fashion, getting his typically strong rushing game, but also returning an interception 100 yards for a touchdown.
File photo by Ted Mayer
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WOODSTOCK — In the final game of its lost season, River Ridge jumped out to an early lead and never looked back Friday, finishing with a 44-21 victory over Heritage-Catoosa.

“They played a more complete game than we have in weeks past,” River Ridge coach Robert Braucht said. “Sometimes, it takes a while to get things put together the way you want it, and we were finally able to do that (Friday).”

One year after making a run into the state playoffs, the Knights were left to end their season with a little respect and a 2-8 record.

“The biggest thing is it leaves a positive taste in your mouth. That’s the big thing,” Braucht said. “We wanted our seniors to leave this field under a positive note. These kids have been with me for five years, and I love each and every one of them dearly. I love them like my own children, and I’m very proud of them.”

River Ridge jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, thanks in part to the work of quarterback Marcus Spears, who led the Knights on drives of 72 and 37 yards.

Spears was a steadying force throughout the night, as he paced the Knights with 125 yards passing, tossing touchdowns of 23, 5 and 18 yards.

Facing fourth-and-22 from the 23-yard line, Heritage quarterback Dylan Bice put the Generals (1-9) on the board with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Trent Kinary at the start of the second quarter.

Bice had a mixed bag of results on the night as he passed for two touchdowns and was intercepted twice.

The Generals were able to close the gap to 21-14 with 6:36 left in the first half after quarterback Bice connected with Drew Sherrill on a 17-yard touchdown strike.

That was as close as Heritage could draw, though, as Bice was sacked in his own end zone by Omari Reeves-Miller for a safety at the 3:07 mark of the first half.

River Ridge made the Generals pay two plays later, as E.J. Ellis scampered 41 yards to push the Knights’ lead to a 30-14 halftime advantage.

Ellis played a major role in breaking the game open for River Ridge.

With Heritage driving late in the third quarter, Bice dropped back and tried to thread in a touchdown pass from the 5-yard line. Ellis intercepted the pass on the goal line and returned it 100 yards for the score, pushing the Knights to a 44-14 advantage with 1 minute remaining in the third quarter.

In spite of his team’s struggles, Heritage sophomore Andrew Chavez proved to be a bright spot as he rushed for 136 yards on 18 carries and caught four passes for 49 yards.

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