Brookville Knocks Off State Ranked Ridgway
Written by: Phil Myers on Saturday, October 20th, 2018
The Brookville Blue Raiders made a statement at home Friday night with a 28-11 whipping of the previously unbeaten and state ranked (#7 in AA) Ridgway Elkers. Brookville was the preseason favorite to win the District 9 AA crown, but an injury to their starting quarterback and some inconsistent play on defense this year had their record at 5-3 coming into the contest. The Raiders stepped up big time and now has to be considered one of the favorites for the title.
“We definitely played our best game. It was a good team win,” stated a happy Brookville head coach, Scott Park. “The story tonight was our defense because on the defensive side we’ve been struggling,” he continued. The Brookville ‘D’ held Ridgway to one offensive score and Ridgway came in averaging 32 points per game. In addition, the Blue Raiders forced 4 turnovers. According to D-9 Sports, the Elkers had only turned the ball over five times all year.
Offensively, Brookville took advantage of a couple of short fields and made some plays when they were needed. Wide receiver Bryan Dworek came up with a few of those plays as he collected three touchdowns for the evening including a fourth down TD grab that gave his team the lead for good at the 7:21 mark of the second quarter.
Dworek’s first score was also the first score of the game and occurred at the 4:49 mark of the first quarter when he ran the ball in from a yard out. Donavan Hoffman made the score 7-0 with his PAT. The touchdown capped a 55-yard, six play drive. The big play came on A Tucker Wolfe 35-yard run to get the drive going. “Our playmakers made some plays tonight,” quipped Park.
Ridgway answered with a four-minute drive that covered 60 yards and culminated on a Jake Wickett nine-yard scamper. Daunte Allegretto booted the PAT to tie the game at 7 with twenty-six seconds remaining in the opening stanza. Ridgway’s defense, which has been their anchor all year, then stopped Brookville on downs at the Elker 18 after giving up a couple big plays that put the Raiders into the red zone.
But, the home team’s defense returned the favor by forcing a three and out. Dworek returned the punt ten yards to the Ridgway 45. Dworek caught a 28-yard pass from Robert Keth on the second play of the six-play scoring drive and later snared the fifteen-yard TD toss on fourth down to put Brookville up 14-7, a lead they never relinquished.
Ridgway countered by driving to the Raider 41 before Tucker Wolfe intercepted a Paul Gresco pass to thwart the Elker drive. That was the first of Wolfe’s two picks on the night. After Ridgway stopped Brookville on downs in Elker territory again, the visitors drove to the Raider 22. Facing a second and seven with a minute to go in the half, Gresco’s short pass was anticipated by Wolfe as he stepped in front of it and raced up to the 46. Ridgway was hit with a fifteen-yard penalty giving Brookville a chance to score before the half. But, Jake Wickett picked off Keth’s pass to end the half.
Ridgway received the second half kick and proceeded to march into the Raider side of the field, but Brookville’s Braden MacBeth timed his move perfectly in intercepting a third Gresco pass. MacBeth scurried down the field until he was tackled at the Ridgway 8 where four more yards were tacked on due to an Elker penalty. On the second play, Wolfe scored Brookville’s third touchdown on a four-yard run. Trailing 21-7, Ridgway needed a spark to get back into the game. It didn’t come from the offense though, it came from the defense.
Within a minute and twenty-five seconds the Elkers scored two safeties after the offense had been halted at the Raider nine and a punt had pinned them at the five. The first two-pointer was scored when Keth was tackled in the end zone, the second when the ball was snapped over his head out of the end zone. So, with 2:05 remaining in the third period, Ridgway trailed 21-11.
But alas, Brookville was just too good this night and the Raiders put the nail in the coffin for the Elkers when Dworek made a nice leaping catch to score a 16-yard touchdown with 9:39 left in the fourth quarter. With Hoffman’s fourth PAT, Brookville increased its lead to 28-11 and after some inconsequential play the game was over.
Game Note: “Hats off to Brookville, they’re a good team,” said Elker head coach Mark Heindl. Losing QB Paul Gresco was 21 for 36 for 127 yards, but threw three picks. Jake Wickett had 64 yards rushing for Ridgway. Keth did not have a good night percentage wise on his passes, but made them count when he did complete them. He was 11 for 28 for 229 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. Dworek caught 8 passes for 176 yards. Wolfe had 72 yards toting the ball on the ground. “I told the seniors to enjoy this game as it may be your last game here (at home) and I told the underclassmen that they owed it to the seniors to play their best game,” said Coach Park before the Senior Night game. Apparently, both groups took that comment to heart.
Follow WesternPAFootball.com on Twitter @WPAFootball