Ringgold races to lopsided victory over Uniontown
Ringgold coach Matt Humbert said he worried about the athleticism Uniontown would bring to Joe Montana Stadium Friday night.
He didn't need to worry, though, because the Rams have some athletes of their own.
This week, it was receiver Alan Pritchett's turn to have a night to remember as the Rams rolled over the Red Raiders, 60-21.
“We really wanted to get Alan involved in the game because he is such a good athlete,” Humbert said.
Pritchett scored three touchdowns for the Rams: a 15-yard run, a 54-yard touchdown pass and a 75-yard kickoff return.
“We really strived to get him the ball in the running game because we knew he could be a factor for us,” Humbert said. “Our game plan was to get more people involved in the running game and not run Nico (Law) as much. We wanted to throw it around a little bit based on the coverages and defense they showed us.”
Law did his part, completing 12 of 20 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns. He ran for 92 yards on 10 carries.
After a Connor Dudas 39-yard field goal, Uniontown countered with a 37-yard run by Doug Lewis to give the Red Raiders a 6-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“It wasn't just the athleticism they bring, but those kids are big. We knew their quarterback is big and athletic, they've got a big fullback, and that number 11 (Lewis), he's a load,” Humbert said of the Uniontown arsenal.
Ringgold countered with Law hooking up with Dayshore Majors on a 13-yard touchdown, which was followed by Pritchett's run on a jet sweep from his wideout position.
With 2:23 remaining in the first half, the Rams defense had the Red Raiders backed up at their 5-yard line until Lewis busted through the heart of the defense for a 95-yard touchdown run.
“We definitely need to fix some things with our run defense,” Humbert said. “We gave up a lot of yards on the ground tonight.”
Lewis finished with a game-high 160 yards rushing on only 10 carries before leaving with a lower leg injury in the third quarter.
Ringgold responded quickly before halftime, scoring two touchdowns within the final two minutes. Sophomore running back Chacar Berry raced 40 yards on a screen pass, and Pritchett caught his touchdown pass with 41 seconds left.
Uniontown tried a squib kick to start the second half, but they didn't plan on Pritchett playing up from his usual position and returning it for the score.
Just more than two minutes later, the Red Raiders tried to make their move when fullback Tristan Sandrosky plowed into the end zone on a 12-yard screen pass and then recovered an onside kick just before it rolled out of bounds.
“They have some great athletes, and we knew we had to be careful,” Humbert said.
Uniontown ended up killing its own momentum on the next play when quarterback Xavier Ellis' 29-yard run to the Ringgold 3-yard line was called back by a chop block. Three plays later, they were forced to punt.
With 2:11 left in the third quarter, it was another Ram making his mark ... on a Uniontown player.
Fullback Matt Kirby took a handoff 48 yards for a Rams touchdown, nearly leaving his helmet embedded in Hart's chest when he tried to tackle him. Hart needed a few moments to clear the cobwebs from the hit administered by Kirby on his way to the end zone.
“I love the way Matt runs the ball,” Humbert said. “We have some real good fullbacks, and Matt has some pretty good speed and he likes to deliver the blow.”
Another fullback, Jordan Briscoe, added to the Ringgold side of the scoreboard, scoring on a 4-yard run. The Rams rounded out the scoring with nine points late, a safety when Ellis stepped out of the back of the end zone on a Red Raiders' punt and an 11-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback George Martin with 39 seconds left.
“I think we may have got caught looking ahead to West Mifflin next week, but honestly, that's a good football team,” Humbert said. “I was more worried about this game than I was Belle Vernon. I knew the type of players they had. Our guys had to step up and play big.”
Ringgold will travel to West Mifflin next week.
“We have to stop (Jimmy) Wheeler,” Humbert said. “But they got some good coaches over there. We need to make sure we're focused on being a little smarter.”
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.