Rams crushed by West Allegheny
Ringgold coach Matt Humbert knew his team was going to have its hands full with West Allegheny.
He just thought they would compete a little better than they did.
The 13th-seeded Rams were run over by the No. 4 Indians, 48-7, Friday night at Joe E. Demichela Stadium in North Fayette Township.
Ringgold fullback Jake Foglia fumbled on the first play from scrimmage and the Indians recovered at Rams 4-yard line. They cashed in three plays later on a Tory Delmonico 2-yard run.
Turnovers were the theme of the night as the Rams (4-6) turned it over four times in the first half, three by fumble, and the Indians ran out to a 41-0 halftime lead.
“I really thought we'd come out and compete a little better than we did,” Humbert said. “The fact is that we shot ourselves in the foot over and over. Anytime you have four turnovers in the first half, it's tough to recover.”
Nick Habedl scored on touchdown runs of 1, 1 and 7 yards and Chayse Dillon scored on runs of 10 and 58 yards, leaving the Rams looking for answers.
Ringgold, which played the game without standout receiver Joey Wall, managed only 21 yards of total offense in the first half.
Rams' senior running back Demetrius Louis and sophomore quarterback Nico Law weren't able to find their feet, as they were swarmed repeatedly by the stingy West Allegheny defense.
“That's a real talented, very athletic football team,” Indians coach Bob Palko said. “We knew we had to stop them from running it.”
The Indians won the field position battle in the first half, starting all but one drive in Rams territory.
While the West Allegheny offense was scoring at will, the Indians defensive line was giving the young Rams all they could handle.
“I'm not trying to bash the other conferences, but the Parkway is so physical,” Palko said. “When you're playing those teams week after week, you have to be more physical. It's all about how we prepare each week. We have to be physical in every aspect.”
Humbert was impressed by the Indians' play.
“That is probably the most physical football team we've ever played,” he said. “We couldn't get anything going.”
The Rams were forced to use Louis out of the wildcat formation in the second half as well as backup quarterback Dayshore Majors after Law reaggravated a groin injury.
The Rams looked to make an impression in the second half forcing a fumble by Dillon on the opening kickoff,, but the Indians defense forced them backwards before taking the ball over on downs.
Ringgold finally lit up its end of the scoreboard with a 10-play, 98-yard drive that was capped off with a 14-yard touchdown run by Louis.
The Rams managed just 139 offensive yards, and Louis finished with 84 yards on 17 carries with 74 yards coming in the second half.
Dillon finished with a game-high 122 yards rushing on only six carries to lead the Indians, who had 301 yards on the ground.
The Indians advance to take on Montour in the WPIAL quarterfinals at a site to be determined, while Ringgold's season comes to a close.
Humbert congratulated each Rams' senior as they came off the field.
“I just hate that their season and high school careers came to an end in a game like that,” Humbert said. “I would have liked the point margin to be a little bit closer than it was.”
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2667 or firstname.lastname@example.org.