NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Behind a big night running the football from Mark Strothers and another solid kicking performance from Zane Watson, Redbank Valley advanced to the District 9 Class A semifinals with a 31-26 win over visiting Ridgway Friday night.
While the game was close throughout, third-seeded Redbank Valley (7-3) never gave up the lead after grabbing an early 7-0 advantage on a 4-yard Strothers run, one of three rushing touchdowns for the senior who had 150 yards on the ground, and the Watson extra point.
Extra points played a key role in the game, as Watson was a perfect 4-for-4 in the game while also booting a late 34-yard field goal. Ridgway, meanwhile, missed an extra point after its first touchdown and was just 1-for-3 on two-point conversions after that.
The sixth-seeded Elkers (5-6), though, stayed in the game thanks in large part to the play of quarterback Ben MacDonald.
MacDonald ran for two touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass while rushing for 29 yards on 11 carries and going 12-for-18 passing for 165 yards.
His 3-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter got Ridgway within one at 7-6 before Strothers made it 14-6 Bulldogs at the end of the first quarter with a 54-yard scoring run.
Ridgway answered back on a 1-yard MacDonald run to make it 14-12 early in the second quarter before Redbank Valley went up 21-12 at halftime thanks to a 20-yard Jake Dougherty to Kyle Schrecengost screen pass.
Ridgway answered back in the third quarter getting within three, 21-18, on a 20-yard MacDonald to Jeremy Brier scoring pass before a 19-yard Strothers run early in the fourth quarter put Redbank Valley back up double digits at 28-18.
The Elkers once again responded, this time on a 7-yard scoring run by Dane Cappiello and a two-point run by Sam Delhunty to get within two, 28-26, with 6:43 to play.
But Redbank Valley was able to run all by 39 seconds off the clock, and finished its drive with the Watson field goal to make it 31-26. Nick Shoemaker then intercepted a MacDonald pass to seal the win.
Redbank will face second-seeded Curwensville in the semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday at DuBois’ Mansell Stadium.
REDBANK VALLEY 31, RIDGWAY 26
Score by Quarters
Ridgway 6 6 6 8 – 26
Redbank Valley 14 7 0 10 – 31
RV – Mark Strothers 4 yard run ( Zane Watson kick), 11:01
R – Ben MacDonald 3 yard run (kick failed) ,4:16
RV – Strothers 54 yard run (Watson kick), 2:16
R – MacDonald 1 yard run (pass failed), 8:48
RV – Kyle Schrecengost 20 yard catch from Jake Dougherty (Watson kick), 4:43
R – Jeremy Breier 20 yard catch from MacDonald (pass failed), 2:22
RV – Strothers 19 yard run (Watson kick), 10:37
R – Dane Cappiello 7 yard run (Sam Delhunty run), 6:43
RV – Watson 34 yard field goal ,0:39
First Downs 16 20
Rushes-Yards 41-165 35-220
Passing Yards 165 96
Passing: Com-Att-Int 12-18-1 6-9-0
Total Yards 329 316
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 2-10 12-102
Punts-Avg. 1-27 2-34
RUSHING – Ridgway: Sam Delhunty 14-56, Ben MacDonald 11-29, Dane Cappiello 6-24, Cole Myers 10-55. Redbank Valley: Mark Strothers 24-150, Jake Dougherty 9-42, Mitch Blose 2-28.
PASSING – Ridgway: Ben MacDonald 12-for-18, 165 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception. Redbank Valley: Jake Dougherty 6-for-9, 96 yards, 1 touchdown.
RECEIVING – Ridgway: Dane Cappiello 5-54, Jeremy Breier 4-45, Cole Myers 3-66. Redbank Valley: Kyle Schrecengost 4-81, Kaven Hornberger 1-2, Mitch Blose 1-13.
INTERCEPTIONS – Redbank Valley: Nick Shoemaker.