Ringgold lays down the Law on Belle Vernon
The administration of law often isn't a speedy process.
There was a different type of “Law” on display Friday night at James Weir Stadium.
Ringgold junior quarterback Nico Law raced through the Leopard defense, and when he wasn't running the ball, he was throwing it around them in a 42-21 Rams victory.
Law finished with 16 carries for 220 yards and two touchdowns rushing and hit on 14 of 24 passes for 221 yards with three touchdowns.
“That's the advantage ... the difference is him running,” Ringgold coach Matt Humbert said. “We saw some things that we knew we could hit them on, and Nico executed it perfectly ... the line blocked it perfectly. We added some wrinkles that we really took advantage of.”
A lot was made of the quarterback battle between Law and BVA's Travis Snyder, also a junior. The pair didn't disappoint.
Snyder finished with 256 yards passing, hitting on 15 of 33 attempts. He threw for three scores but added three interceptions.
“In the second half, the turnovers killed us,” BVA coach Aaron Krepps said. “We definitely missed some things in the passing game tonight, there's no doubt about that. You can't turn it over three times.”
The two teams showed their quick strike ability right from the start, with Snyder finding his favorite target, Cody Menges from 68 yards out on the Leopards' second play from scrimmage.
Law answered by embarking on a six-play drive that featured himself, busting a 22-yard run and completing three passes for 44 yards. The drive was capped off by a 15-yard touchdown pass to Dayshore Majors, who finished with five catches for 121 yards and three touchdowns.
The teams exchanged touchdowns again with Snyder hitting Derek Verkleeren for a 27-yard touchdown, which was answered by Law breaking loose for a 73-yard run to even the score at 14-14 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second, Law and Majors hooked up for a 56-yard score, but Snyder was unable to answer after Ringgold's Brandon Thomas intercepted him in the end zone. The Leopard defense was able to hold Ringgold and Snyder and Verkleeren capitalized with a 7-yard touchdown to tie it at 21.
The Rams (2-1, 2-1) pulled ahead for good with 3:49 left in the first half when Majors snagged his third touchdown pass, a 23-yarder.
Both teams lost their luster in the second half with Ringgold able to break through with 10:46 left to go when Law raced for a 55-yard touchdown.
The Leps continued to find their offense ineffective as Snyder was picked off twice, once by Brandon Heinzlemen and another by Majors.
“We knew that Snyder has a tendency to put some air under the ball, so we planned for it,” Humbert said. “There were some times that they got some guys behind us, but those BVA kids play hard and have a lot of talent.”
The scoring was capped off when Ringgold's D'Andre Alford fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line and the ball was recovered by a teammate in the end zone for a touchdown.
“Brett Berish, our defensive coordinator, and our coaches came up with a great gameplan,” Humbert said. “Our offensive line played great. We don't care if it's Belle Vernon, Thomas Jefferson ... it doesn't matter. We treat every game the same.”
The Leopards (1-2, 1-2), who travel to Elizabeth Forward Friday, got hit by the injury bug early.
“We lost six guys to injuries, two starters in the secondary,” Krepps said. “We had things in the first half that were working for us. It was a tale of two halves. We let up a lot of big plays that killed us. The turnovers just shut us down.
“It's still Xs and Os, we have to execute.”
NOTES: Ringgold finished with 514 yards of offense, 441 by Law. BVA had 325 total yards. ... Ringgold's Connor Dudas finished 7 of 7 on extra points but missed a 37-yard field goal. Bradley Sloan led BVA with 41 yards on 12 carries.
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2667.