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Ringgold flattened by Gateway, 47-0

| Saturday, Sept. 13, 2003

CARROLL TWP. -- Ringgold knew all about Gateway's star tandem of quarterback Mortty Ivy and running back Justin King heading into Friday night's non-conference match-up.

While Ivy and King certainly proved worthy of the pre-season hype, it was senior wide receiver Jai Wilson who put on the biggest show at Ringgold High School.

Wilson caught three passes for 113 yards and scored a touchdown three different ways in Gateway's 47-0 rout.

"We just got beat by the best team in the WPIAL," Ringgold coach Jeff Matty said. "What a team they are."

Wilson scored the game's first touchdown when he hauled in a 62-yard bomb from Ivy. The senior later scored on a 48-yard interception return and an electrifying 48-yard punt return.

After facing powerhouses North Allegheny and North Hills in the season's first two weeks, Matty came away more impressed with the Gators (2-1).

"This is the first time in a long time that a small Quad-A school has a real chance at winning the whole thing," Matty said. "Like everyone else, they have to stay healthy, but they're very good."

The Rams' defense, which has played better than the final scores have indicated this season, stuffed King on third-and-3 during Gateway's first possession, forcing a punt.

Ringgold's offense managed a first down but was forced to punt back to the Gators.

Ivy, a strong-armed quarterback who has committed to play at West Virginia University next fall, hit Wilson for the game's first score.

Ringgold's Robert Heller took the ensuing kickoff 64 yards to the Gateway 28-yard line. The Rams (0-3) produced another first down when quarterback Adam Zewe fired a perfect strike to Thoryn Simpson for 13 yards to the Gators' 15.

But Jake Hudak's 32-yard field goal attempt was blocked, and from that point on, Gateway showed why it is the fashionable pick to win the Quad-A WPIAL championship.

King, who entered the game as the WPIAL's leading rusher, finished with 120 yards on 15 carries. He scored the first of his three touchdowns later in the first quarter when he took an option pitch from Ivy and scored from eight yards out.

The touchdown was the conclusion of a three-play drive, the highlight of which was Ivy's 44-yard strike to Corey Sattler. Ivy, who completed 5-of-8 for 145 yards and a touchdown, threw his last pass of the evening midway through the second quarter with 145 yards and one touchdown.

Wilson then struck again for Gateway, although from the opposite side of the ball. Wilson stepped in front of Zewe's slant pass from his cornerback position and returned it 48 yards for the touchdown on the last play of the first quarter.

Ringgold's offense, which still has not produced a touchdown this season, struggled mightily against Gateway, producing just 54 total yards and four first downs.

The Rams' troubles on offense became greater when Zewe, who looked sharp in the pocket in the first half, left the game late in the second quarter with an ankle injury.

He did not return.

King scored two more touchdowns in the second quarter.

At midfield, King accelerated through the Ringgold defense and effortlessly breezed to the 50-yard score. The next time King touched the ball, he scored again, this time from 16 yards.

Early in the third quarter, Wilson put an exclamation point on his outstanding evening. He fielded a Ringgold punt at the Rams' 48, near the left sideline. He made two men miss at the sideline, then raced horizontally to the Gateway sideline, where a parade of blockers paved his way to the end zone.

"What can you say," Matty said. "That's quite a team."

King's back-up, Justin Colbaugh, finished the scoring in the fourth quarter when he raced for a 45-yard touchdown.

Ringgold played three of the WPIAL's best teams in its first three games and faces another daunting task next week when Upper St. Clair comes to town.

The Rams played North Allegheny tough but were blown out against North Hills and Gateway. Matty, however, likes the direction of his team.

"I think we're executing better each game, and getting better each game," Matty said. "These are darn good teams we're playing."

NOTES: Ringgold has now lost 14 straight games, the longest streak of any Quad-A team ... Zewe completed 3-of-10 passes for 22 yards before exiting with the ankle injury ... Gateway piled up 412 yards to Ringgold's 54 ... Mike McCurry led the Rams with 15 yards on seven carries ... In relief of Zewe, Corey Lomax completed 2 for 4 passes for 20 yards. He also threw an interception.

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