Ridge View’s season opening performance was not a positive one. The Blazers were clearly outclassed by visiting Wando, 37-6, on Thursday night at Blythewood District Two Stadium.
“We definitely have a lot of work to do,” said Blazers coach Raymond Jennings.
“The only good thing is this was the first game of the season and we have time to address some issues. The most frustrating thing was we never gave ourselves a chance on offense. We had five turnovers and nothing ever good comes those kind of mistakes.”
Offensively, Ridge View managed a paltry net of 37 yards rushing on 25 carries, and lost three of its five fumbles. Three quarterbacks combined to go 9-for-20 passing for 81 yards and two interceptions.
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Ridge View’s first four possessions resulted in three turnovers and five positive yards. The Blazers didn’t manage a first down until the 5:09 mark of the second quarter after first-year senior Kyle Baldwin took over the offense. Baldwin directed the best RV drive of the night – an eight-play, 49-yard move that eventually stalled at the Wando 3-yard line. A 20-yard field goal bid by Kenneth Jones was blocked allowing the Warriors to carry a 24-0 lead into the halftime break.
The lone Blazer score came on a 62-yard interception return by linebacker Jamarcus Sharpe in the third quarter. Sharpe sniffed out a middle screen, timed his move perfectly and ran it in untouched.
Wando, guided by former Spring Valley coach Jimmy Noonan, came away with a mixed review.
“It was a good ugly win,” said Noonan. “We did not execute the way we hoped. We turned the ball over twice in the red zone, and to me that was worse than the interception Ridge View ran back on us.”
Wando finished with 294 offensive yards, 243 coming on the ground. Quarterback Josh Walker led the way with 113 yards on 16 carries and also had 48 yards passing. Stephen Wilson had two scoring runs for the Warriors.